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Sunday Poll: Opioids/Herion vs Marijuana — Are They Equally Dangerous Drugs?

June 19, 2016 Crime, Featured, Sunday Poll 4 Comments
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In late April singer Prince died at age 57, the corner found he died due to an opioid overdose:

Toxicology tests for Prince concluded that the entertainer died from an accidental overdose of the opioid fentanyl, according to a report on his death by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.
Fentanyl, prescribed by doctors for cancer treatment, can be made illicitly and is blamed for a spike in overdose deaths in the United States. It’s 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (CNN)

Heroin is an opioid:

Heroin is an opioid drug that is synthesized from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy plant. Heroin usually appears as a white or brown powder or as a black sticky substance, known as “black tar heroin.” (drugabuse.gov)

Prescription opioids include Vicodin & OxyContin. The government classifies drugs relative to each other in five levels, here are the descriptions of the two most dangerous as described by the DEA:

Schedule I

Schedule I drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are:

heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote.

Schedule II

Schedule II drugs, substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence. These drugs are also considered dangerous. Some examples of Schedule II drugs are: 

Combination products with less than 15 milligrams of hydrocodone per dosage unit (Vicodin), cocaine, methamphetamine, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), meperidine (Demerol), oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Ritalin

For today’s poll I’m contrasting opioids/herion (Schedule 1 & 2) to marijuana (Schedule 1):

The term “dangerous” is how ever you define it.  The poll will close at 8pm tonight.

Wednesday I’ll share my thoughts with the non-scientific results of this poll.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. neroden says:

    Mixing up all opoids with heroin is a drug-warrior scare tactic which is beneath you. Most opioids (there are dozens of them) are not very dangerous. Neither is marijuana. Heroin is exceptionally addictive, more than most opioids, which is why it was removed from medical use in favor of others.

     
    • It’s a generalization, but I’ll explain on Wednesday.

       
    • Justin says:

      Most opioids used in a medical setting are just as addictive as heroin and the only reason they are safer is because you know how much of the drug you are actually getting. Heroin is actually prescribed sometimes for pain in the UK. Things like oxycodone, fentynal, hydromorphone and oxymorphone have just as much abuse potential as heroin, in fact many drug users prefer the high they get from pharmaceuticals over that of heroin. The only opioid I would classify as not very dangerous is probably codeine.

      A couple friends of mine have had problems opioid addiction in the past (thankfully they are clean now) which started with use of pharmaceuticals. They only began using heroin not because the high was better for them, but because it was cheaper and more accessible.

       
      • neroden says:

        There are literally dozens and dozens of other opioids:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_opioids

        I know people on long-term opioids for chronic pain — slow-acting, long-duration opioids, where the dose can be kept at the right level to match up with the chronic pain levels. They are lifesavers. Most opioids have basically zero abuse potential if used correctly, which is to say, take the edge off your pain, don’t take enough to get high. Addiction potential appears to be zilch if they’ve been used correctly — it is unfortunate that doctors cannot be trusted to make sure the dosage is right. 🙁 If you’re euphoric, you’ve taken too much.

        Marijuana has extremely similar risks of abuse.

        The opioids you’re listing are mostly the quick-acting drugs used for acute severe pain. The strong, quick-acting opioids (like fentanyl) can be much easier to accidentally get too high a dosage, which will lead to getting high and create abuse potential.

         

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