Dina Fine Maron
(2018) in “How Opioids kill” reports that the US opioid epidemic started
at the pharmacy. Prescription Opioid drugs are not considered dangerous drugs
because they are prescribed by a doctor. Prescription drugs tend to be less
stigmatizing in society than illicit drugs because painkillers are considered
medically necessary for the treatment of pain. Overdose of opioids killed 20,000 people in
2016. According to the CDC, that an
important step is finding out which drugs killed people due to overdose. So,
they conducted blood and urine tests on people who had died of overdose in many
US states. They found an overwhelming number of deaths from very powerful drug named
Fentanyl is a drug
that was originally designed to relieve the most extreme pain in people who die
from cancer, for example. Analogs are even more powerful. With a very little
exception, fentanyl analogues are mafufactured illegally and sold on the black market
because they have no legitimate medical benefit in humans.
Opioid painkillers can lead to dangerous
addiction, not only to opioid prescription drugs, but also to heroin. Those
struggling with opioid painkiller addiction may be left with few choices for
maintaining their addiction once their prescription drug of choice is no
longer affordable or accessible. The relatively low cost and availability of
heroin make it an attractive and relatively easy substitute for opioids.
Prescription opioids drug users are 19 times more likely to try heroin than
those who used no previous opioid drugs along with the risk of switching to
heroin is increased manifolds.
The signs and symptoms of opioid dependence are
excessive mood swings, strong feeling, particularly being energetic or sedated,
nausea and vomiting, decreased breathing rate, dizziness, frequent and
intermittent loss of consciousness, confusion, poor coordination, often contracted
pupils, increased pain despite raising doses, changes in sleep patterns.
Here’s how fentanyl kills you:
When it binds to endorphin-releasing receptors
in the brain it can spoil them. Because of this, your body can not respond to
low oxygen levels or high levels of carbon dioxide. These are the two things
that tell your brain (which controls your lungs) that you need to breathe. If
the opioid is linked to these receptors, it cannot tell if the oxygen is low or
the carbon dioxide is too high and you will eventually stop breathing and die.
If you take an oral medication you swallow, it can take a long time before it
gets absorbed into the body as opposed to if you inject it or take medication.
It can happen a lot faster.
Deaths due to accidental or intentional
overdose of opioids can be prevented with naloxone. Naloxone is a competitive
antagonist of opioid receptors. It can be administered to reverse the effects
of opioid overdose. With an increase in overdose deaths, both prescription opioids
and heroin, a large number of people could benefit from improved access to
naloxone. It has now been provided at the pharmacy benefits and
over-the-counter plan. After a brief training, many evaluation studies have
confirmed that naloxone can be safely administered and effectively reverse the
overdose of opioids without any abuse potential.
is a safe drug commonly used by emergency medical personnel and other first
responders to prevent overdose deaths from opioids. Unfortunately, when a
person is overdosed, it is often too late. Health professionals are ideally
positioned to identify people at risk of opioid toxicity and equip them with
this life-saving drug. Training can also be offered to the family and friends
of the person who is at risk of overdosing.