Opiate Use and Abuse

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Opiate History The first written mention of opiates is believed to have come from third-century B.C. Greek culture and the writings of philosopher Theopphrastus. By this time, people had discovered that drying the poppy plant's extracted fluid created a highly powerful drug which would become known as opium. The first opiates are believed to have been cultivated during the Neolithic period in what is now known as Switzerland. The settlements in this area cultivated Papaver which was a source of poppy seeds. Many historians agree that these early individuals discovered the narcotic effect of the poppy plant and therefore were the first users of opiates (Rosen, 2009). Opiate analgesics have been used by humans for thousands of…show more content…
Opiate-tolerant patients may take a particular drug more frequently or in higher doses than prescribed to achieve pain relief. Both of these scenarios can lead to severe side effects, dependence, addiction or death. Troubling Trends of Abuse The figure is startling: A 96.6 percent increase in drug-related deaths in a five-year period (Hanson, 2010). According to Brown University Pharmacology Update (2009), since the period of increases in opioid misuse in the 1990s, data over the last three-to-four years indicate a high, steady prevalence of opioid prescription misuse in the United States. According to the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 5.2 million people ages 12 and older were current nonmedical users of prescription pain relievers in 2006, comprising 2.1% of the population. This rate has remained statistically unchanged since 2002. Survey data from 2002 to 2005 found that 4.8% of persons ages 12 and older (11.4 million people) used a prescription pain reliever nonmedically in the 12 months prior to the survey. This data also indicated that an annual average of 57.7% of people who used prescription pain medication nonmedically in the past year used hydrocodone products, and 21.7% used oxycodone products. Recent male users were more likely to use hydrocodone products nonmedically compared to recent female users (61.4% compared to 54.9%). Young

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