A Brief History of Opioids in America
With much of the national conversation revolving around the Opioid C
The Very Beginning
The Opioid Crisis has a surprisingly long history. As long as opioids have been used in America, there have been addiction problems. For example, there are documented cases of soldiers who served in the Civil War becoming addicted to morphine. Strangely, it wasn’t until 1914 that people were required to get a prescription for any narcotic by the Harrison Narcotics Act.
In 1970, the Controlled Substances Act listed various opiates as schedule 1 and 2 drugs meaning they had highly addictive qualities. Unfortunately, in 1980 an article entitled Addiction Rare in Patients treated with Narcotics was published in New England Journal of Medicine. While this was merely intended to be an exploratory article, it was later used as evidence that narcotics could be used to treat chronic pain safely.
This is where the modern opioid crisis we see today truly starts. As one may guess this opened the door for pharmaceutical companies to try and sell opioids as safe pain relief medicine. The most famous case of this was in 1995 when Purdue Pharam began running a successful marketing campaign to introduce oxycodone as a safe pain reliever.
Litigation Too Late
It wasn’t until 2007 that the US government sued the company and a handful of executives for mischaracterizing the dangers of oxycodone. Purdue
It wasn’t until 2016 that the CDC released guidelines for the treatment of individuals with chronic pain that avoided addictive opioids. The recommendation included prescribing over the counter pain relievers like acetaminophen instead of drugs like OxyContin.
A State of Emergency
Most recently President Trump issued a state of National E
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