Opiate Addiction

Opiate addiction has been around for many, many years. The first documentation begins to appear about addiction to opium throughout Europe, India and China in the sixteenth century.  The country that was most severely impacted by Opium addiction was China – due to the fact the British forced the country to open up imports of the drug and legalize its consumption. In the early 1800's, there was a chemist by the name of Seturner who was able to isolate and identify the active ingredient in opium. He named this active ingredient Morphine after the Greek god Morpheus. Chemists believed they discovered a non-addictive form of the opiate around the turn of the nineteenth century. They unfortunately, were terribly mistaken. Heroin, as it was called, was released with great excitement. It worked for pain relief and also for relaxation, but inevitably the claims of it being non-addictive all proved to be completely untrue. Over the course of the next century, governments around the world, having seen first-hand the opiate addiction of its citizens, would begin to recognize the dangers of heroin, morphine and opium.

Finally, these drugs were outlawed for medicinal purposes, and pushed underground. Unfortunately, the knowledge of these drugs and their effects had already become very widespread throughout the world. The dangers of Heroin and Morphine use still remains to this day. It has now raised to epidemic proportions. Heroin is by far, one of the most dangerous and life threatening of these because of the potency and inability to measure dosage before injection. In any given year, over half of the drug deaths in the world are caused by opiate addiction. Also, emergency rooms visits that were due to accidental heroin overdose have risen steadily over the past ten years.

Opiate addiction doesn’t discriminate. Heroin has claimed the life of several high-profile celebrities, including: Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, John Belushi and many others. Many high profile doctors and medical professionals are addicted to opiates. They begin their addictions, usually with pain pills such as Vicodin, Lortab, or Oxycotin. These are very easily accessible to the doctors since they have licenses to prescribe them, and many times have samples from the pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, these pain pills are just as addictive as any other type of Opiate, such as Heroin

The actual physical and mental aspects of the opiate addiction is not the only concern. Heroin use was blamed for helping spread HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C thanks to the sharing of dirty, infected needles between addicts. Studies show that 85-90% of all intravenous drug users have acquired Hepatitis C during their drug use. We need to do everything we can as citizens to bring more public awareness to the public and our children if we ever expect to make an impact on this terrible addiction As you can see from the information above, it has and will continue to affect each and every one of us in some form.