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Opinion » The European Opioid Crisis 

The European Opioid Crisis 

Opioid Crisis

When we think about the Opioid crisis, we tend to think of the United States of America. A country where the current president even campaigned on the issue, a country where doctors are known to proscribe very addictive painkillers so you are set up for a lifelong addiction, even after the need to kill the pain is gone. Few know that Europe is starting to follow America and is underway of seriously developing its own opioid crisis. The European media & politicians seem to be silent on this topic, yet the problem is escalating.


What is Going On?
The OECD has recently published and extensive report called “Addressing Problematic Opioid Use in OECD countries”. In this report, some sobering conclusions were published about the growing opioid epidemic in European countries. Opioid related deaths rose more than 20% to 25% in countries for which the OECD had data. This parallels the rise of pain-relief drugs becoming more and more common in prescriptions. Another conclusion of the report was that 3 out of 4 people dying from Opioid use in Europe are men. In nearly every European country opioid deaths are on the rise.

The Opioid crisis is growing
The Opioid crisis is growing


Why is This Happening to Us?
There are several reasons why this is happening. Before the 1990s, European medical professionals would generally not focus on pain management but on treating or curing the cause of pain. Since pain management has become a legitimate goal, there has been an increase in the proscribing of heavily addictive opioids across Europe.

The pharmaceutical industry has played a significant role too. They have been funding pain advocacy organizations and medical societies, while at the same time, conducting marketing campaigns targeted generally at physicians and even at patients to downplay the problematic effects of opioid use. The pharmaceutical industry wants you to fight pain and not just the reason you have pain, because why make money on the cure when you can make money during the entire process?

Gender and Opioid deaths
Gender and Opioid deaths


Opioids, The Real Gateway Drug
One of the problems of living in a society where Opioids are increasingly marketed and proscribed is that they are a gateway to more hardcore addictions. Let’s say you get addicted to a certain Opioid, but the proscription stops and you aren’t able to kick the habit. What do you do? You go on the streets to score a certain supplement. But this time your insurer is not footing part of the bill, so the opioid you were used to is too expensive. Some slowly spiral down into something like heroin use.


What Should We Do?
There are two main culprits in this story: big pharma making money and doctors proscribing too many addictive drugs. I generally believe most doctors do not have the intent to make you a drug addict. I do believe that the people working in big pharma will not give a shit about your wellbeing as long as their bank accounts are being stacked with your money. Big pharma is the incarnation of evil on this planet, it needs to be completely overtaken by the state. As long as there is a profit incentive in our pharmaceutical industry, profits will always come first. Our people always come last.

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