Is the Opioid Crisis Worse Than We Thought?

New research on the opioid crisis published by Addiction journal shows that the opioid epidemic’s numbers are as much as shows that overdose deaths might be as much as 28% higher than previously reported. A significant number of deaths may have been left out of reporting for several years. Where Are The Unreported Deaths? In Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Indiana, the actual final numbers of deaths may have been previously underreported by as much as 50%. Nearly 72% of “unclassified drug overdoses” that occurred between 1999-2016 involved prescription opioids, heroin, or fentanyl. However, due to the victims having other drugs in their systems, they are marked as “unclassified”, even if it’s most likely that the opioids killed that person. For example, a person with Oxycontin and marijuana in their system might have their death left unclassified, even if it’s very unlikely that marijuana killed them. All in all, the number of unclassified deaths during the opioid crisis was estimated at 99,160. These deaths remain unclassified due to swamped coroner’s…

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Opioid Victims, Families Can Begin Suing Purdue Pharma

A federal judge has decided that victims of the opioid epidemic have the right to sue Purdue Pharma for damages, but all claims must be filed by June 30, 2020. This is when the company will begin its bankruptcy proceedings. Purdue has also reached a settlement with a portion of some states and local governments. Although the settlement amount has not been disclosed, it’s been reported that it could be worth more than $10 billion. The presiding Judge, Robert Drain, says it’s important to note that an official amount for settlement has not yet been reached. What is Purdue Settling For? Purdue Pharma has faced hundreds of lawsuits accusing them of creating the opioid epidemic that has killed tens of thousands of Americans in the past several years. They are accused of using coercive marketing tactics with doctors, even though they knew there were addictive properties in their opioids like Oxycontin. They often would encourage doctors to “titrate up” patients, even though the level of pain medication prescribed to…

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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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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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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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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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Drug Summit Focuses on Unabusable Prescription Pills

Many of the nation's leaders met last week in Orlando to strategize on new ways to combat the nation's prescription drug epidemic. At the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit, government agencies and health care providers discussed strategies to curtail drug abuse and addiction. Part of the focus of the summit was on how scientists can reformulate the most abuse drugs to render them "unabusable." Keynote speaker Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, called on pharmaceutical companies to continue to work on ways to deter drug abusers from tampering with prescription pills. The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit was organized by Operation UNITE, a Kentucky anti-drug group. Conference organizers hope to foster more cooperation between various agencies that are dealing with the nation's prescription drug epidemic. Conference topics include education, prevention, treatment and law enforcement. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has described Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee "ground zero" for the America's prescription drug problem. Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has…

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