Courts to Decide: Are Pharm Companies Misrepresenting Opiates As “Safe”?

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, The Suffolk County, New York unanimously voted to sue drug manufacturers for what they call misrepresentation by pharmaceutical companies that the powerful opiates they prescribe are “safe and non-addictive,” according to an article in Newsday.   The county joins the growing ranks of public officials working to hold drug manufacturers accountable for a growing epidemic of opiate drug addiction in America. The legislatures say that the 90% upswing in heroin-related deaths from the years 2000 to 2012 is part of an epidemic of opiate abuse that originates with prescription drug addiction. Legislative representative Rob Calarco, from Patchogue, NY sponsored the bill. Calerco said that drug manufacturers have "misrepresented" to doctors that opioid drugs are safe to treat chronic pain – as well as non-addictive. Legislator William Spencer, from Centerport, is a physician who is president of the Suffolk Medical Society. He supports the lawsuit and said manufacturers have pressured doctors to recommend the drugs to patients. "We were literally told that these (drugs) were…

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Florida Pain Clinics = Easy Access to Prescription Drugs

The drug addiction epidemic in America has a much different face than the one it wore in the 70s, 80s, and 90s when meth, cocaine, crack, and heroin destroyed many families. These days, when someone says “drug problem”, before you picture the illicit street drugs, keep in mind the quickest rise in drug abuse and addiction is now coming from what may already be in your home: prescription drugs. Getting the Prescription Drugs = A Full Time Job Addicts gain access to opiate based drugs by any means necessary. Users will get them off the street from drug dealers, or even steal them from their own family member's medicine cabinets.  But one of the most popular new ways to get access to prescription drugs is often perfectly legal. In Florida and some other states, prescription drug abuse is being fostered right inside medical clinics. Addicts have found that the lax regulations allow them access to legal prescriptions for painkillers, and hop from clinic to clinic to get their high.…

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Community Treatment Options Needed for Prescription Drug Epidemic

The Economy's Effect on Prescription Drug Abuse The terrible costs of America's prescription drug abuse continues to hit our society everyday. Abuse of prescription pain killers, anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, and stimulants has reached an all-time high.Meanwhile people are losing jobs, insurance, and the financial means to pay for treatment of their addictions. It comes as no surprise then that epidemic prescription drug abuse is happening now. Physicians are seeing increases in severe anxiety and depressive illnesses among their patients hit hard by the recession. Job losses, foreclosures, and the difficulty of finding employment can result in debilitating mental illnesses if not treated. People without health insurance may turn to online pharmacies and pill mills to treat their own symptoms, opening the door to abuse and addiction. Three Treatment Approaches: The recovery community is scrambling to deal with the onslaught of prescription drug addiction. Drug abuse over time causes physical changes in the brain, so treatment must take into account not only the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction,…

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Opioids – 5 to 10 Percent Will become Addicted

Opioids are a class of pain relieving drugs that include oxycodone (e.g., OxyNEO, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), codeine, and some other related drugs. These highly effective painkillers have many useful applications, from relieving post-operative surgery pain to relieving the pain associated with cancer. They are also useful for stopping pain from dental procedures, certain chronic pain conditions, and moderate to severe pain from traumatic injuries. Opioids can be safe when used as directed, but many people become dependent on them. They wrongfully assume that since these drugs are approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and available to the public through a prescription, that they are not harmful. However, according to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, at the National Institute of Health, approximately 5 to 10 percent of individuals who take opioids on a regular basis become addicted. Furthermore, those with a personal or a family history of alcohol or drug abuse are the most vulnerable to dependency. When…

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CVS Blacklisting Some Irresponsible doctors in Florida

In an interesting development, CVS is taking action against doctors that irresponsibly prescribe narcotic painkillers.  The company has sent letters to a collection of Florida doctors indicating that it will no longer fill prescriptions for drugs like OxyContin. CVS is probably taking their actions for a variety of reasons.  Not the least of these reasons is that there has been a rash of pharmacy robberies and slayings. We applaud this policy and think that it is going to send a message to unethical doctors as well as raise awareness Regulation Coming From the Wrong Direction There has already been a legal backlash to CVS' decree as one Florida physician has filed suit. The reason that this chain of events is going to turn into an expensive court battle is because CVS is trying to implement policy and regulation which is the job of the FDA. Unfortunately, the FDA has not been effective in preventing, taking notice, or addressing the prescription drug epidemic. Actions like this one taken by CVS…

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