Are Opioids More Trouble Than Their Worth?
A new study has argued that opioids are an effective tool in ‘masking’ deeply held fears, but with skyrocketing opioid addiction, mass fatalities due to overuse, as well as the issue of masking yet never confronting and overcoming fear, are they really worth it?
The latest study stated that one of the prime causes of anxiety disorders is the inability to overcome the fear for certain contexts when they no longer apply, however, attempts to facilitate this process of overcoming fear have culminated in the discovery that certain opioid compounds, called delta opioid receptor (DOP) agonists, assist in masking fear memory.
Given the nature of the study, one may question where the funding came from for such a pro-opioid article given recent issues.
According to 2017 figures, the US holds 45% of the global pharma market and it is “the world’s most important national market”, grossing around $446 billion per year.
The complexity of the issue deepens when one considers how effective opioids actually are at negating fear, yet legal medication is also being proven to be exceptionally addictive, as evidenced in world-renowned psychotherapist Dr Jordan Peterson’s highly reported addiction to benzodiazepines (see below).
While the observations in the latest study suggest new therapeutic possibilities for people and the lead authors suggest they are safe, the tracl record of opioids is not great and may cause more probelms than necessary.