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Origins of the Prescription Drug Epidemic

It all began in the late 80s. One could have a severe operation, cancer or even at the end of life, and doctors would be very stingy in prescribing you these pain killers, because they knew it would be addictive.

However, according to Dr. David Juurlink, of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, things began to change over the years.

There came a push to use opioid more aggressively than before. The message that was delivered to the doctors were pretty clear: These drugs are stronger than the other alternatives out there, the risk of addiction is very low (less than 1 %) and that these drugs can be used safely in the long term. 

This push came from a variety of sources, but at the genesis of it were the pharmaceutical companies that made these drugs.

Unfortunately, that message was wrong.

Once our body metabolize a medication like an opioid or another drug like cocaine, we can develop an instantaneous addiction to that. This is because our body senses the pleasure.

About a third of people who began these drugs come to misuse them at some point. 

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