The Opioid Epidemic
We didn't start the epidemic, but we can change it…
According to the HHS, "In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. Increased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive."
These drugs have traditionally been used for pain relief and treatment. When the body’s nervous system interprets pain signals, that message travels through sensory receptors, gets sent through A-Delta and C- fibers to the spinal cord, then ultimately reaches the command center, the brain. When someone takes an opioid, these pain messages are intercepted—the message is blocked, and the pain threshold is lowered through different receptors.
When used for pain control, opioids lessen discomfort by intercept the message and block the pain sensor from reaching the brain. One of the reasons this process can be so deadly is that the drug binds to opioid receptors on the brain that are linked directly with our brain stem, where the body's autonomic functioning skills are held, such as breathing and heart rate. When we have too many opioids plugging the brains opioid receptors, the autonomic function suppresses until breathing and heart rate slows to a stop.
Opioids affect the limbic system where our dopamine reward center is located. When opioid molecules cross the blood-brain barrier, the drug latches on to GABA neurons which flood the system with all the feel-good neurotransmitters, creating a feeling of euphoria. When we consistently flood our brain with dopamine by using drugs, the only time a person feels “happy” is when they use whatever created the rush of dopamine to begin with. When the high is over, the brain is exhausted of all the feel-good neurotransmitters thus leaving the individual feeling hopeless, agitated, and sick. This, in turn, makes the person want to avoid feeling that way. This prompts the cycle of addiction.
The statistics are staggering. It’s estimated that nearly 192 people a day are dying from a drug overdose. Though prescription drug overdoses are falling, illicit drug death toxicology reports frequently show some kind of opiate on board, along with other drugs such as methamphetamines, cocaine, alcohol, or marijuana. With addiction rates rising, we are also seeing an increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition where newborns are being born dependent upon opiates every 15 minutes. This epidemic is rising at rates faster the then peak of the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 90s.
Plants Over Pills
Hero Brands was founded with the mindset of Plants Over Pills, meaning we strongly advocate for healthier plant-based alternatives for physical and mental health support over the abuse of opioids and prescription drugs. All of our Hero Products derive from the hemp plant and making sure all of our ingredients are clean.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound that comes from the cannabis sativa plant, which can be marijuana or hemp. Our CBD Hero Products are derived from hemp and our Hero CBD Products contain little to no trace of THC. What does this mean? You get no psychoactive effects like you would with traditional cannabis, and it does not impair your mental state. We pride ourselves on our partnership with Ananda Scientific and our nano CBD Capsules created with patent-pending technology which have zero THC.
All of our Hero Delta 8 Products are also legally hemp derived products. Delta 8 has many unique properties, and interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that helps lend the compound to a variety of uses and situations.
Both of Hero Brands CBD products and Delta 8 products are designed and formulated to promote a clean, healthy and active lifestyle.
Check out our Hero Products here...
A Hero In Medicine: Meet our partner Dr. Jeff Watson
Partner, Dr. Jeff Watson, a Tampa based orthopedic surgeon and a strong advocate for the plants over pills movement, helming the research with University of South Florida.