There are currently about 53 million users of opioid drugs in the world, according to the 2019 World Drug Report, from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It also notes that opioids accounted for two-thirds of the 585,000 people who died in 2017 as a result of drug use.
The American Society of Addictive Medicine defines opioids as “a class of drugs that illicit drug heroin as well as licit prescription pain relievers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others. Are included.”
They are “chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.”
America is vulnerable to what is being called an opioid epidemic. A report by the US National Library of Medicine states, “Opioid and heroin abuse by prescription abuse affects more than two million Americans and an estimated 15 million people worldwide each year. Opioid, The prevalence of abuse and addiction, is increasing rapidly “.
Although widespread misuse of such drugs is a global problem, it is not a recent development.
The US National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that “In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and began writing them on healthcare providers Given more excellent rates. This later led to widespread diversion and misuse of these drugs before it became clear that these drugs were extremely high. Wh can be addictive. “
Fentanyl, one of the drugs at the center of the current pandemic, was developed in 1959. The January 2019 issue of Medical News Today explains how fentanyl binds to the body’s opioid receptors, increasing dopamine levels in the central nervous system. An increase in dopamine produces a state of relaxation, relieves pain, reduces the perception of sadness, and promotes a feeling of well-being or euphoria.
It is about 100 times more potent than morphine; “It compresses the respiratory centers and cough reflex and pupils. It can work within minutes to relieve pain and produce sedation,” the newspaper says.
The drug was first formulated and developed by Paul Janssen for his company, Janssen Pharmaceutica.
Born in January 1926 in Turnhout, Belgium, January held more than 100 patents for drugs and other inventions.
He died in Rome in 2003. In his death, the New York Times reports that Janssen and his company developed a wide range of drugs to treat disorders including “psychologists, chronic pain and fungal infections.”
One such drug, Haldol (haloperidol), is an antipsychotic that allows patients to be treated at home rather than in institutions, and Nizoral, an antifungal agent used in an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo.
No mention is made of fentanyl.
An article in the November 29, 2003 edition of the British Medical Journal says fentanyl is “still the most widely used anesthetic in the world.”
A timeline designed for the frontline program of the American Public Broadcasting Corporation provides some highlights of humanity’s love affair with opioids.
Sometime around 3400 BC, opium poppy was cultivated in Lesser Mesopotamia. “The Sumerians referred to it as Hull Gill, the ‘Joy Plant.’ They gave that plant as well as the Assyrians, who gave this information to the Babylonians, who in turn shared their knowledge with the Egyptians.
In 1827, E. Merck & Co. of Darmstadt, Germany began commercial manufacturing of morphine.
In 1895, Heinrich Dreser, working for the Bayer Company of Elberfeld, Germany, found that diluting morphine with acetyl produced a drug without some of the standard morphine side effects. Bayer began to produce diacetylmorphine and called it “heroine.” It was commercially launched in 1898.
A letter from Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Penn, in the April 2019 issue of the journal Neurology, “An 8000-year history of the use and abuse of opium and opioids: how it counts for successful control of the epidemic” Is included. State University, in the United States.
Bandyopadhyay concludes: “This nemesis is the anchor on history, culture, mythology, religion, biology, genetics and psychology. A successful downstream regulation requires a thorough knowledge of the upstream.