How ironic: Long-term painkiller use makes you more sensitive to pain

The United States has been deeply entrenched in the opioid epidemic for years. Dozens of cities, counties and states have filed suit against a number of the nation’s top pharmaceutical industry for their role in creating a drug epidemic which has destroyed thousands of families and claimed thousands of lives.

Big Pharma has been accused of many things, ranging from dirty marketing tactics and negligence to flat-out buying off doctors. Now, research has shown that Big Pharma had another ace in the hole: Opioid-induced hyperalgesia — also known as “opioid-induced pain.”

Long-term use of opioid painkillers is what causes opioid-induced pain. What this means is that over time, opioids start making pain worse (or causing pain altogether) instead of making it better. While opioids have many harmful side effects, this one helps ensure that even after a patient’s initial problem has resolved, they will continue to crave opioids.

As so many people have long suspected, Big Pharma is only interested in creating patients — not cures.

Opioids can make pain worse

While not everyone who takes an opioid will develop opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH), experts say that taking high doses of the drugs and using them for long periods of time are two factors that can increase your risk.

How OIH actually develops is still under examination as well. Recent research has shown that opioids alter specialized cells found in the central nervous system, known as “microglia.”

Microglia are responsible for releasing “signalling molecules” which activate neurons in the spinal cord and send pain signals to the brain. Research has now shown that opioids make microglia many times more sensitive, amplifying pain signals.

While this may not be the only way in which opioids make pain worse, it appears that the drugs’ effects on microglia are a key factor in the onset of OIH.

Now, many are wondering if opioids’ potential to make pain worse is actually by design. As Natural Health 365 posits, worsening pain can lead patients to seek higher doses of the drugs — which again, fuel addiction and cause more pain.

Big Pharma’s opioid scam

Opioids were never supposed to be used long-term, and especially not for chronic pain. But reckless marketing tactics saw opioids prescribed for anything and everything, as Big Pharma put the value of their profits above the value of human life.

Even pharma giant Pfizer recently conceded that there is no scientific evidence to support the use of opioid drugs after just 12 weeks. This means that doctors shouldn’t be prescribing opioids to anyone for more than three months.

The opioid epidemic is now killing an average of 130 people every day. This includes prescriptions as well as illicit drugs like heroin or fentanyl.

Proponents of the pharmaceutical industry are quick to point out that many of the people who die from an opioid drug are not using a prescription drug — but what they aren’t telling you is that an overwhelming majority of street drug users started out on a prescription drug.

Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that 80 percent of heroin users started out on a prescription pain medication. What this means is that Big Pharma is responsible for many more addictions and deaths than most estimates currently indicate.

Estimates indicate the financial burden of the opioid epidemic is a cool $78 billion. The entire pharmaceutical industry should be held accountable for the wave of death and destruction their drugs have created.

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