Young people addiction to opioids started out in the United States but might enter Latin America along with its social consequences in a society that’s already in crisis.
Before 1980 American doctors were reluctant to use opioid analgesics to treat pain. "They were even reluctant to use them on people who were dying," Lembke recalled, "because they were aware of the risk of addiction." The country had experienced an epidemic of opium in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when heroin sold itself freely as an analgesic, and also after the Vietnam War, when many soldiers returned from the front with a heroin.
Right now, analgesics are not sold freely however, medicines to relieve pain keep being misused in big proportions all over the US. and what is worst these were first prescribed medicines.
This huge problem the US. is currently facing is already spreading worldwide and Latin America is not the exception. It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide, with an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012 and an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin. In fact, medicine selling policies are stronger and more rigid in the US. than they are in Latin America, what might mean this epidemic has several chances of getting into our region.
What would this mean to our society?
Addiction to opioids has been proved to be the previous stage of addiction to heroine or other illicit drugs. If we take into account the economic situation of Latin America then, we can certainly say opioids are going to be a cheaper solution for those who cannot afford other opioids or drugs.
The stage of addiction would mean for Latin America more risk of death by overdose than we already have, insecurity and trafficking might also be consequences to this epidemic crisis.