Opioid dependence is a medical diagnosis of an opioid addiction, and is characterized by an individual’s compulsive use of opioids (e.g., morphine, heroin, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc.) in spite of consequences of continued drug use.
Consequences, like pain relief?
As of 2010 opioid use disorder resulted in about 43,000 deaths globally up from 8,900 in 1990. Among adults, the rate of inpatient hospital stays in the United States related to opioid overuse increased by an average of 5% annually from 1993–2012. The percentage of inpatient stays due to opioid overuse that were admitted from the emergency department increased from 43% in 1993 to 64% in 2005, but have remained relatively constant since.
The problem with statistics is that they are frequently outdated, so policy decisions are made while looking in the rear view mirror. The NIDA has never been ahead of America’s drug problem — it is rarely up-to-date on what drugs kids are currently using. And everyone in the federal government gets their drug-war information from the DEA and the NIDA.
So, who cooked up “Opioid Use Disorder”? The medical industry or the drug war?