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Opioid Addiction Is Business, And Business Is Good



Opioids Have Been Around For Centuries

From the Sumerians “Joy Plant,” to the massive poppy fields of Tutankhamun, the recreational use of opium is nothing new to mankind. Its euphoric effects have been sought after for centuries on every corner of the globe. It was used by the Greeks and the Romans as a sedative, and the Chinese gave it to patients before major surgery. All of these things were happening before the end of the third century.

A Useful Medicine

The properties and medicinal uses of the Opium Poppy have been studied by nearly every civilization and used for an unknown number of applications. Through the Hundred Years War, the bubonic plague, the landing of the Pilgrims, the French Revolution and the Declaration of Independence, opium became a useful medicine for treating a multitude of ailments.

It was in the 19th century with the discovery of “morphine” from the plant, when opium became a more household remedy. It was used for pain, anxiety, and respiratory, but it was during the Civil War that the addictive properties of the “Joy Plant” started to become more clear. During the Civil War morphine was used to treat battle wounds. The addiction among soldiers was so prevalent it became known as the “Soldiers Disease.”

Morphine abuse became a serious problem at the end of the 19th century, and the desire for a safer alternative gave birth to Heroin. Free samples of the narcotic were actually given out early in the 20th century and mass-produced by companies, such as Bayer. To no surprise, the dangers of heroin were quickly discovered and by the 1930’s, laws making it illegal to manufacture, import, and possess heroin, were passed across the country.

It Is a Business

It was the medical community that pushed the FDA to allow opioid-based medications to be sold. Many doctors felt the drugs still had useful purposes in medicine, and prescriptions of codeine and morphine became regular among doctors. The FDA approved Oxycodone in 1950, and since the 60’s, the abuse of prescription opioids has been a continuing problem.

Although Nixon declared the war on drugs, and Reagan pushed the “Just say no” campaign in the 80’s, the pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists had taken full control. By the late 90’s, doctors were prescribing drugs like Fentanyl and oxycodone. The turn of the century saw four million Americans abusing prescription drugs. An estimated 2.6 million of those were abusing painkillers, specifically. By 2002, there were 6.2 million abusing prescription drugs, and a large percentage of emergency room visits were a result of narcotics abuse. In 2008, the reported emergency room visits were around 730,000, and after five years under the Obama administration, that number doubled.

Failure Or Success

Under the Obama administration, the opioid crisis exploded into a full-blown epidemic. The noticeable lack of concern by the administration gave rise to prescriptions of opiates in higher doses. Like many agencies under the Obama administration, the FDA turned a blind eye to the reality of the situation in favor of big pharma.

The “21st-century Cures Act” signed by Obama, gave companies seeking new uses for drugs a lower standard for testing to gain approval. As the FDA followed the Obama administration model that seems to have engulfed multiple agencies in our country, prescription opioids were becoming a serious problem. In 2013, the Journal of Drug and Alcohol dependence stated that four of five heroin users started their use by misusing opioid prescriptions. Due to the border security policies by the Obama administration, heroin has been pouring into our country. The DEA has found that the availability of heroin is higher in every single region of our country than it was in 2008. The statistics in seizures at the border show a clear increase in the amounts coming across our border, with 2200 pounds from 2010, more than doubling to 4800 pounds only four years later.

The statistics go on and on. The clear patterns of growth in our opioid epidemic under the Obama administration are just more examples of the failures of a blown Presidency. This is an arguable statement, considering the massive amounts of information pointing at a clear plan for the destruction of our country.

It Is Not Just Mexico

During his campaign, President Trump made it clear to our country and the world, that he is going to secure the southern border. His ‘build the wall’ speeches are still ringing in our ears today. His most remembered quote, “The wall just got 10 feet higher,” has become a kind of mantra to the majority of Americans who want to stop the influx of illegal aliens, drugs, and weapons.

The President has made no secret of the facts that dangerous drugs are coming across our borders, specifically highlighting one drug in particular, Heroin. He told the country during an address from the White House on Oct 26, 2017, that “an astonishing 90% of the Heroin in America comes from south of the border.” With President Trump's promises being kept at a record-breaking pace, there is no doubt to any MAGA Patriot that he will succeed in securing the border and damming the inflow of Heroin.

Controlling the heroin being smuggled into our country is only a part of the real problem we face. The pharmaceutical companies that have ignored the issues with the drugs they create, the failures of the FDA and the apparent ignorance of our lawmakers have allowed the largest “cartel” of them all to take control of our country. These companies are making profits totaling more than one trillion dollars a year, much more than the 64 billion made by the Mexican cartels. In 2016, nearly 43,000 deaths were directly related to prescription opioids. The business of death is raking in money hand over fist in our country, and there is little being done to hold those who are responsible accountable. Richard Blumenthal said, “In the face of a spiraling opioid crisis, the FDA has utterly, abjectly failed to protect Americans.”

Why are we standing by allowing opioids to be prescribed at an alarming rate? When will we admit that big pharma is killing our country? When will the FDA side with the American people instead of lobbyists and special interest groups? The failure of our government agencies under Barack Obama is becoming an epidemic in its own right. Why are we allowing the business of addiction and death to exist in our country? While more than 100 Americans die every day to these poisons, when will we start asking the real questions?

Marc Manross / Writer

I am a father, journeyman, tradesman and poet. I am one of those people who wasn't born with a filter and I see no reason for one. Voting for President Donald Trump ranks among the top five best choices I ever made.
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  1. Many years ago, Timothy Leary explained 7 levels of consciousness, with "white light" being the highest, and DEATH being the lowest. Leary meant a death mentality, one beyond ego, rationale, and feelings. It was, if you will, a way of despair. He assigned opioids on that lowest rung.

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  2. Very good article Marc. Having personally witnessed the effects of opioid abuse in my own family. This crisis plaguing our nation is troubling.Having watched a family member spiral downward until he lost his life is heart wrenching. I do not wish this on anyone and yet thousands daily are doing just that. I hope and pray this administration will make leaps and bounds toward stemming this tide of death brought upon us all my greed and selfishness of those in power.

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss. Sadly, I understand it.

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  3. EXCELLENT ARTICLE! Thank you for bringing all of this information to light. I've been on opioids off and on, from 2010 thru 2016, due to 5 major surgeries, with pain before and after.

    I remember being in horrendous pain one night and I ended up taking too many Percocet. It frightened me. I started tracking my meds on paper. As soon as I could I switched to prescription strength Ibuprofen but had to go through withdrawal which exacerbated my panic disorder. I took my max allowable dose of Xanax for 3 days and slept through withdrawal, a lesson I learned the first time I experienced withdrawal. Then I was fine.

    However, my former stepson began taking opioids at 16 for a knee injury and was (and may still be) addicted. He and his g/f, then wife, graduated to heroin. He returned to the pills. She was a beautiful, intelligent, loving young woman going to college to be a teacher, who transitioned into stupidity and became a mean and abusive bitch. They divorced. She was leaving for work one morning and my grandson was to go along. She waitressed at her dad's restaurant in WV, driving from MD. My grandson knew she was high and asked to stay home. Driving her p/u truck on RT. 15 West she fell asleep, crossed the grass median and went into oncoming traffic. She wasn't wearing a seatbelt. She was killed instantly. A young, formerly beautiful, promising life gone.

    Big Pharma buddies up to FDA folks and promises them 6-figure salaries once they leave the FDA. This bribery is RAMPANT.

    So much needs to be done. I would put in,the code of ethics that no Federal employee can be employed in a field related to their government job for 5 years after leaving employment. That's just a start.

    Also, the FDA doesn't do their job completely. Drugs aside, they are to regulate FOOD and COSMETICS & the like. They DON'T. They're doing harm, the exact thing they're to protect us from.

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  4. A lot of feed back today on twitter in support of prescription pain killers. I think its going to require a follow up article about the reality of chronic pain and how doctors categorize a patients Pain level. I mean anyone can claim chronic pain, and trust me by definition I definitely fit the Chronic pain category, but i just dont think i requires Drugs. So how can we determine who really needs them?

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