(Natural News) In the midst of the ongoing and seemingly never ending healthcare debate, Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have proposed an amendment that, in addition to providing states with an extra $70 billion to help stabilize their markets, sets aside an additional $45 billion to fight the opioid epidemic.
Of course, the debate over the growing opioid epidemic and the possible solutions that may or may not help stabilize the number of Americans abusing these drugs has been in the national spotlight for quite some time now, as it should be. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 1.9 million Americans suffered from opioid abuse in 2013 alone, a number that has continued to rise in each subsequent year.
As Addictions.com explains, “Opioids act as central nervous system depressants, slowing down nerve signal transmissions and blocking pain sensations from reaching the brain.” The website goes on to say that “while opioids pose little potential for harm when taken as prescribed, the abuse of these drugs sets off a series of damaging effects inside the brain’s chemical workings.” In the end, once addiction takes hold, the opioid user essentially becomes a slave to the euphoric effects of the drug.
In the year 2010, roughly 254 million opioid prescriptions were filled, with pharmaceutical companies generating an astonishing $11 billion in revenue from the sale of opioids during that same year, according to Fortune magazine. Of course, it would be silly to place all of the blame on the pharmaceutical companies for making money, but still, there is a case to be made that this entire opioid epidemic would either be significantly less devastating or even nonexistent had it not been for companies like Purdue Pharma, Abbott Labs, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Watson Pharmaceuticals, and several others. (Click to Site)