How bad was China's opium epidemic compared to the present US?

Jun 2014
4,975
US
#21
The articles that I have read indicate the the real pressures being applied to the pharmaceutical industry are resulting from law suits filed by municipal, county and a few state governments to recover the huge outlays they have made to combat the problem. The federal government appears to be limiting their concerns with the opiate issues by applying frequent and extensive lip service.

Naloxone, a solution to overdose problems, has increased in price by 680% over the past four years. Go figure!

As opioid overdose numbers rise, so does the cost of naloxone
As opioid overdose numbers rise, so does the cost of naloxone | Bill of Health


There is absolutely nothing about the opioid crisis that does not reek of corruption on a massive scale.
If you have an active opiate user in your home a number of agencies will give you a dose of narcan, although some heavier users may require two to bring them out of their stupor.
 
Likes: Edratman
Feb 2009
6,069
Eastern PA
#22
Around my home near Reading, PA, it appears that all emergency personnel have been mandated to carry Naloxone (or something) because of the extent of the problem. $$ Ka-ching!

We have a large number of friends in the medical field and have been told several times that addicts have become cavalier about over dosing because of the availability of counter measures. The obituaries are proof that this is not a fool-proof plan.
 
Oct 2018
293
Adelaide south Australia
#23
Congratulations on your recovery and best wishes. It is hard to argue with the circumstances that many opium addicts started as people receiving a prescribed opiate from a doctor. As somebody who has struggled with addiction, you know that some people are hard wired in such a way that, once they receive some kind of substance in their body, the cravings can lead to dependency. I can't say that these people don't then abuse their prescription. I will tell you, at least recently here in the U.S., doctors who do prescribe (many have ceased because of the vigilance in reviewing their dispensations) will ask you to bring the prescription bottle in for a count and they won't give you your next prescription until its due. So, going over one's dosage isn't easy. Now, many are prescribed, then the prescription ceases. Some of these turn to the street for their opiate fix. The article I attached below, from the American Society of Addiction Medicine says that 4 out of 5 opiate abusers started out using a prescription opiate first. It's risky stuff to me. I won't even take codeine when prescribed .
https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf

Thank you for your good wishes. I am happy to converse privately with anyone about say general information about alcoholism or AA..

I have to admit you are spot on about some doctors being a bit too casual with issuing opioides . I think it's well known that Herman Goring was addicted to Morphia as the result of treatment for a serious wound. Of Course, the Nazi regime gave its troops amphetamines, which could be purchased over the counter.

Doctors here as well can be quite casual. My 92 year old mother was prescribed morphia patches for severe pain.. She seemed to be 'foggy. After a review of her medication, the patches were discontinued----and mum went into withdrawal. She's ok now, but she had a few unpleasant days.

I'll pass this on for what it's worth: Quiet ta few psychotropic drugs are also addictive. It can be very hard to discontinue say anti depressants. That absolutely must be done under close supervision. Don't know about antipsychotics, as they tend to be taken fora very long time , for psychoses.

Good idea about codeine. I will very occasionally take Panadol A box o f 12 lasts me over a year. I take a shipload of prescribed medication.Here, the longest period of a prescribed drug is 6 months. That a busy doctor will do a thorough review every 6 months. Generally, the review is cursory, if done at all.
 
Likes: Rodger
Jun 2014
4,975
US
#24
Thank you for your good wishes. I am happy to converse privately with anyone about say general information about alcoholism or AA..

I have to admit you are spot on about some doctors being a bit too casual with issuing opioides . I think it's well known that Herman Goring was addicted to Morphia as the result of treatment for a serious wound. Of Course, the Nazi regime gave its troops amphetamines, which could be purchased over the counter.

Doctors here as well can be quite casual. My 92 year old mother was prescribed morphia patches for severe pain.. She seemed to be 'foggy. After a review of her medication, the patches were discontinued----and mum went into withdrawal. She's ok now, but she had a few unpleasant days.

I'll pass this on for what it's worth: Quiet ta few psychotropic drugs are also addictive. It can be very hard to discontinue say anti depressants. That absolutely must be done under close supervision. Don't know about antipsychotics, as they tend to be taken fora very long time , for psychoses.

Good idea about codeine. I will very occasionally take Panadol A box o f 12 lasts me over a year. I take a shipload of prescribed medication.Here, the longest period of a prescribed drug is 6 months. That a busy doctor will do a thorough review every 6 months. Generally, the review is cursory, if done at all.
I have sat with a relative several times as she has gone through opiate withdrawals. Not a pretty site. I appreciate the historical context as well. I have seen those documentaries about "high Hitler." He, his entourage and his soldiers sure were amped up. You have to imagine that affects one cognitive ability. On another historical note and related to the OP, while the opiate epidemic in 19th century China appears to be more severe, it is ironic that the west (Britain) provided the opiates to the Chinese then and now much of the synthetic heroin and fentanyl coming to the U.S. currently originates in China.
 
Oct 2018
293
Adelaide south Australia
#25
I have sat with a relative several times as she has gone through opiate withdrawals. Not a pretty site. I appreciate the historical context as well. I have seen those documentaries about "high Hitler." He, his entourage and his soldiers sure were amped up. You have to imagine that affects one cognitive ability. On another historical note and related to the OP, while the opiate epidemic in 19th century China appears to be more severe, it is ironic that the west (Britain) provided the opiates to the Chinese then and now much of the synthetic heroin and fentanyl coming to the U.S. currently originates in China.

I'm very glad to hear you were able to support a relative. Worth keeping in mind that first attempts usually fail . I succeeded on my sixth attempt. Used the same method to quit 70 a day cigarette habit- 6 months later-THAT was harder than giving up alcohol! Don't know how many attempts I made.The 'secret ' for me was; I succeeded when I was doing it for myself, not to please others.

I can't imagine the severity of opium addiction in China. All sorts of rude words come to mind trying to describe the moral bankruptcy of the British traders.I have seen only ONE opium addict; that was in Singapore in 1969. He was a walking skeleton., I was almost overcome with pity and a deep sense of helplessness. (I was21)
 

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