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Inside a Killer Drug Epidemic: A Look at America’s Opioid Crisis

As reported by The New York Times, the opioid epidemic in America killed 33,000 people in 2015. Their stories are a tragic tale that has no sign of letting up, the Times asserts.

This is a story that begins and ends in pain; opioid addiction often begins with a real need for physical pain relief, but ends with a tragic dependence on ever-increasing amounts of the drugs to attain that relief. And even though many opioid addicts are turning to heroin as a cheaper way to get their “fix,” it’s Big Pharma we have to thank for this epidemic.

Specifically, Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, lied to doctors and patients for years, convincing them that OxyContin — a narcotic pain killer — was safe and non-addictive when prescribed for pain. And as misinformation and manipulation of scientific facts continued over the years from other opioid manufacturers, doctors became part and parcel of the epidemic by prescribing opioids with a free hand, even though statistics do support their long-term use for chronic pain.

Considering the risks, I urge you to consider other options before resorting to an opioid painkiller, especially for long-term chronic pain, as your body builds a tolerance to the drug.

Unfortunately, no real effort is put into minimizing the availability of opioids. Perhaps worst of all, no consideration is given to alternatives that are FAR safer and just as effective; medical marijuana being one of them. Increasing research suggests medical marijuana is an effective agent for pain relief with fewer side effects and risks compared to prescription opioids.
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