Tag Archives: Oxycontin

Will New Form of OxyContin Really Reduce Abuse?

opiate pain pillsThere’s a new painkiller that’s just been approved by our Food and Drug Administration. It’s called Targiniq ER – ER means Extended Release. It breaks down slowly in your body and provides lengthy pain relief. Targiniq is a new form of OxyContin and is made by Purdue Pharma, the same company that has always made OxyContin.

What makes this pill different is that is contains another ingredient, naloxone. Naloxone blocks the effects of the opiate, making it non-euphoric if it is abused. This is the same substance that has started being distributed to first responders, like police, so they can bring back a heroin or painkiller user from an overdose.

The naloxone only kicks in if the pill is crushed to be snorted or injected. If a person takes the drug by mouth, it won’t have any effect.

The idea here, according to one of the FDA staff:

“The development of opioids that are harder to abuse is needed in order to help address the public health crisis of prescription drug abuse in the U.S.”

The implication is clear: This tamper-preventive formula will help reduce prescription drug abuse.

Or will it? The FDA even admits the shortcoming in a www.drugfree.org article:

“Targiniq ER can still be abused, including when taken orally (by mouth), which is currently the most common way oxycodone is abused.” Targiniq is expected to “deter, but not totally prevent” abuse.

This new formulation may help prevent some abuse. But it definitely fails to get to the heart of the real problems that need to be addressed:

• Faulty prescribing methods
• Doctors not knowing how to spot addiction
• Doctors not knowing how to help a patient that is seeking drugs or one that has become dependent on their medications.

Dr. Andrew Kolody of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing was also quoted in this article on the www.drugfree.org website:

Dr. Andrew Kolodny… told the newspaper he is concerned that doctors who believe Targiniq is safe may be more likely to prescribe it than to look for alternatives. “If we really want to turn this epidemic around, the most important thing is to stop creating new cases of addiction,” he said. “Coming up with new gimmicks isn’t going to help.” (My emphasis.)

Many (not all) people will respond to other methods of pain control or relief than just prescribing opiates. There is a groundswell just starting to be felt that these other methods should be tried before settling into a painkiller routine. Perhaps an investment in non-opiate painkillers will pay off with a non-addictive solution.

Putting a patient on Targiniq has the potential to make a patient just as addicted as putting him on Vicodin or OxyContin. And he (or she) can still find heroin in any corner of the US if the pills run out.

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/new-painkiller-combines-oxycodone-naloxone-approved-fda/#.U9E7Z7FUOLU.facebook

Prescription Drug Abuse…A Spreading American Addiction

Prescription Drug Addiction Help

Ever since physicians have been able to prescribe narcotic painkillers, some Americans have taken more than is safe and have found themselves physically and emotionally addicted to these drugs.

Americans have a history to abuse opiate painkillers when they have not been legally regulated. This problem led to the enactment of the Harrison Narcotic Act, which required that a licensed healthcare provider provide a prescription for opiate medications sold to the public.

This act fell short of curbing opiate abuse since pharmacists were still selling “over-the-counter” remedies for everything from cough syrups to tonics that helped the “woman of the house” get through her busy day.

It wasn’t until our society felt the pressure from the abolitionist movement in the 1920s and 30s that stronger restrictions were placed on the public’s access to the addictive drugs. This social pressure fell short of curtailing American’s ability to find means to legally procure these narcotics leading to more evidence that stronger regulations were needed to help control the widespread abuse and addiction to opiate medications.

At the pressure of prohibitionist, Congress passed the Narcotic Control Act in 1956, which heightened the levels of control of these substances, but statistics show that this led to more illicit sale of the same drugs. Americans have been determined to procure and abuse opiate medications no matter the level of control over these dangerous drugs.

Since there is a medical necessity for opiate painkillers, physicians have been left with the responsibility of deciding to whom these drugs should ethically be prescribed and which patients can be treated with non-addictive painkillers. Leaving this choice to individual physicians hasn’t been successful ensuring that only those with documented medical need are allowed access to these drugs. Since the decision as which patients actually need this level of pain medication is mostly a subjective determination on the part of private physicians, there continues to be many Americans becoming addicted to these drugs who should never have had access to this level of pain management.

As long as the public desires these drugs, there will be doctors that will profit on liberal prescribing of medications that ultimately cause more harm than good. This problem has reached epidemic levels of abuse across the U.S.

Teenage Prescription Drug Abuse

Opiate painkillers are not the only prescription drug of abuse in America today. A number of national studies show that besides pain relievers, there is prescription abuse of tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives. Prescription drug abuse among teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 has become the second most abused illegal drug behind marijuana. (In fact, a study in 2006 found that for the first time, there are as many new teenage abusers of prescription drugs as there are for marijuana.)

In interviews with these teenagers, it was found that our prevention messages are not hindering their desire to seek out these medications. Many hold the belief that abusing prescription medications is medically safer than other illicit drugs. It has also be recognized that it is easier for teenagers to get prescription drugs since, many times they have easy access to these drugs from their parent’s or relative’s medicine cabinets.

In contradiction to illicit drugs, it is found that girls are more likely to intentionally abuse prescription drugs to high, with OxyContin and Vicodin being the most commonly abuse prescription drugs by teenagers.

Studies show that today, prescription drugs account for the second most commonly abused category of drugs, again behind marijuana, but above cocaine, heroin, meth, and other drugs. In 2000, which is the most recent year that these statistics have been analyzed, around nine million Americans above the age of 12 reported that they have used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes.

To counteract this prevalence of abuse, which leads to addiction, crimes and death, Federal and State governments have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs. Fifteen states currently operate prescription drugs monitoring programs as a means to control the illegal diversion of prescription drugs.

Certainly government and law enforcement have a vital role in limiting the illicit diversion of these drugs, but as long as opiates, like OxyContin, that sell for $4 a pill legally can bring $40 to 50 dollars on the streets, there will always be more diversion than we can afford to monitor and control.

Prescription drug abuse is not only a legal issue, but is more predominately a public health problem. OxyContin, which is the number one drug of diversion and represents countless dollars lost from the effects of addiction and the consequential rehabilitation that comes from these types of addictive opiates. Since this drug was first produced in 1995 by Purdue Pharma, it has been implicated in many times more U.S. deaths than caused by 9/11 and the Iraq War combined.

OxyContin is chemically similar and nearly identical to the molecular makeup of heroin and is the choice of many heroin addicts over their street drug choice of heroin. This evidence doesn’t seem to influence the FDA since they continue to document that OxyContin has a low addiction potential.

Misleading the Public About Addictive Drugs

However, in 2007, three top executives at Purdue Pharma pled guilty in relation to misleading the public about addictive qualities and the drug’s safety and paid fines of $634 million. In light of these findings, the power and greed of corporate America has kept Purdue Pharma from having any other restrictions on the manufacture and sale of this drug. OxyContin is a “virus” that has led to an epidemic of addiction in our country. Many physicians have documented that there are many less addictive and less euphoria analgesics that can easily replace this drug. Since the government won’t take the initiative to ban this legal heroin, healthcare providers and the public have started a petition to ban OxyContin. There are many petitions requesting that this drug is banned, including one by physicians stating that it interferes with good medical practice, yet there haven’t been any actions to comply with common public health sense.

Prescription Drug Rehab

Since prescription drugs are now being manufactured to compete with heroin and other street drugs, it is obvious that the public will continue to suffer from this form of drug abuse. Our country needs to follow the pubic health advice of some of our European friends that put strong restrictions on the types and amounts of addictive drugs that can be prescribed. Denmark doesn’t offer its pubic the numerous types of opiate pain killers, but only allows for buprenorphine, which is mildly addictive and for extreme cases, morphine, which is also less addictive than OxyContin and many of the America’s other popular legal drugs.

Prescription Drug Abuse Message

We need to continue and enhance our prescription drug abuse messages and take the personal responsibility to make our voices heard through petitions and contact with our elected representatives that we can no longer afford to allow our neighbors and their children to have easy access to these dangerous drugs.

Call Narconon International and speak to a rehab counselor today.

Are Teens Abusing Prescription Drugs While Parents Remain Unaware?

Two Million Children Using Prescription Drugs

In reports from multiple sources, the picture is being drawn of increasing teen prescription drug use. One such report comes from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse and Columbia University( CASA). In their annual study published in 2011, CASA findings stated that more than two million student-aged children were abusing prescription drugs.

Is it possible that there are two million households where the parents are unaware of their teen’s prescription drug use? Interviews with those who started abusing prescription drugs as teens show that in many cases, the teen prescription drug use went on for quite some time before the parents were alerted. After all, prescription drug abuse is not as obvious as alcohol abuse. There’s no smell of OxyContin or Xanax on a young person’s breath after use.

Obtaining Prescription Drugs

Manipulation, deception and drug use seem to go hand in hand. After a person reaches the stage of true addiction to the drugs being abused, this is even more true as that person feels that his ability to cope with life and avoid agonizing withdrawals depends on avoiding detection. Even at a young age, people get very clever at explaining away mistakes, accidents and problems in life that are actually the result of substance abuse.

Like John B. from Boston, for example. He flunked out college due to his drug use but told his parents he was still going to school. He was dropped off in the morning at the community college and then walked home to hide out for the rest of the day. And Ryan T. from Atlanta. His parents didn’t realize that he was using marijuana, alcohol and cocaine in his high school years until his grades finally crashed and he lost a scholarship everyone had been counting on.

What Drugs are Teens Relying on?

The prescription drugs commonly being abused by teens include:

  • Opioid pain relieves like OxyContin, Lortab, Vicodin, Opana and others
  • Central nervous system depressants like Xanax and Valium
  • Stimulants often used to treat people diagnosed with ADHD, such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall
  • Over-the-counter drugs, including cough medications with dextromethorphan (DXM)

Obtaining Prescription Drugs

Teens obtain these drugs by stealing them from their own family’s or other people’s medicine chests, trading out their own prescriptions or getting them from the internet. They can also be purchased from drug dealers who traffic in illicit drugs. In the last few years, state governments have been closing one loophole after another to prevent the illicit distribution of prescription drugs but the statistics on teen prescription drug abuse are still rising.

Drug addiction treatment statistics for the US show that more than 150,000 young people find their way to rehab each year to recover from teen prescription drug use that turns into addiction. Nationally, only about one person in ten (of any age) who needs drug rehabilitation finds it. If the same proportion held true for teens, it would indicate that there were more than a million and a half teens who need help in the US alone.

Competition, Particularly in College, Drives Many Young People to Start Abusing Prescription Drugs

The drive to achieve in school is what causes some people to start abusing stimulant type drugs. Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta, prescribed for ADHD, are often abused by students who want to cram for a test or stay up all night to complete an assignment. Or they may want to abuse these drugs so they can stay up and party when they are already tired.

College Drug Use and Trafficking

On college campuses, students of all ages traffic these addictive stimulants to each other. Those who have legitimate prescriptions for the drugs are often pressured to provide them to others. Some other students learn how to manipulate the student health services to get their own pills.

Using Non-Prescribed Prescription Drugs

What is particularly dangerous is the number of teens in high school who do not feel that it is particularly dangerous to abuse prescription drugs. Out of about 13 million students, more than a million thought that using a prescription drug that was not prescribed for one was either not dangerous at all or was minimally dangerous.

Narconon Drug Solution

When students hit the more competitive atmosphere of college, the stress can be too much to bear, and prescription drug abuse may become a regular event. When one’s career is at risk in this way, the answer is the Narconon drug rehab program.

The Narconon drug rehab program is long-term, residential and holistic. Holistic means that it addresses the whole person and the problems that may have led him or her to drug use and addiction. Without eliminating the underlying reasons, those same stresses may lead the person back into substance abuse again in the future. At centers like Narconon Vista Bay in Northern California, those who have become addicted can recover in beautiful surroundings, helped by supportive staff who understand both the problem and the solution.

Trapped in Drug Addiction

When someone you care about has become trapped in addiction, contact Narconon to get all the details on how this program can bring them back to a sober, healthy life again. Call the international offices of Narconon at 800-775-8750.


Resources:

http://www.casacolumbia.org/upload/2011/20110629adolescentsubstanceuse.pdf

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/drugs/rise-in-prescription-stimulant-abuse-concerns-college-administrators

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/31/education/edlife/jacobs31.html?scp=1&sq=adderall%20advantage&st=cse

John’s Heroin Addiction Recovery

First Came Alcohol

First Drug Experience
John’s first experience with any intoxicating drug was stealing bottles of whiskey and other hard liquor from his grandparents’ basement. He shared his haul with his buddies and tried some whiskey himself. He was thirteen. All that happened was that he got a headache and felt lousy and resolved never to drink whiskey again.

Then Came LSD, Opium and Hashish

He steered clear of more alcohol or drugs until he was 16. By that time, he was going to parties with friends and getting drunk on beers from time to time. But he was against drug use despite the fact that his friends were smoking marijuana. A few years later, on the Fourth of July, friends of his brought LSD, opium and hashish to the party and he got his first taste of these drugs. That was the end of any hesitation about using drugs or alcohol.

Then the Beginning of Drug Addiction

He took his new taste for drugs back to college with him. He was drinking and smoking marijuana while he was back in school and managed to still maintain good grades. But then he changed schools, moving to a university in Florida. At this new school, drugs became an everyday habit for him. That was the beginning of his addiction.

Ecstasy and LSD Use

He said, “It got pretty bad. It was Ecstasy and LSD every day, every single day.” He went to parties or concerts with his friends every day or raves on the weekend. He still managed to go to school and his job for the most part.

Cocaine and OxyContin added to the Mix

His junior year, he finally withdrew from school and got a job delivering food, followed by construction or waiter jobs. He settled down to just using marijuana or drinking, and then added cocaine to the mix. This was followed by exposure to Oxycontin. His first use was snorting. He liked the way it made him feel.

Then Came Heroin and Pain Pills

Again, he tried to get away from the drugs by moving out of the area. It worked for a little while but the drugs wouldn’t let him alone. Pretty soon he was on heroin and pain pills.

Short-Term Rehab

Heroin Overdose
Somehow in the midst of all this, he managed to get his college degree but messed up an opportunity for an internship and career. A short-term rehab helped him stay sober for several months until he went to Spring Break and had a beer. Before he knew what happened, he had drunk a dozen beers and that was the end of that sober streak. This pattern continued with heroin and OxyContin abuse and repeated rehabs. The rehabs prescribed Suboxone and buprenorphine along with other drugs they said were needed for personality disorders, but the cravings never let up. He stayed clean only as long as he was in the facility.

Heroin Relapse

When he passed out in his car in a gas station after picking up a batch of heroin, it was pretty obvious that something was seriously wrong. While he was unaware of the severity of his problem, his parents knew that he needed a different kind of rehab that would break the grip of addiction for good. They found the Narconon drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. John chatted with the intake people at Narconon but continued to use opiates.

Realization

When his friend’s girlfriend had to be rushed to the hospital from a heroin overdose, he began to realize that someone could die from the heroin abuse, and that it might be him. Soon after, he decided to commit to the Narconon program and get clean.

Free from Drugs

It was not a short process after such a long history of drug abuse. But each of the individual steps of the program added up to the realization that he could live his life free from drugs for the first time in a very long time.

Narconon Drug Rehab Completion

Narconon Recovery
Once he had that realization, he never looked back. He went through the Narconon heroin detox program and completed the rest of the Narconon program. He built a positive life free from drugs and now helps others recover from addiction to heroin, Oxycontin, alcohol or other kinds of drug abuse.

If you would like to find out how Narconon helped John and others recover from heroin and opiate abuse, keep reading here: http://www.narconon.org/drug-rehab/heroin-detox.html