Wednesday, March 16, 2016


The media makes banner headlines about notorious Mexican Drug lords who invade the US peddling their nasty drugs with little or no mention that there is an enormous "demand" from Americans for these drugs. Why such a big demand you might ask?

It turns out that the  reason(s) for the drug epidemic can be laid at the door of  our  very own "home grown" medical doctors who, are defacto drug dealers for  none other than Big Pharma.

How did doctors, who pledge to do no harm, let the use of prescription narcotics get so out of hand?

As it turns out this cozy relationship between doctor(s) and drug manufacturers has existed for decades but the boom came  in the prescribing of narcotics by outpatient doctors, driven partly by the pharmaceutical companies that sold those drugs. Between 1999 and 2010, sales of these “opioid analgesics”—medications like Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin—quadrupled.

By 2010, the United States, with about five per cent of the world’s population, was consuming ninety-nine per cent of the world’s hydrocodone (the narcotic in Vicodin), along with eighty per cent of the oxycodone (in Percocet and OxyContin), and sixty-five per cent of the hydromorphone (in Dilaudid).

As narcotics prescriptions surged, so did deaths from opioid-analgesic overdoses—from about four thousand to almost seventeen thousand. 

Studies have shown that patients who receive narcotics for chronic pain are less likely to recover function, and are less likely to go back to work. The potential side effects of prescription narcotics include constipation, sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment, addiction, and overdosing. 

When patients receive narcotics for long periods, they can even become more sensitive to pain, a condition called hyperalgesia. (J. David Haddox, the vice-president of health policy at Purdue Pharma—the manufacturer of OxyContin—acknowledged “opioid analgesics have sometimes been associated with diminished pain relief in the face of increasing doses.”)

What’s more, no medication reliably eliminates pain in all patients, and narcotics are no exception. And there isn’t good evidence that the prescription of narcotics to treat chronic, non-cancer pain is effective over long periods: most studies of prescription narcotics last only twelve to sixteen weeks.