Prescription Drug Overdose Remains a U.S. Epidemic, Painkillers Big Part of the Problem

We've been chronicling how widespread prescription drug abuse has become a problem of epidemic proportions. According to recent numbers released by the CDC, the number of deaths caused by prescription drug overdose serves as shocking evidence of the problem. There are now more deaths annually from overdose of prescription drugs than car accidents. This is the the result of a steep increase in prescription drug abuse that has occurred over the last two decades. These numbers beg the question of what is behind the trend. Why Prescription Drug Abuse is so Pervasive Prescription painkillers are the key players in prescription drug related deaths. Prescription painkillers now rank as third in popularity among teens who abuse, right after alcohol and marijuana. According to the FDA, one out of every seven teenagers reports prescription painkiller abuse for the purposes of getting high over the course of a year. It is possible that part of what is driving this is easy accessibility and a misconception of prescription painkillers. For many, obtaining a…

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How Drug Abuse Increases Risk of HIV/AIDS

Ever since the first outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the early 1980s, the epidemic has been linked with drug abuse and addiction. Since HIV is a blood-borne disease, sharing needles when injecting drugs is known to be a leading cause of infection. Less well known is the fact that drug abuse can lead to risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, another leading cause of HIV is transmission. Drug abuse can affect judgment and lower inhibitions, causing drug abusers to engage in impulsive and risky behaviors including unprotected sex with multiple partners. People who are addicted to drugs may also agree to risky sex in exchange for drugs or money and may be unable to insist on using condom under the circumstances. The CDC estimates that 1.2 million Americans are currently living with HIV. About one in five of these people are unaware that they have the infection and may not be taking precautions against spreading it. Nearly one in four cases of AIDS originates with intravenous drug use. Infected blood…

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Prescription Painkillers Keep Injured Workers Off the Job Longer

Over the past decade, insurance companies that compensate workers who are injured on the job have faced growing payments to workers who were given prescription painkillers for routine injuries. The New York Times reports that insurers spend $1.4 billion per year on payouts for opioid painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Besides paying for prescription painkillers, insurers are making additional disability payments to workers who are delayed or unable to return to work after being treated with strong painkillers. A 2008 study of workman compensation claims in California found that injured workers who took high dosages of prescription painkillers due to simple injuries like back strains stayed out of work three times longer than workers with similar injuries who were prescribed less medication. A 2010 study conducted by insurer Accident Fund Holdings found that workplace injuries cost an insurer nine times as much when OxyContin or other narcotic painkillers are part of the treatment. Between 2001 and 2008, the percentage of painkillers among all drugs prescribed for workers' injuries…

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On the Dangers of Teen OxyNEO Abuse

Teen prescription drug use is a disturbing trend that has drifted beyond the boundaries of parental control and government order. A compelling documentary has been released called "Behind the Orange Curtain," which chronicles the prescription drug abuse of residents of Orange County’s wealthy neighborhoods. The prestigious community has been bombarded with incidences of teenagers overdosingon a variety of prescription pills in pursuit of drug- induced pleasure. One of the most popular preferences for teenage drug abuse is the infamous OxyContin tablet. Medically distributed as a highly potent pain reducer, OxyContin offers an expensive high for thrill seekers and is extremely addictive. One may experience a number of side effects from using the drug, but deadly results can occur when it is consumed with alcohol. This often causes a serious problem for young adults who often combine prescription drugs with liquor at parties. According to recent reports, OxyContin frequently leads individuals to seek harsher drugs, specifically heroin. Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of the drug OxyContin, even redesigned the drug and…

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Prescription for Death – The Transition from Oxy to Heroin

The leading cause of accidental death in the United States is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drugs are responsible for more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Painkillers like OxyNEO which contains oxycodone, are actually derived from the opium poppy. They are just as addictive as their heroin. People that would never dream of doing heroin, are okay with taking a pill - especially one that comes from a doctor. That's one of the reasons so many have become addicted to opioids in the past decade. They seem harmless in the beginning. OxyNEO is meant to be a continuous release drug, and has some very sophisticated ingredients which make it difficult to abuse (by crushing up to snort or inject). OxyNEO's predecessor OxyContin was commonly crushed up to facilitate getting a massive dose of the narcotic painkiller immediately. Crushing up OxyContin would break the binding agent, allowing them to get the full dose of the drug. You could snort it, eat…

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More Info on PDM or Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription medication misuse –accurately called “misuse” or PDM – by adolescents, early adults and mature adults is a mounting issue in California and the country. Prescription medications that are misused or taken for non-medical motives may change brain activity and cause addiction. Of course, OxyNEO is a frequently misused medication but there are many others that fall into the following categories: - opioids (regularly given to relieve discomfort) - central nervous system depressants (regularly given to relieve anxiety and sleep conditions) - stimulants (given to relieve narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity). Continuing usage of opioids may lead to physical need and dependence. Used in excessive quantities, stimulants may lead to habitual usage, paranoia, fatally elevated body fevers, and irregular heartbeat. In 2006, 16.2 million Americans had used a prescription tranquilizer, pain reliever, sedative, or stimulant for non-medical reasons at minimum on one occasion in the year previous to being assessed. And this is a number that has grown exponentially in the ensuing years (we are waiting fornew data). Prescription Drug…

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Prescription Painkiller Abuse on the Rise

The use of prescription drugs is on the rise and according to recent surveys the use of medical painkillers has increased by up to 75 percent from 2002-2010. Two of the most popular drugs are Oxycontin and Vicodin and in 2009, more than 15,500 people overdosed on these types of pills. The trend continues in an upward direction and all signs point to them ruining the lives of countless people. Use and abuse of these prescription painkillers generally starts out as an innocent way. Often, these pills are initially used in order to ease the pain from medical operations and other pain related diseases, including cancer. There is no doubt that painkillers work and can be used effectively with the best of medical intentions. However as with all good intentions, there can be negative results. The Descent into Prescription Drug Addiction When people realize that these painkillers work well at temporarily decreasing physical pain (as well as emotional pain), they may begin to turn to them when the pain…

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OxyNEO News and Updates – The Word on the Street

We're watching the ticker for news about OxyNEO and a few recurring themes are popping up. 1. OxyContin Users are Not Happy With OxyNEO The slow release and apparent stomach irritating formulation of oxycodone known as OxyNEO is apparently not "sitting well" with those who are used to the effects of OxyContin. We've been monitoring forums where users are frequently searching for alternatives to OxyNEO (some alternatives that have been mentioned are OxyIR and Fentanyl). 2. Alternative Drugs are Being Sought out Of course, the black market is where a lot of the opiate trade goes down and apparently in Canada the popularity of Fentanyl is off the charts as OxyNEO (the "tamper proof" replacement for OxyContin) is not a preferred "high." 3. Heroin is Filling the OxyContin Void As always, we expect an increase in heroin use and abuse as it gives the same sensation as oxycodone drugs. Presumably there will also be an increase in fatal and non-fatal heroin overdoses. According to an article in the Brandfort-Brant…

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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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Prescription Drug abuse and the Elderly

Whether or not they were flower children of the 60's or beatniks of the 1950's, a huge number of baby boomers who have achieved their retirement dreams.   However, a growing number of these senior citizens are practicing alcoholics and drug addicts.   Many of them lived through a drug exploration period in the 60’s, but the common addiction now in their senior years is to prescription drugs.   According to the Data Spotlight (January 12, 2012 edition), the number of seniors age 50 or more needing treatment for addiction is expected to double by the year 2020. The Burden Felt By Children Unfortunately, the children of these aging baby boomers may not be aware Mom or Dad have a prescription drug problem.   Most children are aware when their parents have a history (whether it be current or in the past) of alcoholism, but most are blindly unaware that their father or mother are becoming addicted to hydrocodone (the active ingredient in Vicodin).  Often, it is not until the children start to…

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