One of America’s biggest crises at the moment is that brought on by the extremely high increase in opiod abuse. The opiod class is one that includes opiates, which are drugs that contain opium, the resin obtained from the poppy. Found in great number in ancient China, this highly addictive substance captured millions in its snare before it made its way into the United States. Commonly used to help with pain relief opiates are commonly found in the form of morphine in day to day use, though abusers quickly became attached to its recreational cousin Heroin. This brown and dirty form of the substance is the street version of the medicine and is snorted, inhaled and even more diabolically injected into the veins of the user. Addicts are renowned for becoming erratic and completely dependent on the drug, with their next ‘fix’ as their only goal they are capable of putting themselves and anyone they are in contact with through endless ordeals as they seek their next high. Heroin is just one of the opiods, which also include synthetic drugs that illicit similar bodily responses by reacting in a chemically similar way.

Opiods are clearly a problem that the government would be wise to eradicate, so how has its war against the substance gone? Not well, would be an understatement. This is largely thanks to the fact that opiods have actually increased production since the 70’s, in fact most of them are sold or supplied over the counter in the form of Oxycodone, Tramadol or Fentanyl. These versions which can actually be more potent than Heroin itself (Fentanyl can be 50 times more powerful) are making their ways into peoples lives, thanks to Big Pharma and obviously a blind spot in governmental policy. Though people can be correctly medicated through these drugs the potential for abuse is incredible, with everyday citizens falling prey to the chemicals they have been prescribed Millions now die each year as a result of opiod abuse, as their addiction simply becomes too much for them to handle.

Although developments have been made to fight back, such as the use of ‘Lazarus drugs’ such as nasal spray Narcan (which can revive those who have fatally overdosed) the numbers seem to keep rising. In fact the mindset of the drug user is so warped that many actually take higher doses of their drug knowing that there is now a possibility they can survive. What’s even more perplexing is that heroin is now being replaced with the legal drug Fentanyl. In this bizarre twist, drug users seeking greater highs and drug dealers seeking more custom and greater profits are now in cahoots when it comes to lacing doses of heroin with increasing amounts of the prescription substance.

This explicitly grey area in legality that allows a deadlier drug to be bought and sold, and a weaker form of the drug to be enough to lock someone up for years needs revision fast. If the war on drugs were absolute, would drug companies be allowed to make and sell such life ruining substances at all? This case shows an absolutely negative effect on the American governments handling of what they deem illegal substances.