Drug Devastation

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson November 28, 2017 11:00

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Opioids.  Those substances that act on the nervous system to relieve pain.  The injuries of Civil War veterans were among those hooked on opioids at the turn of the century, but drugs were being consumed long before the war.  By the 1920s, doctors were well aware of the highly addictive nature of these drugs and tried to avoid treating patients with them.  In 1924 heroin became illegal.

Drug use in the 1970s rose considerably, and when Percocet and Vicodin came on the market, doctors had for some time avoided prescribing these highly addictive drugs to patients.  They were concerned about opioid abuse during the 80s, but things started to change in the 1990s.

Over the years there has been much said in defense of or to lobby against the use of opioids , and these viewpoints were established for a variety of reasons.  In March of 2016, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine that there is still not enough data about the long-term use of prescription opioids.  He also wrote:

We know of no other medication routinely used for a nonfatal condition that kills patients so frequently.

What’s so frightening about this epidemic is that it doesn’t discriminate based on age, job, income, or social status.  It includes school teachers, farmers, bankers – not just homeless people in the large cities of Denver, Chicago, or the Quad cities.  The following video recounts some of that horrible reality.

Our nation’s drug crisis is spreading throughout the U.S., and some experts are saying that small, rural communities are being impacted the most by overdose deaths.  The CDC goes so far as to say that combining life in rural areas and low income in those areas is proven to increase the risk of prescription opioid abuse and overdose.  Dr. Jack Westfall reminds rural communities to guard themselves, saying when rural communities suffer, it raises the general stress of everyone, and many people are using opiates as anxiety and stress reducers to relieve the pain.

Do you suspect that someone you know may have an addiction?  Here are five warning signs:

  • Still using prescription pain medicines two to three months after an acute injury or surgery.
  • Runs out of prescription pain medicines earlier than expected.
  • Borrows or buys pain medicines from a friend or stranger.
  • Irritability or anger when asked about the use of prescription pain medicine.
  • Free time spent trying to find opioid pain medicines.

Be part of the battle to fight back against this serious outbreak that touches us all.

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

References:

http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/opioids-and-morphine-derivatives.html

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/12/health/opioid-addiction-history/index.html

https://www.agriculture.com/news/sf-special-fighting-back-in-rural-america-s-opioid-crisis

https://www.agriculture.com/news/drug-abuse-deaths-contribute-to-shrinking-rural-population?utm_source=ag

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson November 28, 2017 11:00
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