Just like in Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood, many people are likely to be using opiates in your neighborhood. Doesn’t this explain a lot? It’s difficult for me to determine which drivers are on opiates, which are skill challenged, and which are just texting.
Opiate drugs are a class of narcotics that include Codeine, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Percocet, hydromorphone and many others. Who knew that a pretty flower could make the most addictive drug on earth? Not as addictive as sugar, but still really bad.
We have a great system for getting people on opiates, legally and illegally. The stress of our modern lifestyle may be enough of a catalyst to get people hooked illegally. Just watch any news channel for long enough and suddenly opiates may seem like a plausible option. And by watching the news you could see the bloody result of our country’s need for poppy from freshly liberated countries.
Two well-paired facts about the miracle of opium: Your CDC claims that heroin use is currently at epidemic levels in the US and Afghanistan now produces 90% of the world’s poppy (up from merely 70% just 15 years ago- great job!).
If that doesn’t work, just mention the word ‘pain’ and opiates appear legally. You just have to look like you’re in pain and both Google and actual medical practitioners will generously offer an appetizing array of legal, and highly addictive pain management strategies.
Studies show that addiction starts at a young age quite often from legal sources. Athletic injuries and repetitive stress injuries (that are becoming more severe and requiring more surgery) are on the rise according to leading organizations. What pairs nicely with surgery? Hard pain killers. There is a consequence to doling out these drugs like candy to teens and even tweens.
Tragically, we have a poor system to get people off of opiates. It usually comes after a hefty sentence. Rehab is very expensive and mostly ineffective with this class of drugs.
Astounding Opiate Factoids from the CDC website:
In 2013, of the 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to prescription pharmaceuticals.
Of the 22,767 deaths relating to pharmaceutical overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines. (Some deaths included more than one type of drug.)
In 2011, about 1.4 million ER visits involved the nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals. Among those ER visits, 501,207 visits were related to anti-anxiety and insomnia medications, and 420,040 visits were related to opioid analgesics
From the FDA website: Opiates now kill more Americans than motor vehicle accidents.
What does it all have to do with fitness? Everything. If you are fit, you have a much less chance of getting hooked on pills. A healthy body recovers quickly. If you are busting your butt at the gym, you might be less likely to start a pain-pill program since you are already addicted to a natural high. If you can avoid injuring yourself due to ignorance, you’ll have a much better chance of not being exposed to opiates at a young age and getting hooked much easier. Establishing proper health and fitness habits with your kids keeps them from being so dependent on pharmaceuticals.
It’s my opinion (and a known fact about all drug dealer strategies) that the biggest target for these drugs is young people, young athletes especially. What better way to sell more opiates? Everything is more addictive when introduced at a young age. While everyone is at the ‘street drug awareness assembly’, kids are raiding their parents’ medicine cabinets because they are smarter and much more efficient than we were. Somehow I suspect that the drugs that you have in your ‘other medicine cabinet’ don’t quite have the same kick that opiates have.