Purdue Pharma Says It Will Cease Marketing OxyContin

Purdue Pharma, one of the largest manufacturers of Oxycontin in America, has vowed to stop marketing the opioid to doctors. Oxycontin is an opioid medication that has been on the market for over 20 years and is viewed by many addiction and law enforcement professionals to be the catalyst for America’s current opioid addiction crisis. It’s a common drug of abuse and is often responsible for overdoses. Purdue released a statement saying that it would no longer send sales representatives to market the opioid painkiller at doctor’s offices and that the Medical Affairs office will now handle all Oxycontin orders and queries. Many people involved in the addiction industry, the medical community and other public heatlh experts say it’s too little, too late. Purdue has long marketed Oxycontin as effective and safe for use, dropping off samples at the offices of practitioners and telling physicians that it was ideal for treating chronic pain. While these statements weren’t proven, medical marketing is an industry that often finds the loopholes. Purdue…

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NC vs. Insys Lawsuit Alleges Fraud, Bribes

The state of North Carolina is suing drug maker Insys Therapeutics, Inc. for pushing a drug through what they say is fraudulent and illegal tactics. In the state’s Insys lawsuit, North Carolina accused the pharmaceutical giant of knowingly and repeatedly violated the state’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act in how it marketed and sold its product, Subsys, for years. “As millions of Americans were becoming addicted to and dying from prescription painkillers, it appears Insys and its sales representatives [were] pushing its incredibly potent opioid on North Carolina patients just to make more money,” said Attorney General Stein in a press release announcing the actions. “This is unconscionable, it’s unacceptable and it’s illegal.” Subsys is meant specifically for cancer patients who are already taking heavy narcotics but experience additional, breakthrough pain. The drug is meant for patients that don’t find other medications as effective as the alternatives, such as high doses of morphine. The lawsuit alleges a laundry list of illegal actions according to the State of North…

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FDA Says Kratom is Not Safe

FDA Says Kratom is Not Safe
A kratom leaf c/o YayImage.com

The FDA recently issued a warning that Kratom isn’t a safe way to withdraw from Oxycontin or other opioids -- or use for pain management. The plant that has been consumed for thousands of years by indigenous people, has made its way to America via the internet, marketed as a cure for opioid addiction, pain, and over a dozen other maladies that have normally been treated with pharmaceutical medication. One of the most storied uses of Kratom, however, is that it was once used as a “substitute” in East Asian countries during the opium epidemic. Users of the drug don’t believe that Kratom is not safe and tout the benefits of daily usage. Sure, some people use it heavily and experience withdrawal, they will admit, but this is no worse than caffeine withdrawal. Last year, the Drug Enforcement Administration tried to temporarily place the main psychoactive component found in Kratom into the schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, only to get a large amount of pushback from chronic…

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Opioid Ravaged States Turn to Addiction Outreach

Sometimes simple actions are powerful in the fight against opioid addiction. Across the US, programs meant to help people with substance abuse disorders have cropped up on a local level. One such way is through outreach programs in some of the areas where opioid addiction rages. An innovative addiction outreach program in Dover, New Hampshire reaches out to people, both clean and trying to get clean, and asks them how they’re doing. The program, aptly named the Telephone Recovery Support service (TRSS), says they make over 200 phone calls every week to support people who can’t make it to meetings or are unable to get a bed in treatment. TRSS volunteers make phone calls to people who can’t get out to one of the recovery centers or other meetings with their peers. Some people who can’t get out are homebound for legal reasons, while others may be paralyzed by anxiety. Some may not be able to get across town. There are people from all walks of life who need…

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Tom Price Debates Using Opioids to Treat Opioids

There is a general consensus in the United States that opioid addiction is not a ‘curable’ disease but rather a disease that requires treatment. The notion of using opioids to battle addiction to opioids has had considerable opposition over the years. Recently this method has come under scrutiny by Tom Price, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Trump administration. He has stated that these methods only diminish the addiction and are not a step towards finding a cure. A National Crisis No Longer in the Shadows Meanwhile awareness of this epidemic has come to the surface in main stream society in the United States, especially in West Virginia, where they have highest death rates related to all available forms of opioids. Regardless if it is heroin or prescribed medication the outcry for a solution is ringing in the ears of the people who make important decisions. On May 9, in West Virginia, Tom Price shared his opinions. He said “Folks need to be cured so…

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Fentanyl and Other Home Made Opiates Invade Canada

The opiate epidemic continues to evolve and Canada has found out the hard way and they are trying to create legislation in order to cope with the new realities as opiates ravage indiscriminately. Liquid Fentanyl Discovered in Canada Fentanyl is now a very popular option for many opiate drug abusers, but the substance is so incredibly potent that the risk of overdose can not be overstated. Only recently, the first instance of liquid Fentanyl has been discovered by police in Ontario. This drug has alarmed authorities and health care professionals because it it is often created in home labs which creates a lot of uncertainty about the strength of the substance (this probably contributed to a deadly Fentanyl outbreak in Northern and Southern California recently).  Recent arrests have also revealed the drug is being illicitly created in China and then shipped to Canada. Fentanyl Robbery in Hamilton, Ontario, Alarms Authorities Recently a robbery of a pharmacy that saw the crooks abscond with a large stash of Fentanyl caused authorities to scramble…

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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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In Vermont, Addiction Increases Child Abuse, Neglect Cases

Like many states across the US, Vermont is battling an increase in opiate addiction that is wreaking havoc in families in communities across the state, and research has shown that it comes at a high price for children. According to VTDigger, Vermont courts have seen a 62% increase in the number of cases of childhood abuse and neglect, and the cases are on the rise as more people in the state fall victim to the disease of addiction. Opiate addiction is a “big piece of the neglect problem and a big concern for Vermont,” Traci Sawyers, an early childhood health expert at nonprofit Building Bright Futures, told VTDigger. Even more alarming: Up to 70% cases considered by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) that involved children below the age of 3 were tied to opiate abuse in the immediate family, according to DCF’s 2014 Child Protection Report. The uptick is an alarming trend that has been amplified in the past several years. In 2002, there were only 12 babies…

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Oxycodone and Hydrocodone: Use, Abuse and Treatment.

Oxycodone and hydrocodone, two similar sounding generic prescription drugs, are narcotic pain medications that are being abused at epidemic levels in the United States and Canada. Oxycodone, which is sold under the brand name OxyContin and used in Percocet and Percodan, is a powerful analgesic designed specifically for severe pain disorders. It has highly addictive properties. Hydrocodone, which is an ingredient in Vicodin, is another painkiller that is frequently prescribed for moderate to severe pain for everything from toothaches to backaches. Both medications are subject to abuse and may cause fatal overdose when mixed with alcohol, other drugs or when taken in amounts exceeding recommended dosages. OxyContin is a time-released formula of oxycodone that was introduced in 1995 as a Schedule II drug. It is a synthetic opioid that is very similar to morphine. OxyContin gained national attention in 2003 when conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh admitted that he was addicted to it. Since then, detox centers and pain management specialists have focused on helping patients withdraw from…

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Are You or is Someone You Love Abusing Prescription Drugs?

Drug abuse is a very serious and dangerous problem. When many people think of drug abuse, they're picturing illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. Another very real form of drug abuse is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse, to be put simply, is taking a prescription medication that is either not prescribed by a doctor or taken in a way other than prescribed. Prescription drug abuse cuts across a wide segment of the population, from Hollywood celebrities to the kids taking pills from the family medicine cabinet. OxyContin is the prescription drug that receives the most press coverage, but many other drugs that are also being abused. It could almost be said that if a drug is available under prescription, someone has tried to abuse it. Most Abused Drugs and Methods of Abuse These are the three main categories of prescription drugs that are routinely abused: Opioid Painkillers – includes oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxymorphone (Opana) Depressants – includes alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) Stimulants – includes amphetamines (Adderall),…

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