The image of Opioid (Heroin) is largely associated with the epidemic of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Our mind associates Opioid (Heroin) with skeletal junkies who spend the day looking for how to get the next dose. Nothing to do with the illustrious latest victims who have claimed the abuse of this drug, as some American actors of about 45 years of average, whom the police usually find dead in their luxurious New York apartments with a syringe in the arm.
What are opioids?
The opioid is medicines that relieve pain. They reduce the intensity of pain signals that reach the brain and affect the areas of the brain that control emotions. Which decreases the effects of a painful stimulus. Drugs belonging to this class include Hydrocodones (eg, Vicodin), Oxycodone (eg OxyContin & Percocet), Morphine (eg, Kadian and Avinza), codeine and other related medications.
Hydrocodone products are most commonly prescribed for a variety of painful conditions, including dental pain and pain related injuries. The morphine is often used before and after surgical procedures to relieve acute pain. Also, codeine is often prescribed to treat mild pain. In addition to its analgesic properties, some of these medications, such as codeine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil), can be used to relieve a cough and severe diarrhea.
How do opioids affect the brain and the rest of the body?
The opioid act by attaching to specific proteins called opioid receptors found in the brains, spinal cords, gastrointestinal tracts & other organs in the body. When these drugs adhere to their receptors, they reduce the perception of pain.
Opioids can also produce laziness, mental distraction, nausea, constipation and, depending on the amount of drug consumed, can depress the breath.
Some people experience a euphoric response to opioids. As these drugs also affect the regions of the brain involved in gratification.
People who abuse opioids may try to intensify their experience by taking the drug in ways other than prescribed.
Dependence on opioids
When a person is physically dependent on a drug. They will experience withdrawal symptoms when they reduce or abruptly stop drug use. These symptoms may be mild or severe (depending on the drug) and can usually be medically controlled or can be avoided by slowly reducing drug use.
Dependence is often accompanied by tolerance, ie the need to take increasingly high doses of a drug in an attempt to obtain the same effect. When resistance occurs, it becomes difficult for a physician to assess whether a patient is developing a problem with the drug or if he or she has an actual medical need for higher doses to control their symptoms.
What are the achievable consequences of opioid use and abuse?
If taken as prescribed, opioids can be used to control pain in a safe and effective manner. However, when abused, even a single large dose can cause severe respiratory depression and death.
Well-managed, short-term medical use of opioid analgesics rarely causes addiction, which is characterized by the search for and compulsive use of a drug in spite of serious adverse consequences.
Regular use (eg, several times a day for several weeks or longer) or longer term use or abuse of opioids can lead to physical dependency and, in some cases of addiction. Physical dependency reflects a predictable, and often normal, adaptation of the body to chronic exposure to a drug. In any case, withdrawal symptoms may occur if drug use is suddenly reduced or stopped. These symptoms may include agitation, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold turkey chills, and involuntary movements of the legs.
Global Heroin Flows from Asian points of origin
Although the attraction of heroin for its low price (from 50 euros a gram to 80 or 100, depending on the quality) at a time of crisis like the current is reason enough to be alert to possible increases in its consumption, as warns Joan Carles March, professor of the Andalusian School of Public Health.
Abuse deaths have also increased between 2006 and 2010. In this case by 45%, to 3,094 in a trend that continues to increase. In New York, deaths have soared 84% between 2010 and 2012.
US authorities talk of a “wave of fatal overdose” in recent months that relate to the distribution of one type of heroin mixed with fentanyl, another opiate commonly used (often patchy) when they have stopped working Other families of less potent analgesics.
Cough syrup “to get high”
The consumption of cough medicines as a drug is not a new practice among teenagers. Who have sacked drug kits for decades to get drugs quickly, cheaply and, most important, legal? But, unfortunately, this dangerous and potentially deadly practice is growing.
Therefore Take It very serious parents to understand the risks and know how to prevent their children from intentionally consuming excessive cough and cold medicines.
Cough syrups and cold medicines are drugs without the prescription are the most abused. In 2010, for example, 7% percent of 2nd graders took “to get high” cough-syrup. High dosage of Dextromethorphan, is a key ingredient found in cough syrup, may act as PCP or ketamine. Producing dissociative effects or extracorporeal experiences.
Overdose due to medication
A study published in JAMA in 2010 shows that in that year there were 38,329 deaths due to drug overdoses in the US, of which 57.7% were due to prescription drugs.
74.3% of deaths from prescription drugs were due to unintentional overdoses, ie, they did not correspond to suicide attempts. In some cases overdoses included the combination of several products; Opioids were responsible for 75.2% of overdoses, benzodiazepines 29.4%, antidepressants 17.6% and antiepileptics and antiparkinsonians 7.8%.
In 30.1% of the deaths due to opioid overdoses, the presence of benzodiazepines was found and 13.4% also had antidepressants.
NIDA’s 2010 estimates suggest that more than five million Americans currently abuse a prescription pain reliever, and about one in 12 high school seniors abuse the Vicodin, and one in 20 cases of abuse the Oxycontin.
According to the CDC, unintended deaths from overdose of prescription opioids are the leading cause of accidental death in the US, over and above road traffic accidents.
The UN recently also noted its concern and said that “misuse of prescription drugs is a major threat to public health and even exceeds rates of illicit drug use in some countries.” This represents a historic peak in deaths from overdose of opioids and other over-the-counter medications.
Prescription of opioids and benzodiazepines
Far away from being a phenomenon in the process of being controlled. Is a problem that in this 21st century is constantly expanding. The prescriptions of opioids and opioids with benzodiazepines and other psychotropic drugs are all experiencing exponential growth.
In the United States in 2013 primary care physicians prescribed 92 million opioid prescriptions. To this must be added the prescriptions that can be issued by other non-medical healthcare professionals. Such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, two groups that in the same year issued 30 million opioid prescriptions. In addition, primary care physicians prescribed 53 million benzodiazepine prescriptions in 2013. Four times more than those prescribed by psychiatrists (13 million benzodiazepine prescriptions)
At present, it can be stated that the number of deaths caused by overdoses with opioids prescribed by the health system was higher than the overdoses of heroin and cocaine combined. The study was aimed at analyzing risk factors for these deaths according to prescribing patterns.
Opioid drugs: gateway to heroin (21st century)
The profile of the new heroine of the 21st century was described in an article just published in May 2014 in JAMA Psychiatry. Compared to previous generations, New generation of heroin users is more advanced in age, lives in suburban and rural areas. And began heroin through analgesics prescribed by the health system, of which they ended up abusing.
Another qualitative study in Philadelphia and San Francisco also recently published (in March 2014). Studied precisely the transitions in substance use in users, from the consumption of opioid drugs to heroin and vice versa. In these two cities, young heroin addicts reported having started using opioid drugs (mainly oxycodone inhaled. Smoked or injected) before they started on heroin use.
According to research by the CDC in Atlanta. It states that approximately 75% of heroin users report having started using prescription drugs.
From When Heroin starts selling in pharmacies …
Do you know in 1898 heroin bought over-the-counter in pharmacies legally?
Bayer labs sold it as a miracle cure and innocuous as a syrup for children against catarrh & Respiratory diseases. His story has a lot to do with that of the company’s star drug: aspirin. Although both were created almost at the same time, the future gave them a very different fate.
The US approves device to fight overdose deaths
The increase in overdose deaths from narcotic abuse (heroin and opioid analgesics) in the United States has prompted. Country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a device that is the self-injecting dose of naloxone medication that counteracts. The effects of overdoses and will carry emergency equipment and medical assistance, officials said Thursday.