Did you know that Genghis Khan’s army used opium for anesthesia when manually setting broken bones because it dampened the pain and relaxed muscles? Using the drug made the procedure for dealing with dislocations and fractures easier on the patient and those doing the surgery? Did you know the Romans often used opium to deal with the harsh conditions in the Northern regions of the empire? Did you know that back as far as 3400 BC in Mesopotamia opiates were used as a drug?
These societies knew of the challenges with opium addiction, just as our medical experts today know the potential for addiction among the opiate class of pharmaceutical painkillers such as; Morphine and Codeine. Non-legal opiates include heroin and opium, which are also highly addictive, and the susceptibility for dependence extremely great.
The word ‘opioids’ means any substance that creates the same effect as an opiate. Some of these drugs are completely synthetic, some partially. Often people inter-mingle the terms opiates and opioids whether the drug is legal or illegal. Methadone, Oxycodone, Vicodin, Percocet, and Demerol are all considered opioids, so too is Fentanyl, which is another synthetic that we’ve heard a lot about in the news media during this opioid crisis. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the brand names. For instance, Oxycodone is sold under the brand names of Oxycontin, Roxicodone, and Xtampza ER and regardless of what some of these pharmaceuticals are called, they amount to essentially the same thing.
The problem of drug addiction from opioids and opiates is a well-known problem. The CDC put forth some scary statistics even before the latest opioid addiction crisis that experts believe may have peaked in 2019. In 2015 over 2 million Americans had become addicted to prescription opioids, according to the CDC (cite below). Today, along with illegal opioid addiction the number has ballooned into a problem that affects 10’s of millions of Americans causing the CDC to refer to this an opioid addiction epidemic. It is.
This has been the biggest healthcare crisis of our new century, except for maybe the Wuhan CoronaVirus and Covid-19 crisis. More people have actually died from the Opioid Crisis than the CoronaVirus which puts this wicked problem into a proper perspective for those who are worried about the health and safety of Americans. Please consider all this and think on it.
1.) CDC – Prescription Opioid Data, June 27, 2019. Available on the CDC Website.