Series 22 | Part 2: How Bad Is It?

Until recently, more the half of all overdoses were from doctor-prescribed opioids. However, despite the incredible importance of this epidemic–and it is an epidemic–there’s a greater issue: synthetic opioids. There are people out there that are manufacturing synthetic opioids on scales measures in MEGATONS. So people aren’t just getting hooked on medications from their doctors. There are also many variants available on the black market, and they WILL kill you. I’m not a fearmonger or a doomsday predictor. Chemically, these opioids are designed to either kill you quickly or over time.

Let’s think for a second. Is this epidemic really a problem? I mean, do people really need painkillers? Maybe addicts should just deal with the problem themselves and stop wasting our tax dollars. Can’t we just tell doctors to stop prescribing opioids? Can’t we just ban them?

Well, no, we can’t! See, we can stop incentivizing doctors who turn in surveys of satisfied patients, but that’s not going to stop the whole issue. We can’t just stop prescribing painkillers either because then people can’t go to work and, more importantly, the pain will cause further physical problems. Some people, most people, are legitimately in a ton of pain. A few people just want to get high, but many addicted to opioids start out in pain and then get hooked, which leads to increased pain sensitivity, which legitimately causes them to feel pain, and the cycle of actual pain continues even if alongside the addiction telling them they need a higher dose. So, it’s not as if we can just stop prescribing painkillers because most people asking for them really need them. Furthermore, banning them will just push them underground. The underground market for opioids is already gigantic, and as I said, synthetic opioids, which are inherently black-market drugs, already cause more than half of the overdoses.

So, since we know the people who say this isn’t really a problem are absolutely stupid, let’s get to work and talk about what opioids really are.

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