Afghanistan, Mexico, and Prescription Drugs

Farmers in Afghanistan, Farmers and Drug Cartels in Mexico, and prescription drugs manufacturers have unwittingly combined forces to contribute to the death of thousands of Americans. This is Part I of a 3 part series.

Part I: Prescription Drugs Manufacturers

Purdue Pharma LP and Abbott Laboratories Inc. have been facing intense scrutiny in recent years as a result of the havoc wreaked throughout the US as a result of their addictive medication OxyContin.

OxyContin is an extremely addictive narcotic medication that is also known as “legal heroin.”  The substance has flooded the United States where it is widely abused and not just by young people who are of high school and college age.

The write-up we did about the OxyContin Express Documentary on Vanguard Television will provide insight to how this substance has proliferated so widely due to irresponsible pharmacies and the individuals who take the drug without suspecting how addictive it can be.

OxyContin Leads Directly to Heroin Overdose

OxyContin might be legal and available via prescription for some legitimate medical patients, but it is expensive and difficult to obtain in large quantities for the illicit user who has become physically and mentally addicted to the “high” of this opiate drug.

Clever drug dealers have moved into areas where OxyContin use is widespread and struck a booming business selling heroin to OxyContin addicted individuals.  The heroin is manufactured in a variety of places like Taliban controlled areas of Afghanistan (and other parts of Asia) and Mexico (and other parts of Latin America).

Unregulated heroin varies in purity and strength and is very addictive.  The prices of heroin have been at an all-time low.  The result is a frightening wave of addiction and overdose to men and women of all ages.  Teens and twenty-somethings have been the hardest hit by the wave of overdoses in the last 3 years.  Also unique about recent opiate overdose deaths is that due to the fact that OxyContin is an expensive brand-name prescription drug, many of the users who become addicted to it and then gravitate to heroin are in middle class and upper-class suburbs.

Going after the Prescription Drug Manufacturers

There has predictably been a backlash against the manufacturers of OxyContin.  A plaintiffs group in Washington, D.C., filed a $5.2 billion lawsuit against Purdue Pharma LP and Abbott Laboratories Inc., charging the drug companies with allegedly failing to warn patients about how addictive OxyContin is.

There are also numerous grassroots campaigns that have sprung up to warn potential victims of opiate addiction about OxyContin specifically.  The website is a site started by and supported by many people who’ve had a relative overdose either on OxyContin or a related drug.  The website collects signatures with the goal of getting legislation passed that will ban OxyContin.

There are more players involved in this deadly cycle of OxyContin turned into heroin overdose.  Parts II and III of this series will focus on the manufacturers and dealers of the heroin that replaces OxyContin for so many addicted Americans.

Getting Help

There is no longer time to “wait and see” if you know someone who may be abusing drugs like OxyContin.  OxyContin and all opiates are potentially fatal with every use.  If you are concerned about someone (or are yourself chemically dependent on opiates) please do not wait until tomorrow when it may be too late.  Pick up the phone today and call Sober Living by the Sea for a free and confidential discussion about you or your loved one’s drug use.