Addendum Nov. 2 2015: Check out the story “Heroin in the Heartland” that aired on CBS’ 60 minutes last night.
Did you know that 17,000 Americans die every year from prescription opiate overdoses? And that 4 out 5 heroin users came from prescription opiate use? Rather shocking isn’t it. Way back in the 20th century, we had the usual over the counter medications such as Tylenol, Advil, and aspirin. When someone was in severe pain, they received codeine, and if you were in an end-of-life scenario, you probably received morphine. Doctors were scared to prescribe those drugs because of their fear of potential addiction.
Well things changed in the mid 1990’s. The FDA began approving more and more powerful pain killing drugs known as opiates. What are these drugs? Vicodin, dilaudid, demerol, oxycontin, percocet, and opana, just to name a few. There is probably a good chance that you have these at home in your medicine cabinet. Doctors began writing prescriptions and handing out pills like they were going out of style.
To listen to the full story, check out the Back Talking podcast here