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My Testimony: The Opioid Crisis and How to Get Treatment

Drugs have always been a part of American culture, from prescriptions drugs to crack cocaine, they have always been entwined within the fabric of America . In the 1960’s and 1970’s, I believe quaaludes were prescribed by doctors and heavily abused in suburbia. At that same time, heroin was abused mainly in city areas. In the 1980’s cocaine was very popular, in the 1990’s heroin was becoming popular again.

But it wasn’t until the late 1990’s and 2000’s that doctors started to prescribe pain killers for injuries, after surgery, and for any pain a patient would complain about. Whether the doctors knew that OxyContin and Percocet were addicting, or they were not told by the pharmaceutical companies, they didn’t seem to use any kind of discretion when they were prescribing these highly potent and very powerfully addictive drugs. Although those pills were addicting, a prescription was still needed to obtain them. So when a prescription ran out, or when a broken leg was healed, or a surgery incision is healed, the addiction is still there but the prescription is not. What happens now? The patient or addict needs to get prescribed more so they doctor shop, and if that doesn’t work some end up buy heroin.

But with prescription pills, a patient knows exactly what they are getting. They are buying directly from a pharmacy and into a little bottle that they keep in their home. But when buying off the street, a little bag of heroin, no one could possibly know what is inside. That is what makes overdoses so common, pill-poppers changing over to heroin do not understand the street. I feel like this is the first time in recent history where there’s an overlap, or causation, of the over-prescription of pills in suburbia leading to, or causing, the scoring of drugs in city areas. All kinds of problems ensue from that kind of situation. Legal problems, policing, transport of drugs, and overdoses are just a few of the problems that arise from that situation.

So this opioid crisis caused pharmaceutical companies to create a drug that could detox people off of the addicting pills or heroin. This drug is called Suboxone, and when taken in a medically supervised location, the drug is very successful. The first step of heroin withdrawal is detox which is what Suboxone helps with, but beyond that is a whole different situation. There are so many other issues an addict needs to deal with after the detox, and being in a rehab facility is the best place to deal with these issues.