Opioid’s Origins

Opioid’s Origins | Pain Management Experts Integrated Pain Consultants

Opioid’s Origins

Opioids naturally occur in the body in small amounts, but now that the country is in the middle of an opioid crisis, it’s time to find out more about this “wonder drug’s” origin. Integrated Pain Consultants prioritize natural, non-addictive pain management therapies for chronic pain. However, when used short-term, opioids can still be an effective and safe means of treatment. Where did it all begin—and what went wrong?

How Opioid Addiction Began

Morphine was first widely used in the US to treat soldiers in the Civil War. Unsurprisingly, many became hooked. Around 1900, addiction was rampant. Bayer produced another type of opioid—heroin—at the turn of the last century. Called a “wonder drug” during its clinical trials, it spread quickly, and users immediately figured out it worked better via injection.

Opium is derived from poppies and has been used as a way to get high (sometimes called “getting spiritual”) by various communities for centuries. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that prescription opioids became mainstream in the US. They relieved pain, they worked, and there simply weren’t many other options at the time. However, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act placed a tax on the making and selling of opium and coca (cocaine) derivatives in 1914.

Heroin became illegal in 1924 as more doctors became aware of the high addiction rates. However, World War II brought on a new slew of patients in need of pain relief. “Nerve block clinics” opened in the 1950s to offer an alternative to surgery. By the 1970s, drug use, in general, had skyrocketed so much that President Ford assigned a special task force to study the issue. Ultimately, they decided the Drug Enforcement Agency should focus more on heroin than marijuana or cocaine.

Painkillers like Vicodin briefly enjoyed a heyday in the 1980s—but then OxyContin arrived on the market in 1996. Throughout the early 1990s, painkiller prescriptions increased around 2.5 million each year. Between 1995 – 1998, the jump was eight million. By 1998, Purdue Pharma produced a video called “I Got My Life Back” that showcased the benefits of opioids. It was shown in waiting rooms around the country.

Get Help If You Suffer From Pain – Talk With Integrated Pain Consultants Today

Opioids are ravaging the country like never before, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) releasing new guidelines for opioid use in chronic pain just last year. For many patients, opioids are not the best approach. Schedule an online appointment with Integrated Pain Consultants to find out more regarding safe opioid use and alternatives – 480-626-2552. We also invite you to learn more about Dr. Nikesh Seth and other providers including Dr. Anne-Marie CosijnsDr. Lisa SparksDr. Michael Givens, and our team of Nurse Practitioners.

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