Friday, September 28, 2018

The Rise of an Epidemic

From American Consequences:
The accident inflicted permanent back injuries that left Gallego struggling with chronic pain. As a Los Angeles police officer, Gallego was credited with saving lives. He had once even rescued two motorists in a severe flood. But during the two decades that followed his accident, Gallego underwent multiple back surgeries. And he was treated with various pain medications. Eventually, he was prescribed the painkiller OxyContin, a slow-release pill containing oxycodone. Oxycodone is also the active ingredient in medications like Percocet. More important, oxycodone is an opioid, a highly addictive narcotic drug one-and-a-half times more powerful than morphine. Drugs like this have properties similar to opium and heroin. Oxycodone and hydrocodone (the active ingredient in Vicodin) are semi-synthetic opioids that bind to receptors in the brain and spinal cord – lessening the perception of pain. (Read more.)

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