The opium poppy is one of the most powerful plants in the world. Chemical compounds extracted from the latex within its seedpods have incredible medical properties. For decades, medical professionals have turned to opiates or drugs derived from opium poppies like codeine and morphine to treat people’s pain.
In recent years, pharmaceutical companies have perfected the process of synthesizing similar compounds. Opioids are pain medications based on synthetic compounds. They are often cheaper to produce and stronger than traditional opiates. That extra strength also increases the risk of abuse and addiction.
Pharmaceutical companies have started addressing addiction in the way they formulate drugs, but that might actually be more dangerous for those with chemical dependence.
Reformulation delays the onset of drug effects
One of the ways that pharmaceutical companies deter people from abusing their products is by adding delays to drug delivery. With many recent opioid reformulations, the focus has been on delaying when the patient experiences the drug’s full effect.
Delaying the onset by several hours has minimal medical consequence for those receiving regular doses in a medical setting. However, it removes the immediate impact often sought by those with addiction issues. The end result of this reformulation is not fewer people dealing with addiction — just fewer people using prescribed drugs due to addiction.
Many of those dependent on narcotic painkillers may have to turn to heroin procured from dealers on the unregulated market. There are even more risks involved with supporting an addiction through banned substances, like unpredictable dosage.
If you are caught in possession of heroin because of an addiction, you can face very significant consequences. Those facing drug charges related to addiction could potentially qualify for drug courts or other forms of diversion or intervention that limit the criminal consequences of an addiction-related charges.