July 19, 2014
Illicit drugs, where do they come from? How did they cause so much trouble in America ? Why are they so addicting? These are questions I have when I think of Illicit drugs and now I have found the answers for one category of drugs, Opioid Drugs.
History: of Who’s Responsible for Opioid Drugs?
These opium drugs were first in the form was a poppy seed plant that was apart of the early Greek medicines for pain relief. It contains morphine and codeine in it so it would take away pain instantly. It was traded through out the Dark Ages and that is where China got a hold of it as the primary trader of the drug. But it’s main source was from China where they developed the drugs through the poppy seed plant. When we had Chinese workers come over after the Civil War they brought theses drugs with them. According to our text it is said that “As always happens when a new pleasure is introduced into a society, the practice of opium smoking spread rapidly. Also as always happens the new practice upset the status quo and caused society to react” (52). Of course with the selling of opium through the black market it started to become illegal. This then brought San Francisco in 1875 to create the first law to get rid of Opium practices for good. The next law came from New York in 1882 targeting Chinatown in New York City forbidding use of Opium practices. Then there was a law past in 1887 forbidding any kind of trade from American citizens to Chinese opium drugs. The last law was in 1890 permitting opium drugs being processed from Americans only and imported from American citizens only. All of this information can be found on page 52 of our class text. Around 1644 tobacco use became popular in China in which they combined opium with tobacco in a form to smoke it instead of eating it. This form became popular in America and the Chinese would illegally trade with the USA again. Information on these claims can be found on pages 298-299 in the class text. This is where other drugs started to form out of the plant making other pain killer drugs.
How did it go wrong?
The misuse of this drug is that morphine and codeine can be extracted out of the drug which then turned into Heroin. Our countries use of Heroin is horrific and is spinning out of control. It was said that ” three forms of opioid dependencies were developing in the United States. The long-useful oral intake of opium, and then morphine, increased greatly as patent medicines became a standard form of self-medication” (302). The full effect of opium drugs are uncontrollable and since there are more than one form it is harder to stop. Now we have Heroin out of this drug which is the number one drug that is the hardest to recover from. In fact, a recent survey done by CBS for their article ” New U.S. drug survey: Marijuana and Heroin Increasing it is said that “Heroin use increased significantly, with 669,000 users in 2012, compared to 620,000 in 2011 and 373,000 users reported in 2007″ (Jaslow). So there you have it, Opioids created one of the deadliest drugs we have ever experienced in America which is Heroin.
How does it effect the body?
As said before Opium use can be a danger to those who use it because it is a highly addictive pain killer. This drug may give those some temporary relief but can have permanent long lasting effects on the body. People may not know this but Opium use can cause some serious and awful effects creating diseases like Rhabdomyolysis which is a “Biochemical and clinical syndrome resulting from skeletal muscle injury and the release of muscle cell components into the extra-cellular compartment” (p.2 , Sari). Funda Sari explained in the scholarly journal ” Opium- Induced Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure in a Patient Taking Opium Habitually: a Case Report how Opium causes acute damage in muscle tissue thus creating the disease. In the case study Sari stated that ” Rhabdomyolysis has been reported in 22 of 188 consecutive patients with acute opiate intoxication” (p.2, Sari). So there is more to this drug that meets the eye. Another effect that Opium has is a “hypnotic effect” which is described well in the journal “Medicinal Aspects of Opium as Described in Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine” by Mojtaba Heydari. Heydari recommends “the use of opium in small doses and in combination with other agents to treat insomnia” (p.105, Heydari). Opium would make people hallucinate so taking it with something else would make you fall asleep. Another effect that Opium has is the “cognitive” effect. Heydari also explains how ” Opium abuse can lead to acute or chronic cognitive disturbance… Opium can cause memory and reasoning dysfunction” (p. 105, Heydari). The chronic effects of Opium use are irreversible due to the diseases and cognitive side effects that comes out of it.
Are There Benefits From Opium?
The only benefits that comes out of this drug is it’s pain relief for some areas in the body. Heydari states “Narcotics (such as codeine) have widely been used as antitussives. It is believed that antitussives effects are primarily related to the u-opioid and the k-opioid receptors in teh CNS…. If all other treatments fail, opiods can be used to treat sever cough” (p.106, Heydari). Opium was first discovered as a pain killer so it is not unlikely that there were uses for this drug in an instance like a sever cough. Another beneficial use for opium is to treat sever diarrhea. Heydari explains “Acicenna believed that opium caused constipation and recommended opium to treat sever diarrhea” (p. 106, Heydari). Even though constipation was a side effect for opium use it ended up benefiting those who needed help.
Are There Social Issues to Opium Use?
The unfortunate fact is that even if opium use can give a person some benefits it still causes social issues due to the emotional and legal problems men and women get into while using this drug. In the article “Men’s Health Watch” by the Pharmacy Times group, they explain that ” men who abuse the drugs were more likely than women to show evidence of social behavioral problems…..Whereas women frequently reported signs of emotional and psychological distress, men were more likely to report behavioral and legal problems” (p.1). These issues cannot be ignored especially with everything else like the other health related problems at hand. My over all health impact assessment is that this drug has way more cons than it does pros. With the research I have done so far opium use has only shown a life for a disaster.
My Experience With Opioid Drugs
Bringing in my personal experience to Opium use is where Opium turns into Heroin. I have personally never done Heroin and I never plan to do it not only because i know the health risks but because i have seen what it does to a person’s life. In the past 3 years I have graduated high school, moved to Wisconsin and attended college. This is the ideal life I have always saw for myself but for some others I knew they did not make it this far. In the past 3 years I have also lost 8 of my high school classmates to Heroin overdose. Heroin has taken over my hometown and continues to destroy everything it touches. I’ve seen people completely change from to curious teens experimenting with Marijuana to addicts that are too deep into Heroin and cant get themselves out. These deaths have been a huge tragedy and I am very passionate about making it stop. Not only for my classmates that are not with us today but for my sister who is only 10 years old and already has been asked to do drugs. She thankfully knows the dangers of these drugs but not everyone does which is why there needs to be more education in the elementary schools so that kids will learn to stay clear of drugs like Heroin before it’s too late.
What Can We Do About This?
My call to action is for there to be funding for other programs like D.A.R.E because even though most students had a couple days with a police officer telling us how to say no, it is not enough. There needs to be a class or other programs with professionals to really teach what drugs like opium/heroin can do to you. Maybe a student has parents who are drug abusers and wants to talk about it but doesn’t know how? With the funding coming in for these programs there could be prevention classes or a small group where students can share their experiences with drugs and have the message that it’s never too late to stop. There can be all sorts of prevention before it gets to the point where rehab is the only option. There is a website that is doing funding for exactly what I’m talking about. It’s through the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Heath and on the site there are all kinds of sources that funding for adolescence drug abuse prevention will help. Here is the link to the site so now you can help do something about it. http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/center-for-prevention-of-youth-violence/resources/programs/funding-sources.html
List of References
Sari, Funda . (2012). Opium Induced Rhabdomyolysis and Acute Renal Failure in a Patient Taking Opium Habitually: a Case Report. Erciyes Medical Journal , 141-143. http://libproxy.uww.edu:5209/ehost/detail/detail?sid=7929b100-7913-49be-a9e2-23745ef3a77c@sessionmgr4003&vid=6&resultId=7&theDisplayFormat=CitationAndFullText&ReturnUrl=%252fehost%252fresults%252fresultlist%253fsid%253d7929b100-7913-49be-a9e2-23745ef3a77c%2540sessionmgr4003%2526vid%253d6%2526resultId%253d_resultId_
Heydari, Mojtaba. Mohammad Hashem Hashempur. Zargaran, Arman. (2013) Medicinal Aspects of Opium as Described in Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine. Acta Medico-Historica Adrinatica, volume 11, 101-112. http://libproxy.uww.edu:5209/ehost/detail/detail?sid=7929b100-7913-49be-a9e2-23745ef3a77c@sessionmgr4003&vid=10&resultId=1&theDisplayFormat=CitationAndFullText&ReturnUrl=%252fehost%252fresults%252fresultlist%253fsid%253d7929b100-7913-49be-a9e2-23745ef3a77c%2540sessionmgr4003%2526vid%253d10%2526resultId%253d_resultId_
Pharmacy Times. (2010). Men’s Heath Watch, Disease State Management, volume 76, 63-63. http://libproxy.uww.edu:5209/ehost/detail/detail?sid=7929b100-7913-49be-a9e2-23745ef3a77c@sessionmgr4003&vid=20&resultId=5&theDisplayFormat=CitationAndFullText&ReturnUrl=%252fehost%252fresults%252fresultlist%253fsid%253d7929b100-7913-49be-a9e2-23745ef3a77c%2540sessionmgr4003%2526vid%253d20%2526resultId%253d_resultId_
Jaslow, Ryan. (Sep. 2013). New U.S. Drug Survey: Marijuanna and Heroin Increasing. CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-us-drug-survey-marijuana-and-heroin-increasing/
Ksir, Charles. Hart, Carl L. (2013). Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior. 15th edition.