Monday, November 19, 2018

America's Addiction To Drugs

Over the years we have heard many politicians talk about drug addiction in America. President Trump brought it to light even more when he singled out opiods and how they are being over prescribed by doctors. We are rarely told that the majority of addicts use prescription drugs. That doesn't always mean they got the drug using a doctor's prescription, but we find too often it was the legal use that led to illegal use.

Everyday we hear about the battle to legalize cannabis , one of the least harmful drugs, but it does have it's down side such as paranoia and forgetfulness. Even with the negatives, marijuana is likely much safer than alcohol. Unlike opiods, marijuana hasn't been found to be addictive, at least physically. People can become psychologically addicted to almost anything, whether it be drugs, exercise, or food.

Physical addictions are where the problem really begins. Once addicted to drugs a person will go to any extent to get that next high, or to escape the pain of withdrawal. A crack-cocaine addict once told me he would kill his mother if that's what it took to get even a single high.

“Escape” is what people are looking for. For as long as we have recorded modern history, humans have looked for an escape from life. Sometimes that escape is as simple as reading a book, and for people like me, writing a book is my escape. I have been a heavy drinker most of my life, but when I began to take writing serious, I no longer needed to drink.

Pain is another thing for which people need escape. Pain is a horrible thing and people will do almost anything to escape it's wrath. Doctors are sympathetic to people with pain because they have, themselves, experienced its torment. For this reason they happily write those prescriptions that too often send people onto the road of addiction.

Sometimes we aren't even aware of when we are getting the drugs that can lead you onto the path of addiction. For some people it doesn't take much. I remember growing up and seeing people addicted to cough syrup and never really understood why. Hydrocodone is considered an “opioid,” or a semi-synthetic opiate. It’s similar to drugs like morphine, codeine and oxycodone. Sometimes when you have a cough, your doctor will prescribe cough syrup with codeine. When I was younger and saw people addicted to cough syrup, in those days even over the counter cough syrup had codeine.

There are several versions of hydrocodone marketed in the United States. Those with an addiction to hydrocodone likely have a specific brand they prefer. This could be based on many reasons that are both practical and psychological.

Each Vicodin tablet has 300 mg of acetaminophen and comes in three different dosage levels of hydrocodone—5 mg, 7.5 mg and 10 mg. It is generally prescribed for one tablet taken every 4 to 6 hours, though addicts may take much higher doses. In 2011 the FDA forced companies to lower acetaminophen due to liver damage.

History of Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone was initially engineered in Germany during the early 1920s by a pharmaceutical company. By adding oxygen to codeine, the company hoped to create a product that was as effective as codeine without the unwanted side effects: high risk of toxicity and stomach discomfort.
In the late 1920s, officials in the United States were investigating methods to find substitutes for opiate-containing cough medicines that were leading to high levels of addiction.
Researchers tested hundreds of substances to identify suitable alternatives and found hydrocodone to be highly effective in several areas, including:
  • Managing pain.
  • Suppressing cough.
  • Producing feelings of euphoria.
Despite fears that the drug would carry a high risk of addiction because of its ability to produce such feelings, hydrocodone was approved for use by the public. Published reports of hydrocodone addiction and dependence did not become common until more than 30 years later in 1961.
Another reason why people abuse hydrocodone is that it is widely available. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that over 136 million prescriptions were dispensed in 2013. This number continues the streak of hydrocodone being the most prescribed medication in the US with an increase of 20 million more yearly prescriptions since 2006.

The US government has had the war on drugs for decades with no results. If anything, drug use and the illegal drug trade has increased. President Trump is talking about prison reform, but the only way we can solve that problem is through the legalization of drugs. It's only through legalization can we take the crime out of the drug trade.

Some argue that if you legalize drugs that is just giving people permission to use them. It's become clear, people don't need permission to use drugs. In 2012 we had 12 million people ages 12 and above using hydrocodone for recreational use.

The best thing we can do is take the crime out of drug sales and create treatment facilities for those who do become addicted. The only way we person can overcome addiction is want that more than the drug and there are only two ways for that to happen, you hit bottom or someone helps you find a reason to fight the addiction. The end game should always be to help the addict and putting them in prison only exacerbates the problem.

Another thing we must do is stop drugging children because they don't pay attention in class. Attention Deficit Syndrome has been around for as long as there have been children. I was one of those children. I had a mind that seemed to never stop wandering, but back then we called it an imagination. I'm so happy there were no drugs for that when I was a child. We must stop drugging our children and turning them into future addicts.

I must add one more thing. Americans think they need a doctor and a pill for every minor illness. This is leading to other problems, but it also teaches children that a pill is the solution to every problem, so when they become sad, they will reach for a pill.

No comments:

Post a Comment