Contributed by Kyle Swanson, SGT Report:
One cannot watch the news on television, follow the internet, or read a newspaper without being constantly reminded that our nation is facing an opioid addiction crisis. Statistical analysis indicates that the negative economic impact of this crisis is exponentially increasing as the abuse of opioids exponentially increases. How did we get here? What is being done to combat the problem?
What are opioids? Included in this class are the illegal drug heroin, legally prescribed drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl and others. The significant rise in use of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine, is a particularly disturbing trend. The growth of deaths due to non-prescription fentanyl, heroin, and synthetic opioids now account for 50% of all opioid fatalities. Opioids were intended to alleviate post-operative pain and pain from injuries. Unfortunately, they have proven to be highly addictive, and were easily accessible through legal prescriptions.