Opioid addiction and dependence

Addiction, what is it exactly? For years the body has had to deal with colds, sinuses, congestions, viruses, pandemics, other addictions, and a lot of bad juju over the years but also overtime had to make its own defensive system to counteract those bad things. Drug addiction is no different than any of these previous things  and as a psychologist in training I am fascinated with how the mind works and concerned about what goes into the body that could potentially damage the mind and body. The body heals itself as we all know, and studies now show that the body is starting to slow down the effects of addiction. You would think that is a good thing but it is more bad than good. Why is it bad? Now people can become full addicts for years and years but still on the outside look like any other healthy person. They can hold down a job, speak clearly, walk fine, and do everything you would normally do. It's just their body on the inside is slowly falling away faster. That is more than just a concern. That is a problem. We can’t sit by any longer as we watch our bodies slowly accept the bad pills and drugs we have been feeding it. We need to do something about this before that is the case so I want to know; What makes drugs tick so much that we crave them? No, I am not talking about the flavor of the drugs/pills but what makes them up? Drugs are used for anything from a bad back, sore foot, internal problems and any other small dismissal issue so should drugs be prescribed for every type of pain we experience?

 

    To find out what makes drugs tick we have to go back to why we used them in the first place and why they were in circulation. For this we go to the film: War on Drugs and Opioid Crisis films. Here it states that drugs were primarily used for medication and taken in small doses. Hmm! Peanut butter was first used as medication as well until people realized how good it was and ate it faster then it could be made. Tastes just as good even better than chemicals and both affect the body but eh. Anyways I could say the real reason the war on drugs started was because immigrants were coming into the US and stealing whites jobs so Reagan wanted to give them the boot but you can’t exclude someone from a group just because you don’t like them so he had to pin something on them and since drugs were everywhere on the streets he pinned that on them and told police to only target that group of immigrants to kick them out. It worked time after time but that's not the main reason the war on drugs started. The main reason this great war started was because although these drugs cured many things in the human body it didn’t stay in the body so people would have to go back and come back for a second dosage but ones wanted to be cured faster so they took it upon themselves to take two or more doses at one time. Also since they were so easily available anybody could get their hands on it but we had to get our idea of drug healing ointments from somewhere right? For that we go all the way back to the Mayflower and the pilgrims. When they landed they had no idea for food until the natives came to them and shared with them the greats of Tobacco; of course that plantation didn’t end well but that's not the point. The point is that  these bad chemicals have been introduced and circulated around the system for a very long time. Too long in fact that the body is now saying I’m done with it. Adapt or die! 

 

So why does the body take pill after pill we feed it? I mean pills don’t have any flavor and only taste worse and worse the more they come out. Pharmacists and others have been trying to make them taste better for people to healthly eat but if you add flavor to a pill then you could change the chemical makeup of the base and acids that make that pill so effective. The only reason why people would crave pills is because of the dopamine effect or instant pleasure hormones of the brain and we all know the phrase; the worst it is the better it will be for you. That phrase is not entirely true one hundred percent but there's truth in it. That means when we try to shove “healthy” disgusting stuff into our bodies the body does its best to push them back out or make a system to slow the effect of the food but if you shove more and more into the body at a fast pace then the body cant handle it and won’t be able to make a defense system as fast and ultimately will break down causing overdoses and other serious ailments. 

 

Now we will turn to Predator N Prey: Opioids savage effects on our community. This video showcases how widely used opioids and drugs are in any community and how easily available one can get and become addicted by it without others noticing. The reason this is important to note is that people always strive to be better and when it becomes hard they want the instant gratification of harming pills because they’ll make the person think they already are the best they can be with having them be in their own little world. 

 

    We know what drugs are, why they were used, and how easily available they are but before we turn to the harmful effects of it and why the body strives to push them out let’s look at the good it can do and why we should push it down our bodies in the first place. To do this; instead of starting from the past let’s start at the current and work our way back.

 

    In Opioid Bill’s impact on practice we can see a lot of good with this new law. For starters it is now more than easier for people to access medicare and other related treatments to help them when they’re sick. This bill also stops more and more traffickers from bringing drugs and such into various places to be accessible to people. Furthermore this bill increases court and rehab institutions instead of prison times for people because they know how easily available these sadly have become so it's not hard the persons fault that the drugs came in their possession. It is harder to stay away then to get which this bill understands and works to help the person get stronger in saying no and refusing. While this bill does its best to help the people who need it get the pills it needs and the people that don’t need it to stay out this is not perfect. Yes, this bill is great in keeping bad pills out and making the people who need them for anything way easier but then again how do you know who really needs them and doesn’t. With more and more bills passed making it easier for people to get on these treatment plans that just means there will be more “safe” pills easily available to people instead of homemade “illegal” pills. So now people can just expolit and become hooked on pills easier within the system and nobody would know. That’s not good either.

 

Okay! What pills are; how they first came to be; what they were first used for and how we have globally been helping the spread! Check. Now, how are we helping the spread. Turn with me to, “How Untreated depression contributes to the opioid epidemic. Here we find the unpleasant truth that overdose deaths have only tripled over the years but the main reason is that people turned to painkillers and pills to treat their “ailments” when they didn’t even need them. The meat of this article talks about depression and how that is the leading cause people tend to seek pills over and that is harder to stop. Depression can spawn from anything from a busy day and then a super fast slow down to the point where you are trying to find something to do but can’t so you give up; looking towards a goal and realizing it seems so unattainable; or not feeling like you fit in and your reputation is not widely known positively by people. The list can go on and on but now we know a big reason why people think they should turn to painkillers even though they know the bad effects it could take. The positive uplifting strong vibes it gives someone outweighs the bad effects it can do. 

 

We have a good idea of what, when, and how easily available pills are but we still haven’t answered how bad they are in our body and why we should keep them away. First let’s see which ones are bad and we should get out. To calculate numbers we turn to, “The truth about painkiller addiction by Sally Satel. One of the reasons for everrising overdoses is thanks to Oxycontin while the other is a  rise in pain and ailments in the early 1900s so doctors and others had to push pills and others out fast to help treat these new cases. Although Oxy is only one pill it is packed with so many high grams of desiccant/ silica gel which is the part of the pill that we consume for health benefits and others. Since these pills were packed so high the retail value on the streets and others could be sold at $1 a milligram and having 80 mills in one pill let’s just say the cash added up fast. 

 

It does no good knowing the backstory of pills and how it has circulated to people. We need to know how physicians know when to give out pills and when not too. Thats the big question. For this we turn to a scholarly article written by a bunch of people. The main way physicians said they could decide who needs pills and who doesn’t is not how “sick” the person is but the risks the pills can cause and how many red flags a pill may be showing. This may be good to a certain extent but this means every time something comes in with a ailment the physician prescribes the same pill for different cures so unintentionally the patient becomes hooked on that because they think this is the only pill in the world and that they need it everywhere they go. This also limits the quality of care patients receive because if a physician is not willing to prescribe a higher pill that could improve the person faster; they don’t because the risks/side effects are too high. 

 

In conclusion I believe pills should not be prescribed for every type of ailment someone experiences because as we have seen; we have been hooked on pills from the very start and agencies are doing their best to stop flows of “illegal pills but illegal or not pills have the same effects on the body. The body  wants to push them out! We take one look at physicians and doctors and think that since they are on the front lines they shouldn’t get a second looking at but they are also one of  the many reasons  we became hooked because if they say it's safe and we should take it we think that means if we take more of it faster and get hooked it will help us faster. Wrong. Next time you have an ailment and you think its serious; go over your options if you really need a pill to soothe your pain or if it's just in the mind. Thank you!     

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