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History of the Opioid Epidemic 

The Oxycontin - Heroin Connection 


Family owned and operated, Purdue Pharma struck narcotic gold. Not many companies can boast a product whose sales increased 2000 percent in five years, but the Sacklers can do just that. In 1995, the year after receiving FDA approval, OxyContin accounted for $45 million in sales. By 2000, sales increased to $1.4 billion.


Once again, that’s billion with a “B.”


In 2010, thanks to the efforts of three brothers from Brooklyn, OxyContin took control of 30 percent of the United States painkiller market, accounting for $3.1 billion in sales.


So how did we get here?

The History of Opioids - We will give a historical overview of people and opioids. We will look at when people first started using opioids, how they've changed over the years, and ways that they've been both amazingly positive as really effective painkillers and devastating to individuals and social orders. We will explore the early accounts of opiate use, addiction, and treatment, and touch on the Opium Wars in China. The evolution from raw opium latex to the powerful drugs derived from opium today traces a clear history of increasing addiction as opioids were available in more and more powerful preparations.

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