Opioids are prescription painkillers, and they’re highly addictive. Those who become addicted often have very little control over their actions, such as using the medications even though they know that the manner of use is illegal. They may also gravitate toward other drugs, such as heroin.
In the United States, this has led to a public health crisis. Some reports put the annual death toll at nearly 50,000. And it’s tragic since many people would love to not use these drugs the way that they do, but they were given them legally by a doctor and simply became addicted. How did this happen?
The role of pharmaceutical companies in opioid addiction
A topic like this has many components, but one thing that deserves focus is the role that pharmaceutical companies played. They repeatedly said that addiction would not be an issue back in the 1990s. Doctors could see how well opioids worked and, with the assurances that they weren’t very addictive, doctors widely prescribed these painkillers.
Of course, the truth was that opioids are highly addictive. By the time that became clear, though, many people were already caught up in the epidemic. While there are plenty of laws regulating the use of opioids, those laws don’t fix the very real issue of people legally using these medications, becoming addicted, and then not being able to stop when the law says they should.
Are you facing charges over illegal drugs?
Have you been accused of illegal drug use or arrested for an addiction-related offense? If so, you need to know exactly what legal options you have as you move forward.