A note from the author – the term “synthetic heroin” will largely be used in the place of “opioids”. Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, it’s all synthetic heroin.
By Patrick Jude
For whatever reason, we as a nation seem to have met a standstill when it comes to the opioid / heroin epidemic. In actuality, there is no good reason. In an earlier article we detailed the simple truth in regards to the matter – Pill mills push opioids onto the market, the street has its mark up and long time users, unable to afford the costly high, turn to the cheaper solution which yields the same effects, heroin.
With Hydrocodone and Xanax becoming the modern day equivalent of “experimenting with grass” among the youth, we need to now, as a nation and more than ever, begin to shift the influence and power of the pharmaceutical industry in every facet of our lives.
Pharmaceutical commercials have become so commonplace (talk to your doctor today) that we largely miss one very significant fact – these are the only commercials that don’t feature a product an adult is able to purchase. Think about it.
I, a 25-year-old, can’t simply go out and purchase Zoloft, and yet these advertisements suggest that I should talk to my doctor about it? That I should persuade them to override their professional medical opinion because some sixty-second ad has convinced me that this is what’s best for my health? It’s laughable.
Breakfast cereals, alcohol, high speed Internet providers; these are all purchasable. Pharmaceuticals, without a prescription, are not. America is an exception when it comes to pharmaceutical advertisements. Almost no other countries even allow the pharmaceutical industry to market and advertise. Given our current situation, our representatives, across the board, should be working to implement similar restrictions. It’s no big secret, however, that these representatives, across the board, take massive checks from the pharmaceutical industry implicitly to oppose these very sanctions.
One has to look no further than the failure we call a governor, Rick Scott, to find validity in this claim. In his very first year, Rick Scott vehemently opposed a statewide pill mill database, an effort that would have greatly restricted these doctors who prescribe millions of pills. Is it because he thought opposing the database was the best decision for our state? Highly doubtful. It’s probably because his financial backers directly include Pfizer, Teva, Novartis, Watson Laboratories, etc. Our politicians sell us out on a daily basis, folks.
We must legislatively eliminate the marketing and lobbying powers of the pharmaceutical industry. However, we must also act ourselves. Americans devour pills. Psychiatric, physiological, we eat them up. We steadily and profoundly eclipse other nations each year with our pharmaceutical intake. Part of it is because we’re overprescribed pills. The average person shouldn’t need synthetic heroin to overcome a pulled tooth. Many get hooked this way. The other side of this paradigm, often less thought of, is the fact that many Americans feel underprescribed.
These ideas of overprescribing, as well as feeling underprescribed, directly influence the state in which we find ourselves in today. Unused pills lay in unlocked medicine cabinets; others end up in garbage cans ripe for the picking. People who thought they were simply following directions when they finish a bountiful prescription of synthetic heroin end up wondering why they’ve developed an itch for more after.
Unfortunately there’s no true test for depression, and yet antidepressants rank as some of the highest prescribed pharmaceuticals. Look, there are tough times in life, but the natural reaction to the struggles of life can’t be asking for a psychiatric prescription. We can’t have a massive percentage of Americans actively numbing themselves with benzodiazepine – Xanax, Valium, etc. Nor can we deny a fundamental necessity for growth – overcoming obstacles. A sad fact of life is that one can’t truly enjoy the good without the bad.
I understand that there are relevant uses for pharmaceuticals. Like most things in life, there’s a time and a place for everything. There are people who are truly depressed who need psychiatric medications. There are people who are truly in pain and require alleviation just to feel normal. Truly though, it’s undeniable that there are many occasions in which these medications are far more than we need, in quantity and / or potency. At some point we must ask ourselves, can I get through this without synthetic heroin? Do I really need that Xanax bar?
They are addictive. They’re everyday drugs.
Born and raised in Orlando, and Socialist to the core, Patrick Jude graduated from The University Of Central Florida in 2015. He currently holds a B.A. in English Literature, as well as an A.A. in Jazz Performance from Valencia College. Jude is heavily tattooed, abstains from alcohol and is an avid Packers fan.
Currently Listening To – Fevers and Mirrors by Bright Eyes