A Brief History of Opioids and Americans Opioid Crisis

50 Unfortunate Years: Two World Wars, Prohibition, The Great Depression and an Unpopular Conflict

World War I ran between 1914 through 1918, followed shortly by Prohibition in the 1920’s and the Stock Market Crash of 1929. It was a bad time for America and Prohibition limited access to alcohol. Opium, Heroin and Marijuana became a substitute for drinking and the drug scene began to grow out of hand. America really had no time to recover or catch it’s breath as one catastrophe after another struck.

The government had stepped in to manage the crisis by the early 1930’s and onward, creating legislation and laws against drug offenders that were deliberately harsh and unyielding. Misfortune, social issues and loss weren’t an excuse for bad behavior and tough love was the tune of the times.

Treatment wasn’t high on their agenda and the treatment options of the era were a worse fate than jail. Those treatments included shock therapy, purges, ice baths, strange elixirs and tonics that made it worse and unpleasant surgeries that killed more than cured.

The country began to recover and feel more steady, then came World War II, but at least they could drink again. Drugs continued to be a problem and penalties remained unforgiving.

Over the next few decades, social reform lobbyists introduced new, gentler and slightly more effective treatment options. Focus shifted on helping the addict by addressing social and personal rather than tough love. New legislation tried to find a balance between punishment, understanding and compassion.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, soldiers in Vietnam picked up drug habits. They continued using when they came home. Opiates were not the only drugs tripping up Americas youth but they were the ones that caused the most concern. They are still the ones causing the most deaths and social disruption, breaking up families and causing more pain than they ease. And they are still controlled but used illegally.

Law enforcement is cracking down on addicts and drug users, most of which sit in jail because they can’t afford small bail amounts that they can’t afford. Police and judges don’t care why users use,  their sole interest is making sure that laws are obeyed and lawbreakers are caught and kept of the streets. If and when the law catches up with addicts who use illegal drugs or misuse prescribed ones, R3 can provide some cushion by providing communication, bail, commissary and transportation services.

No one intends on getting arrested and when it happens, it is abrupt and unavoidable. R3 Members use their one call to call us then we call their significant others, other family members and friends as well as childcare providers and employers. We can only help if the accused are already members, so become a member before you are accused, or look out for the interests of someone you love and purchase an R3 Membership for them.

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