Painkiller is one of the most purchased drugs over the counter and some people are addicted to it like an everyday routine. Painkillers are known for their capacity to eliminate or reduce pain. Some are however more potent than the other but they are all opioid and everyday use is highly dangerous to health; the outcome can result to death. The autopsy report of late super star Prince who passed of the 21st of April revealed that he died from a self administered painkiller fentanyl.
According to Midwest Medical Examiner, his death was not caused by accident earlier assumed. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is more stronger than morphine or heroin. It is one of the analgesic used after surgery to manage pain.
The fight against the abuse of opioid has been strong in US with over 2 million people indulging in the use of opioid yearly . About 165,000 death had been recorded from 1999 to 2014 in US due to the abuse of painkiller. The Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni also expressed her concern over this, attributing “inadequate opioid for the treatment of serious pain and lack of access to narcotic drugs for the management of similar conditions” as one of the reasons for opioid abuse.
Various professionals have reacted to the use of opioid; according to Anita Gupta, vice chair of the department of anesthesiology in the division of pain medicine and regional anesthesiology at the Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, “opioids are the cornerstone of the treatment of pain,” she said. “There’s no question about it. And they can be safe….it’s part of their treatment of pain.”
“But the issue is how to use them safely and responsibly,” “They have to be taken vigilantly, as directed. And doctors and patients have to know that other diseases and other medications can interact negatively with opioid. And be aware of factors that we now know up the risk for abuse ,” she advised.
Dr. Dunn however said “it’s certainly true that most people can take a course of opioid and be totally fine. But the more widely they’re prescribed, and the longer patients are on them, the greater the risk.” Anita recognized some risks factors for opioid use like history of prior substance abuse, history of pills to sleep for insomnia and sleep disorders, and history of mental health trouble.
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