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Addiction, Death and Prescription Pain Medicine

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Micki Freeman


3 October, 2016

                                                        Addiction, Death and Prescription Pain Medicine        

   The addiction and death toll among opioid users continues to rise at an alarming rate. Opioids are

synthetic formulations “possessing some properties characteristic of opiate narcotics but not derived

from opium.” Opioids were first used and manufactured around 1967.

(  These chemicals are derived from the opium

 poppy plant, which is “an annual Eurasian poppy (Papaver somniferum) cultivated since antiquity as the

 source of opium, for its edible oily seeds.” The first known use of opium morphine is as early as 1863.  


    Prescription pain killers are also known as controlled substances and/or narcotics. Some commonly

 used opioids are hydrocodone and oxycodone. These drugs were once seen as a cure all for any

pain related condition; from headaches and arthritis, to end of life comfort care and cancer.

“Primed by widespread use of prescription opioid pain-killers, heroin addiction and the rate of fatal

overdoses have increased rapidly over the past decade, touching parts of society that previously were

relatively unscathed… ” (Bernstein, Lenny. ”Heroin deaths have quadrupled in the past decade."

Washington Post 7 July 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 28 Sept. 2016)

   There are countless peer reviewed resources available to substantiate this ever growing epidemic.

Further research could possibly be obtained by interviewing a person with opioid dependence.  

As well as observing a person addicted to opioids who is in withdrawals from the lack of the drug would

also be helpful. While researching this topic, I think I will find that some age groups may be more apt to

become addicted to opioids. I also think that I will find that genetics may also influence addictions.  

Moreover, how can these addictions be prevented and/or successfully treated? In conclusion, I expect

to find that in our society today, that rehabilitation treatment for opioids generally replaces one



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