The opioid epidemic is a crisis because drug manufacturers lied about the safety of their products. The national opioid epidemic is exploding, reaching new heights almost every year since the late 1990s. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that four to six percent of all patients on prescription opioids will eventually begin using heroin, and around eighty percent of heroin users transitioned to the drug after becoming addicted to prescription opioids. If you are looking for heroin rehab Dana Point, you are doing the best thing you can do for yourself.
Opioid addiction is a serious and dangerous problem. In 2017 alone, NIDA reported 70,237 deaths related to a drug overdose. Of those overdose deaths, 47,600 were from opioids. A staggering 17,029 opioid overdoses in 2017 were caused by patients taking prescription drugs from a doctor.
How it All Started
Toward the end of the 1990s, prescriptions for opioid drugs were given to patients without much thought, because drug manufacturers assured doctors that their products were safe. Sadly, that safety was greatly overstated, and opioid medications turned out to be much more addictive than doctors knew at the time.
The full details of the lies that led to the opioid crisis are still emerging, more than twenty years from when it all started. Richard Sackler, president of Purdue Pharma when they began making and manufacturing OxyContin, was recently discovered to have deliberately downplayed the drug’s addictive properties and instead blamed patients for being criminal drug abusers. He also advocated that the maximum dosage of the drug be prescribed for all patients in order to maximize profits. The actions of Purdue Pharma in its marketing of OxyContin are widely believed to be the spark that caused the opioid crisis as we know it today.
What Lies Are Pharmaceutical Companies Still Telling?
Though the addictive nature of opioids is now well known and documented, pharmaceutical companies still persist in downplaying the hazards of their products in order to maximize profits.
One insidious and harmful tactic still being used today is the practice of medical ghostwriting, which manages to fly under the radar in most instances. A pharmaceutical company will hire a ghostwriter, generally, someone financially affiliated with the company and receiving monetary compensation for favorable reviews, to report on new drugs produced by that company. The ghostwriter plays up the drug’s benefits and diminishes the potentially harmful side effects. Then, a doctor who contracts with the company lends his or her name as the author of the ghostwritten article in exchange for the honor of having the article published in a respected medical journal. This skewed and often factually incorrect article then goes on to educate other doctors about the benefits and side effects of the new drug.
Surely medical ghostwriting cannot be widespread enough to cause harm, given that it is so obviously a biased method of reporting? Shockingly, as many as fifty percent of drug reviews in medical journals are ghostwritten by drug manufacturing companies. Doctors, who may very well have their patients’ best interests at heart, are woefully misled in many cases when it comes to the safety and efficacy of drugs from major pharmaceutical companies. Who knows what the next crisis will be, spawned by the deceit sold to us as fact by those who are supposed to have our health in mind?
Are Drug Manufacturers Being Held Responsible for the Harm They Have Caused?
The above comments from Purdue Pharma’s president came to light because the company failed in its attempts to keep court documents from a recent lawsuit confidential. This lawsuit is not the only consequence drug manufacturing companies are facing. In 2018, 600 separate lawsuits against various drug companies, including Purdue Pharma, were combined into one huge federal case. In the year since this happened, the lawsuit has expanded to cover 1,548 federal court cases and billions of dollars in potential settlements and has been set for trial.
Though this is a remarkable development and arguably a huge step in the right direction toward combating the opioid crisis, anyone who has lost a loved one from prescription opioid abuse or overdose will agree it is simply not enough.
What Can You Do if You or a Loved One is Struggling With Opioid Addiction?
Recovery from addiction to opioids, and heroin, in particular, can be a difficult road. Always remember, you do not have to walk that path alone. If you have personally been touched by the opioid epidemic, seek help instead of struggling in silence any longer. Do not risk harm to your health by attempting to detox on your own without help.
Choose a treatment facility that combines state-of-the-art detox facilities, advanced medical care, individualized treatment programs, and trusted therapy techniques to give you the smoothest way forward toward a better life. The American Society of Addiction Medicine provides educational resources and a tool to help you find a physician or a rehab program. If you are concerned about a loved one struggling with addiction, the information ASAM provides can help you understand what your friend or family member might be going through and teach you methods to encourage your loved one to seek help.
Ocean Hills Recovery, Heroin Rehab Dana Point, Can Help
The best option for heroin rehab Dana Point is Ocean Hills Recovery. A treatment plan at Ocean Hills Recovery goes far beyond the detox phase. Qualified staff provides everything from group or individual therapy to marriage counseling and relaxation techniques using massage and yoga. Ocean Hills truly believes in taking a whole-life approach to drug treatment. You can take the time to get your life back in order, practice valuable life skills, and learn how to improve your living situation, your career, and your social connections to keep you from falling back into addictive habits.
Ocean Hills Recovery works with most PPO insurance plans in California. Call today to get more information about how to help a loved one or to schedule your own personal opioid addiction recovery plan.