OxyContin Part of Dramatic Rise in ER Visits

In 2009, more than 1.2 million people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for the non medical use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  This number has more than doubled in recent years, from about 500,000 visits in 2004.  For the first time, the number of emergency room visits for the non-medical use of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs surpassed the number of visits for illicit drug abuse.

The figures were based on a study conduction by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), a government program that monitors ER visits and deaths caused by drugs.  According to DAWN, the prescription drugs that were most often involved in ER visits were:

  • Opioids, which are used to relieve pain and include oxycodone (brand names OxyContin and Roxicodone), hydrocone and methadone.
  • Benzodiazepines, which are used to treat anxiety and insomnia and include the brands
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Analyzing Statisitcs about Addiction to Painkillers

Do The Math About Addiction Rates

Mark Twain once wrote that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Perhaps there’s some truth in the author-humorist’s line because we’ve all heard enough statistics in our lifetimes to make a grown man cry!

It’s often difficult to get to the truth when someone throws a bunch of scholarly-sounding numbers at us, and proving statistical information is a lost cause unless you’re a researcher with nothing else to do.

The following statistics were taken from a web site for “The Waismann Method” and refers to this treatment center’s program of rapid detoxification from prescription painkilling opiate drugs. It cites information gained from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

  • Two million Americans use prescription painkillers each year
  • In some areas of the country, addiction to painkillers has overtaken that
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The Link between Violence and Prescription Drug Abuse

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The Link between Violence and Prescription Drug Abuse

The Orlando Sentinel recently reported on two men who robbed a Tampa CVS pharmacy at gunpoint, beating the manager and escaping with a substantial number of prescription pills.  With the police in pursuit, they crashed the truck they had stolen and then carjacked two different vehicles.  After eluding police, they continued their crime spree for another week, stealing another car at gunpoint and crashing into several cars before being captured by police.  At the time of his arrest, one of the men had over 1,000 prescription pills in his backpack.  Florida police cite this case as another example of how the desire for prescription drugs is linked to violent crime.

According to Phil Williams, director of Tampa’s Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI), prescription drug addicts and dealers “…are so desperate for this …

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Facts about Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

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Teenage abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise.  According to the Drug Use and Health 2006 national survey, prescription abuse is more common than all illegal drugs combined (excluding marijuana).  These highly addictive drugs have teens under the impression that they are safer than illicit drugs, which makes them that much more appealing.

“Nationally, 3.2 million teens, or one in five, admit to abusing prescription medication at least once.  Without teen education, these numbers are expected to increase.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse has designated November 8-14 as National Drug Facts Week; a health observance week for teens.”

A lot of teens think that because these drugs come from a doctor that they are safer than drugs that come off the streets, however that is not true.  Here are some myths and facts about prescription drug abuse…


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St. Thomas Overrun by OxyContin

Hillbilly Heroin, kicker, oxy…call it what you want, it’s all the same.  Local police have become alarmed for these small yellow/white pills that are becoming a big problem.

It’s a narcotic painkiller called OxyContin and it is highly addictive.  It’s also called Percocet, Oxycocet, and Percodan when mixed with other things such as aspirin.  These oxycodone-based drugs are for moderate to sever pain.  However the treatment has side effects of euphoria, or an intense feeling of pleasure, which makes the drug so appealing and addictive.

Health Canada states, “With the purest form of the drug, OxyContin, pills are time-released when taken normally, but when chewed, inhaled through the nose or injected, the effects become stronger.”  So strong, that it’s hard not to get addicted to the feeling of stimulation.  People become reliant on that feeling and continue to abuse the …

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Antiopes – “Quit Oxy Without Withdrawal Symptoms”

Today we read the Press Release on SFGate by the makers of Antiopes.  We would definitely love to see a drug emerge that could help you “Quit Painkiller Addiction with no Withdrawal Symptoms” (actual quote) but we have our doubts.

Antiopes is a medicine that seems to be mainly OTC herbs that will supposedly reduce discomfort during the detoxification period.  We are not sure what to make of such “pie in the sky” claims, and will defer to the community of recovering opiate addicts to weigh in on Antiopes and how it served them.

One thing that is for sure, considering the amount of pain and suffering that is being caused by opiate addiction today, it would certainly seem to open the door for some unscrupulous businessmen to profit off of the pain of others by promising “a pain free …

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U.S. Drug Use Fuels Mexican Drug Wars

In addition to an rise in OxyContin overdoses, heroin overdoses, drug crime, and shattered lives, opiate dependence in the United States has also fueled the stakes for narco-criminals in Mexico.  There are some staggering tales of cruelty and murder related to the drug ward.

U.S. Drug Use Fuels Mexican Drug Wars

The drug war that has gripped Mexico for the past several years erupted again this week and left 13 men dead at a drug rehabilitation center near Tijuana.  Masked gunmen armed with semiautomatic weapons broke into the El Camino a la Recuperacion Center, ordered residents onto the ground, and then began shooting.  Mexican officials have not made any arrests, but all signs indicate a link to the ongoing bloody violence between warring drug cartels.

Because of the high number of violent crimes that have taken place in northern Mexico …

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A Look at Emerging Technologies in Opiate Addiction Treatment

Effective treatment for opiate addiction requires more than just a cessation of the drugs’ intake.

However, as insidious as OxyContin (and other opioids like heroin) have become, we need to take advantage of every scientific and medical development we possibly can to give men and women the best chance at recovery.

Enter Vivitrol shots and Probuphine (Suboxone) implants.

As an improvement over the tried and true (and outdated) methadone maintenance program, Vivitrol and Suboxone allow for the curbing of cravings and even (in Vivitrol’s case) prevent the euphoria of taking opiates like OxyContin.

Obviously, the main downfall to such medications are that since they have traditionally been prescribed as tablets that are taken daily, for someone to miss a dose (accidentally or otherwise) opens up the risk for a relapse on an opioid that could be life threatening.

The Vivitrol …

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Poignant Story from Poway, California

This is a tough one to read.  In an article in the Poway Patch, a story of a brave survivor of an overdose is told.

Aaron Rubin survived an OxyContin overdose and still goes back to Poway High to speak with the students about the dangers of experimenting with drugs.

The thing is, that Aaron is confined to home care as he cannot walk or talk.

Poway High (like any high school) is no stranger to the dangers of drug abuse.  Days before school started, a sophomore died from a drug overdose, and in 2007 another grad died from an OxyContin overdose.

The article goes on to cite statistics the likes of which we often show here.  They highlight the deadly growth of prescription drug use by teens and how parents often contribute to the problem by not confronting their …

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Mothers Fighting Together Against OxyContin

We are impressed with a recent article we read inthe Outer Banks Sentinel about mothers who have teamed up to fight against the rampant OxyContin abuse that is occurring in the Northeast.

The group in Dare County has been spurred on by the fatal and near fatal overdoses experienced by their loved ones and family members.

The story of Ward Blanchard is recounted and is a typical one.  “He never drank or did a drug until he was 25 years old.” His mother said.  An autoimmune disease exposed him to OxyContin and other opiates and he went down the all too familiar road of opiate addiction.

If you live in the area, Get involved with the Dare Coalition Against Substance Abuse.

Other Good Articles Relating to OxyContin:

  • The American Double Sacrifice follows the story of a corporal who became addicted
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