Australia: Mother Fights To Save 22-year-old Son From Opioid Addiction

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A woman from Fountaindale, Australia is fighting to save her 22-year-old son's life against a system that produced cheap and affordable pharmaceutical opioids.

Written By Ruchit Rastogi | Mumbai | Updated On:

A woman by the name of Deb Ware from Fountaindale, Australia looked in horror at her son, a 22-year-old wearing adult diapers as if he had a stroke. Sam Ware was no stranger to death since he started to have an extreme liking for pharmaceutical opioids from the time he had his wisdom tooth extracted and in the past year, he overdosed more than 60 times.

A family's fight against opioid addiction

For the past three years, she fought to save her son's life against a system that produced cheap and affordable pharmaceutical opioids in a place that has earned the tag of a country that has witnessed a steep increase in opioid addiction and deaths related to it.

Even after Deb Ware's efforts to bring back her son from the world of opioid addiction sponsored by the government, she was in a helpless condition as preparations were being done to put her son Sam in a state of coma.

Sam was 19 years old when it all began for him, a kid with a decent job as a factory machine operator. In October 2015, his dentist told him to have his wisdom tooth removed. He went back home with a doctor's prescription of an opioid painkiller. The prescription read that sam had to take two pills but he started to take four and that gave him a buzz which made him feel safe and warm. It was relatively easy for Sam to get the painkillers as he had to only walk into a pharmacy with a prescription and get the drugs. 

With America witnessing deaths of about 4 lakh people due to opioid overdose, Australia is being marred by its own crisis of drug overdose and death. It has still happened after the US is the perfect example and despite warnings dating back to more than 10 years from health professionals from Australia. 

Deb Ware's family is one of many families who are locked in a battle with death against opioid addiction. Medical examiners have asked the concerned authorities to tackle the menace of drug addiction and to create a tracking record that will put an end to people's attempts to buy drugs with multiple prescriptions from different doctors. 

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Not a life-saving drug anymore

After facing strict rules regarding the distribution of drugs in America, pharmaceutical companies turned their heads towards countries that have a relatively relaxed system and Australia was the perfect destination for them and the country's authorities have been a bit slow to take into account the growing menace and do something about it. 

The families destroyed because of the opioid addiction are now present at every coast and the rates of people dying have doubled in over a decade. Without stringent measures that tackle the mentioned problem, Australia may be on a path that ends with a higher death rate as compared to that of the US. 

A person by the name of Jasmin Raggam said that no one is safe from the problem at hand. She lost her brother in 2014 due to opioid addiction and now faces the problem of her brother in law being addicted to opioid OxyContin. She further added that even after she did her research, everyone turned a deaf ear towards her and it felt as if she was shouting at the top of her lungs but no one even responded. 

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The initial use for these opioids was to treat short term pain or related to cancer. But towards the end of the 20th century, in the 1990s, companies manufacturing these drugs started to market their product in an aggressive manner. 

Researcher Emily Karanges said that beginning in 2000, Australia began to pass and subsidize certain drugs used to treat chronic and other non-cancer pain. These approvals happened at the same time when there was an increase in the consumption of opioid which nearly increased 3 folds between the period 1990-2014. 

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