Who’s to Blame for Opioid Addiction?
Opioid addiction and abuse is a rising problem in the United States claiming hundreds of thousands of lives and creating an epidemic. Opioids are a category of extremely addictive drugs prescribed to patients to relax muscles and relieve pain. Opioid addictions across the U.S are fueled by the Drug Enforcement Agency not regulating the use or distribution of opioids leading to illegal diversion of these drugs
The epidemic of opioid abuse has been rapidly growing in the past 2 decades, and has claimed over 400,000 lives. While needing the drugs for pain is a different scenario, too many of these drugs are being produced, leading to unmonitored drug distribution . When people need opioids for pain, they often become reliant on the drug and as a result of this. People of all ages are given these drugs, even as young as 11. An 11 year old kid was prescribed painkillers at a young age, one pill led to another leading him in a downhill spiral. By just 18 years old, he was fully addicted to oxycontin with no turning back, and at the age of 21 he died from his addiction. While at first these drugs were prescribed for pain, and then illegal misuse led to his death. The illegal diversion of these drugs from pharmaceutical companies should have been overlooked by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
As for enforcing the drug epidemic, the DEA did not do much to slow it down. The use, distribution and availability of opioids was not regulated, despite and increasing amount of people dying from the drugs. The DEA’s overlooking the addictions were said to have left agencies “ill-equipped to effectively monitor ordering patterns for all pharmaceutical opioids, which could enable the diversion of these prescription drugs and compromise public safety.” The D.E.As main job is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the U.S It has been said that the DEA allowed large quantities of the drug to be produced while the death toll raised. The drugs that are produced by the pharmaceutical manufacturers are then shipped out to distribute them to various suppliers such as drug stores, pharmacies, and small local distributors. The D.E.A should not have overlooked the over fulfillment of these drugs and enforced the law.
Opioid is a very difficult situation to stop because of the people that actually need these prescribed painkillers. The issue is for the severely addicted people of all ages dying at the hands of their addiction. The enforcement of these drugs need to be held on a tighter rope to even improve the amount of addictions, let alone stop them. The DEA should be held accountable for not regulating the drug us. The US is fighting and dealing with this struggle first hand to put an end to the epidemic as fast as possible.