- The Opioid Crisis Has Plagued North America for Decades, and According to the U.S. HHS, it Kills an Estimated 130+ People Per Day in the United States Alone
- Thanks to Recent Advancements in Psychedelic Medicine, There’s Renewed Hope and Optimism Surrounding the Deadly Epidemic
- ATAI Life Sciences, DemeRx and MindMed Are Waging War Against Opioid Addiction By Utilizing This One Little-Known Psychedelic Substance
The opioid crisis isn’t making as many headlines these days due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has paralyzed much of the global economy and captivated the attention of billions worldwide. While the Coronavirus continues to sweep across the globe, a different type of epidemic continues to ravage America’s communities and families. We’re talking about the Opioid Epidemic.
The U.S. Opioid Epidemic
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the opioid epidemic was the result of gross negligence on the part of pharmaceutical companies, most notably, the now-bankrupt Purdue Pharma. Run by the now-infamous Sackler family, Purdue Pharma was the company responsible for the creation and mass promotion of the opioid pain killer Oxycotin. Certain pharmaceutical firms with Purdue leading the way assured doctors and the medical community that their opioid products were not addictive. This reassurance combined with a massive marketing campaign led to an enormous spike in the number of Oxycodone prescriptions in the U.S. Believing these new pain relievers were non-addictive, opioid use and misuse rates quickly began to soar. The truth is, opioids are highly addictive, and difficult to quit using due to the extreme withdrawal symptoms associated with it.
In 2017, the HHS finally declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency and announced its 5-point plan to combat the crisis.
To put the opioid epidemic into perspective for you, here are some recent statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services:
- 130+ people died every day from opioid-related drug overdoses during 2018 and 2019
- 47,600 people died from overdosing on opioids in 2018
- 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018
- 2 million people had an opioid use disorder in 2018
- 2 million people misused prescription opioids for the first time in 2018
Double Whammy Crises
Corey Davis, a lawyer at Network for Public Health Law, recently said, “We’re now facing two deadly, concurrent declared public health emergencies: the opioid crisis and COVID-19.”
The federal government has loosened some restrictions in regards to social distancing for users of Buprenorphine (Subutex) and Methadone, the two main treatments for opioid addiction that require consistent use to prevent relapse. Opioid users are at high risk of major health conditions due to lifestyle and age (many are over 60), and there are hundreds of thousands of them. What if there was a different way to treat addiction that made opioid users less susceptible to disease and less dependent on the deadly drugs? The psychedelics industry believes it may have the answer.
Psychedelic Medicine is Showing Tremendous Promise
Several companies are working to bring a different approach to opioid addiction through the use of psychedelic medicine. Psychedelics are active compounds that have specific effects on precise parts of the brain–just like pharmaceutical drugs, but due to the U.S. federal government, have been constrained by the very outdated Controlled Substances Act.
One company, in particular, ATAI Life Sciences, has emerged as a driving force behind the psychedelics, inspired fight against addiction. ATAI Life Sciences is a global biotech company founded by scientists and businesspeople who vowed to take a comprehensive approach to dealing with mental health disorders and addiction. The company uses artificial intelligence and computational biophysics to zoom in on promising approaches across their eight portfolio companies: COMPASS Pathways, Perception Neuroscience, DemeRx, Innoplexus, GABA Therapeutics, EntheogeniX Biosciences and Neuronasal.
DemeRx is one of ATAI’s innovating portfolio companies that’s thinking outside the box as it relates to addiction. The DemeRx website describes the company as “a clinical-stage pharmaceutical development company advancing two lead drug candidates as medication-assisted therapies for opioid addiction.”
Read the full article at TheCannabisInvestor