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The Opioid Epidemic Crisis

20 January 2020

Health Bunker will today look at the current opioid epidemic that started in the USA and is now exploding here in the UK. These people are victims of a drug industry that lacks scruples, government legislation which allows this to happen, and medical experts who write prescriptions out like confetti. These institutions have created and caused a legal drug culture delivering misery to families and overdose deaths.

Is this drug abuse or misuse, have they created a new generation of legalised heroin addicts dependent on opioid drugs, turning them into the zombie apocalypse? 

Pharmaceutical companies are businesses. A company’s board of directors must put the company first, in fact it is part of their statutory duties. It’s written in the ‘articles of association’ when a company is formed. Nowhere does it say anything about looking after the customers best interests.

In today’s article we will look at what this industry has caused by basically trying to treat chronic pain with heroin.

  • What are Opioids?
  • What is the pain killing industry worth?
  • What are the opioid side effects and overdose deaths involved from taking opioids?
  • How many opioid overdose deaths are there per year?

Opioid Crisis Headlines

According to the World Health Organisation (which is mainstream), Opioids are ‘psychoactive’, which means it disrupts the central nervous system (CNS). They alter brain function causing changes in mood, perception, behaviour and consciousness. Synthetic Opioids are derived from the opium poppy, where morphine and heroin also come from.  

  • In 2018 the global Opioid market was worth around $25bn. The companies who make these opioid pain killers, are facilitating the rise in diseases like, cancer, fibromyalgia, and arthritis and any other illness that requires pain relief.
  • Between the ages of 15-64 about 50m people use opioids or Opiates
  • 27m have opioid abuse disorders.
  • There were 160,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2015 
  • In the USA alone it is now estimated that from 2001-2017 the opioid epidemic has cost over $1 trillion.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that opioids are killing nearly 50,000 Americans per year, or the entire death toll of the entire Vietnam war.
a opioid poppy up close

What’s the Difference between Opiates and Opioids?

Opiates; technically speaking opiates are drugs derived from the poppy plant, opium, morphine, codeine, and heroin are all opiates.

Opioids; are a broader class of chemicals and activate receptors in the brain. These drugs don’t necessarily derive from poppies. Drugs like, hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, and fentanyl are all opioids.

The difference is not very significant, it doesn’t identify the highly addictive strengths for instance. Opioid is the term used as it covers all the bases.

How did we get to the opioid crisis? Opioid Side Effects

Chronic pain from injuries, illness, or diseases may require short term pain relief, that part is quite acceptable. Given, the rise in modern diseases, like Lyme disease, cancer, arthritis. Fibromyalgia, MS, and more are the catalyst for opioid abuse. Doctors at treatment centers across the UK are handing out prescriptions for opioids like Fentanyl, Oxycontin, and Demerol. 

These opioids cause even more public health concerns, without ever finding out what caused the pain in the first place. These opioid drugs then cause other health problems, like depression, seizures, heart issues, and insomnia. All of these symptoms require even more drugs, and the cycle continues, always feeding itself.

Here are a few types of Opioids with brand names and known side effects from opioids include;

  • Codeine; drowsiness, lightheadedness, dizziness, sedation, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and constipation. Other, allergic reactions, euphoria, dysphoria, abdominal pain and pruritus.
  • Fentynal; all of the above, plus – anorexia, diarrhea, dry mouth, gastrointestinal distress, pancreatitis, anxiety, fatigue, headaches, nervousness, shakiness, somnolence, vertigo, visual disturbances, weakness, faintness, hypotension, paliatations, syncope, rash, and respiratory depression.
  • Hydrocodone – All of the above.
  • Meperidine (Demerol) – All of the above.
  • Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Morphabond) All of the above.
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxaydo) All of the above, plus, heart failure, increased pressure of spinal fluids, swelling of limbs, coma, and death.
a opioid poppy up close
woman with arthritis

The Story of Purdue Pharma?

2019 has been a bad year for Opioid makers losing legal battles. On average 130 Americans die every day from opioid overdose deaths. Johnson & Johnson is one company that settled out of court, never actually admitting they were at fault. 

But the daddy of them all is Purdue Pharma and all its related businesses. Owned by the Sackler family from the U.S. who is reputedly worth $14bn. According to NBC News, they have been sued by more than 2000 cities and countries around the world for; 

‘Misrepresenting the risks of long term use of those drugs for persons with chronic pain’.

Opioids are big business earning Purdue Pharma more than $35bn in sales since launch and costing the U.S. the economy alone more than $504bn, this is from a 2017 White House report. The Sackler family has promised $10-$12bn in settlements.

Opioid Crisis Hits the UK

The NHS Business Services Authority (interesting name) says that 12.8% of the adult population were prescribed opioids in the UK in 2017-18. Which means about 6.4m people approximately. A very big number. Nearly 5000 people died from opioid overdose in the UK.

Health Bunker

Yet again another set of Pharma crooks, cooking up snake oil medicines promising the earth and delivering the opposite. Earning billions in the process and killing millions or ruining the lives of patients and their family members, while never actually ever admitting they were wrong. 

These drugs are passed as safe only to come back and bite a few years down the line.  The ‘system’ that’s quite clearly letting us down, or worse corrupt. No long term testing has ever been done and follow up testing will never be done. These same people are telling us that drugs like vaccines are safe too. They are made by the same clowns who are constantly getting sued for poisoning people. 

The people suffering from the global opioid crisis are from all walks of life, they are basically heroin addicts through no fault of their own. Caught in the crossfire of a health system that sells prescription side effects, then denies that you have the side effects!

Side effects are higher profits, side effects are future growth, side effects are increased share values, side effects mean more drugs are needed for more health issues…

Eat Well. Be Well.

Dom and Nic
Health Bunker
It’s Your Life. Own it!

*Disclaimer – Please note, we are not Doctors or trained medical professionals. We are not giving medical advice. Check with your Doctor or health practitioner before trying anything.

 

References

Companies house
https://companieshouse.blog.gov.uk/2019/02/21/7-duties-of-a-company-director/
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/being-a-company-director
Who
https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/information-sheet/en/
Science daily
https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/psychoactive_drug.htm
Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/purdue-pharma-opioid-world-health-organization-painkiller-global-sales
NIH
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6713321/
Grand View Research
https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/opioids-market
Center on addiction
https://www.centeronaddiction.org/the-buzz-blog/we-asked-you-answered-there-difference-between-opioid-and-opiate
Drug abuse
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
CNBC
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/economic-cost-of-the-opioid-crisis-1-trillion-and-growing-faster.html
CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/analysis.html
Recovery Ways
https://www.recoveryways.com/rehab-blog/whats-the-difference-between-opiates-and-opioids/
Purdue Pharma
https://www.purduepharma.com/patients-caregivers/medicines-from-purdue/#prescription-opioids
WebMD
https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/narcotic-pain-medications#1
RXList
https://www.rxlist.com/codeine-sulfate-drug.htm#interactions
https://www.rxlist.com/demerol-side-effects-drug-center.htm
drugs
https://www.drugs.com/sfx/fentanyl-side-effects.html
Addiction Center
https://www.addictioncenter.com/opiates/oxycodone/symptoms-signs/
FDA
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2016/019813s069lbl.pdf
NBC
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/purdue-pharma-offers-10-12-billion-settle-opioid-claims-n1046526
White House
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/The%20Underestimated%20Cost%20of%20the%20Opioid%20Crisis.pdf

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