Drug Testing Teens at Home

To help combat teenage drug abuse, many parents are turning to do-it-yourself drug tests. Home drug testing kits are now widely available on the Internet and in many pharmacies. These tests typically use urine, hair or saliva to test for a panel of drugs that may include marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and opioids.

There is no question about the importance of stopping teenage drug abuse. Because the body and brain are undergoing critical development during adolescence, drug use can be especially damaging to a teen’s health and emotional well-being.

Studies have shown that the earlier a teenager begins using drugs, the greater the risk of developing drug dependence or addiction. However, there is limited evidence that home drug tests are an effective way to deal with teen drug abuse.

According to a 2008 article in U.S. New & World Report, there …

Continue Reading Drug Testing Teens at Home

Drug Ring Salvages OxyContin and Vicodin Pills from Medical Waste Company

The demand for narcotic prescription drugs is so high that drug dealers will go to almost any length to get their hands on drugs to sell. A San Diego drug ring took this to an extreme by intercepting thousands of pills that were slated to be destroyed and selling them on the black market.

 

Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested John Bonavita and two employees of Enserv West LLC, a medical waste disposal firm. The employees diverted pills that were slated to be destroyed to Bonavita, who sold them to other dealers. As part of a plea agreement, Bonavita admitted to purchasing and reselling 13,000 hydrocodone tablets (a pain medication that’s sold under the brand name Vicodin), 900 oxycodone tablets (another painkiller sold under the name OxyContin), 111 methadone tablets and 350 morphine tablets.

 

The drug…
Continue Reading Drug Ring Salvages OxyContin and Vicodin Pills from Medical Waste Company

Early Marijuana Use Linked to Prescription Drug Abuse

For decades, drug authorities have described marijuana as a gateway drug that can lead to abuse of more serious drugs. Although the theory has often been ridiculed, a new study conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine is lending credence to marijuana’s role in prescription drug abuse.

The study, which has been published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found that teenagers who drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes or marijuana are two to three times more likely to abuse prescription drugs as young adults, with the most-abused drugs being opioid painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet.

According to Dr. Lynn Fiellin, Yale associate professor and lead author of the study, previous studies have focused on the link between marijuana and illicit drugs like cocaine and heroin. This is one of the first studies to examine the connection between …

Continue Reading Early Marijuana Use Linked to Prescription Drug Abuse

Opana Overtaking OxyContin as Most Abused Painkiller

Fort Wayne, Indiana, a medium-sized city of 200,000, has experienced more than a dozen pharmacy robberies since the beginning of 2012. In almost every case, the robbers were after a powerful prescription painkiller named Opana. Less well-known than OxyContin, Opana is the brand name for oxymorphone. Like OxyContin, Opana is an opiate medication that carries a high risk of abuse, dependency and overdose. Unlike OxyContin, Opana is still available in an extended-release formula that appeals to abusers who are seeking a more intense high. According to drug enforcement experts, the rising popularity of Opana can be attributed to a change made to OxyContin that makes pills harder to crush for snorting or dissolve for injecting. Individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs have a tendency to adapt according the drug availability and many are now turning to Opana to feed…
Continue Reading Opana Overtaking OxyContin as Most Abused Painkiller

Texas Launches Online Tool to Fight Drug Abuse

The State of Texas has added a new weapon to its arsenal in the war against prescription drug abuse and doctor shopping. The Texas Department of Public Safety has responded to the growing prescription drug problem by launching an online tool to identify drug abusers and dealers by tracking prescription painkillers like OxyContin and other controlled drugs.

The new tool is an online database called Prescription Access in Texas. Prior to the introduction of the new database, pharmacists sent prescription data to a paper-based system. Getting information out of the old system could take several days or longer. Now more than 100,000 health care professionals and law enforcement officials will be able to find out immediately which medications a Texas patient has received in the past year. In addition to revealing which patients are abusing or dealing drugs, the Prescription …

Continue Reading Texas Launches Online Tool to Fight Drug Abuse

Who Should Pay for Prescription Drug Disposal?

Government drug experts have found that many teenagers and adults who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from people they know with prescriptions or steal them from the medicine cabinets of family and friends. Starting in 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has held a series of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days to encourage Americans to safely dispose of unused and unwanted prescription medications. More than 5600 take-back sites have been established, covering all 50 states. The Take-Back program has removed a total of 775 tons of medication from circulation, avoiding the chances of diversion and abuse.

 

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back program has been so effective that some local jurisdictions have established their own drug drop-off programs. In Alameda County in Northern California, 28 publicly-funded drop locations are available year round for residents to dispose of prescription drugs. Besides…
Continue Reading Who Should Pay for Prescription Drug Disposal?

Doctors Petition for New Prescription Painkiller Rules to Limit Abuse

In an effort to protect the public from prescription drug abuse, a group of 37 doctors and public health officials have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to change the prescription guidelines for opioid painkillers.

They have asked the FDA to change the labeling for drugs like OxyContin and Opana, prohibiting use of the drugs for treatment of moderate pain, adding a maximum daily dosage and specifying that patients should only take them for 90 days if not under treatment for cancer-related pain.

By changing the labels of these prescription drugs, the group hopes to limit promotion of the drugs for non-approved uses by drug makers like Purdue Pharma, Pfizer and Endo Health Solutions. OxyContin and Opana, which are both extended-release painkillers, are marketed by Purdue Pharma and Endo Health for the treatment of moderate pain to severe pain.…
Continue Reading Doctors Petition for New Prescription Painkiller Rules to Limit Abuse

NarxCheck – Prescription Drug Abuse Can Now Be Scored

A recent article on the Sober Living by the Sea Blog offered a glimpse into the future of prescription drug abuse detection and management.

According to the write-up, a physician living in the Dayton Ohio area has created a new type of software that is able to “score” a patient’s risk of becoming abusive with prescription drugs. The physician, Dr. Jim Huizenga, has labeled the new software NarxCheck. This newly devised software, according to the article, will be used in a pilot study designed to look at prescription drug practices.

It appears that the software is able to use information from the electronic health records of the patient to forewarn of the potential for possible prescription drug abuse. The way the system is designed it will actually track the number of prescriptions an individual receives, as well as the …

Continue Reading NarxCheck – Prescription Drug Abuse Can Now Be Scored

Prescription Pads Play a Key Role in Drug Abuse

For decades, the small pads of paper used to write prescriptions have been an iconic part of every doctor’s office. Now these seemingly innocent tablets are assuming a more sinister role. According to drug enforcement officials, stolen and forged prescription pads are at the heart of the current epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  In some recent cases, such as that of Dr. Lisa Barden of Rancho Cucamonga, doctors have stolen prescription pads from other doctors and used them to obtain highly addictive painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. In other cases, pads are printed by counterfeiters. Many law enforcement officials and lawmakers see paper prescriptions as an old fashioned mechanism that encourages fraud. Prescription pads are in high demand on the black market; law enforcement officials report that drug dealers will pay up to $400 for a stolen prescription drug pad.…
Continue Reading Prescription Pads Play a Key Role in Drug Abuse

Study: Prescription Drug Abuse Begins with Pills from Family, Friends

  • Post author:
  • Post category:DEA
  • Reading time:3 min(s) read

More than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription painkillers first obtain the drugs from the family medicine cabinet or are given pills by friends or relatives, according to a new government study released by the DEA. The findings are based on a two-year national survey of approximately 70,000 Americans over the age of 12.

Reliance on family and friends for prescription drugs is most common among occasional abusers (those who abuse drugs less than once a week) and new abusers. When abuse becomes chronic, many turn to doctors, the Internet or drug dealers as a source for prescription drugs. Among chronic abusers, about 40 percent continue to obtain pills from friends and relatives. The pills are either given freely or taken without the owner’s knowledge.

Approximately 7 million American are currently believed to be prescription drug abusers. The Centers …

Continue Reading Study: Prescription Drug Abuse Begins with Pills from Family, Friends