What is the Opioid Crisis?

Chatham County sues opioid makersAmericans have been using opioids for a long time, such as for back pain relief in the Civil War of 1861-65. Today, however, the use of these drugs has turned into an American health crisis. As an example, in 1988, about 5,000 overdose deaths were recorded in the United States. In 2016, the overdose death record from opioids listed more than 33,000 Americans.  The Opioid Crisis is taking over the United States, one pill at a time.

The drugs called opioids were introduced mainly as pain relievers. Over the years, that sought-after promise has led to drug overdose and government regulation. In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies who promoted the drugs were reassuring in their assertion that opioids would not become an addiction for users. By the early years of the 21st century, it was becoming obvious that the pharmaceutical companies were wrong. Addiction resulting from use of these drugs was becoming obvious – and deadly.

Opioid Drugs

Heroin. This well-known opioid drug is made from morphine, which comes from the seed pods of poppy plants grown in parts of Asia. It rapidly enters the brain and controls feelings of both pain and pleasure. The drug, which is injected, sniffed, snorted, or smoked, is often cited as the most-used drug of those in the entertainment business.

Heroin is highly addictive, meaning that users quickly develop a more frequent need to take the drug as well as what is called a “substance use disorder,” or SUD. At that degree, the users may develop health problems as well as the inability to meet such responsibilities as work or school.

Oxycodone. This “pain medication” is said to be the most widely used opioid in the united States, with an estimated 22 million or more people taking it annually in a “non-medical” way. It became available as a painkiller in the United States in 1939, but was classified as a Schedule II drug in the 1970s. That labeled it as likely to be used for abuse and addiction. Oxycodone is said to be the most used drug for former heroin users, partly because it is much cheaper to attain.

Fentanyl. This odorless, flavorless, white, synthetic painkiller is said to be so potent that someone who trying to help an overdosed user may also become overdosed just by inhaling a small amount. Fentanyl is also said to be increasing in use in the cities because it is cheaper and easier to maintain and easy to conceal.

Growth of Pill Mills

The increasing use of opioids in the general population has led to the growth of so-called pill mills. These are businesses that are mainly in the business of prescribing narcotics. Prescription opioids are very popular in the pill mills, which may be a clinic, pharmacy, or a doctor. The pill mill is known to prescribe medicines for non-medical reasons, and prescription opioids head the prescription list because they are cheaper than other drugs and fairly easy to get. Oxycodone usually heads the most popular list. Fentanyl and morphine are also sought-after items.

Opioid Savannah Georgia

The opioid crisis and the problems that may result are increasing in the United States. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established priorities to fight the danger. They include improving recovery services throughout the country and publicizing the use of overdose-reversing drugs.

Opioid Savannah Georgia concerns us too. We are a personal injury law firm in Savannah and we understand the seriousness of the opioid crisis as well as the difficulties that may be involved with any legal problems that can result from use and misuse. If you think you may have a case involving opiates, contact Tate Law Group today by clicking here.


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