“No doubt, the opioid addiction epidemic has reached extraordinary measures affecting and devastating a huge number of lives.”
Prevention Programs and Medication Treatment Failing
Various issues are creating the breakdown of health while disease and medical treatment is failing. The opioid crisis has reached a crucial level that cannot stay unrecognized anymore. Whether it’s due to legal or non-legal alternatives, hundreds and thousands of cases have been brought to our attention in order to point out the seriousness of the issue.
“More than 600 Ontarians died from opioid overdoses in the first six months of last year, as overdose prevention sites await word on whether they can continue to operate in the province beyond Sunday.” Articles starting with the similar introduction are becoming more and more common. But where does the problem really lie?
Prevention programs—when functioning properly—could help to reduce the number of drug-related deaths and lower the rate of public drug use. Unfortunately, as the Toronto case shows, this is not always true. Medicines proven to treat opioid addiction could be another alternative but as the news show, they remain vastly underused. “Only a fraction of the estimated 2 million people addicted to opioids are getting the medications, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.” One of the reasons—again—is the lack of proper training in the education of doctors, nurses and social workers. So how are we planning to solve the problem? Without the focus on proper treatment and rehabilitation the crisis will remain a crisis, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The Sackler Case and How Everyone Could Get Affected
The opioid crisis has started influencing areas of public life that we never thought about. Museums, universities and other nonprofits are cutting ties with the Sackler’s family which has long been known for abundant philanthropy to famous arts and education institutions. This phenomenon is not only present in the United States but also in Europe and started as a result of the massive lawsuit that was filed against the family.
Many “Sackler beneficiaries, including the Metropolitan Museum and the New York Academy of Sciences, are reviewing their donation policies as a result of publicity and legal actions surrounding the family and its company, Purdue Pharma, the maker of the groundbreaking, enormously profitable and frequently-abused painkiller OxyContin.” Court documents accuse the eight family members of misleading the public and doctors about the dangers of abusing OxyContin, a pill that is more potent than heroin or morphine. “They are accused of deceiving doctors and patients and directing sales and marketing techniques that drove huge over-prescribing and ever stronger doses for many patients who should never have been prescribed the pills in the first place.”
No doubt, the opioid addiction epidemic has reached extraordinary measures affecting and devastating a huge number of lives. Though it’s an important step to call out the creators of the medication, another question arises: where was the FDA and Health Canada oversight for safety?
It has become crystal clear that our current health care system needs to be medicated. And not with pharmaceutical drugs having thousands of side effects but with compassion and understanding on how this broken system is ruining millions of lives.
Illness, disease and death are highly emotionally charged issues for most people. Our brains have been distorted from addictive drugs for mental illness, affecting 1 in 5 people, and pain medication for those suffering from chronic pain (90 days or more) affecting 1 in 3 people. North American population is 4.75% of the global population, yet they consume 80 percent of the world’s painkillers. We have become desensitized to the point that we no longer feel empathy or sensitivity to what is happening around us. We all suffer from a disease of perception, being forgetful of what feeling normal is and the state of natural health. How can we? We are placed on drugs from the moment of birth till the time of death, all under the guise that claims it’s good for us! Wasn’t this predicted by George Orwell in 1984? His timing was a bit off but it’s the reality today.
In the meantime, our governments’ pharma care (in the form of Health Canada and the FDA) is clearly in the pockets of ‘Big Pharma’. Where is the oversight then? It is time for society to stop being a victim and to take charge of their health. It is time for the healing to begin and for the toxicity, illness and mayhem of everyday life to end. We are in need of restoration. We are intelligent beings and it’s time to make the shift to true healing in both body and spirit.
- Marshall, Alex. 2019. Museums Cut Ties With Sacklers as Outrage Over Opioid Crisis Grows. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/arts/design/sackler-museums-donations-oxycontin.html
- Walters, Joanna. 2019. Massive lawsuit says Sackler family broke laws to profit from opioids. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/mar/21/sackler-family-500-cities-counties-and-tribes-sue-oxycontin-maker
- Perrone, Matthew. 2019. Medicines that treat opioid addiction vastly underused: U.S. medical experts. https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/medicines-that-treat-opioid-addiction-vastly-underused-u-s-medical-experts-1.4344484
- Jones, Allison. 2019. More than 600 Ontarians died from opioid overdoses in first six month last year. https://london.ctvnews.ca/more-than-600-ontarians-died-from-opioid-overdoses-in-first-six-month-last-year-1.4351176
 Jones, Allison. 2019.
 Perrone, Matthew. 2019.
 Marshall, Alex. 2019.
 Walters, Joanna. 2019.