Is OxyContin Still King?

There are growing signs around the country that the abuse of OxyContin is diminishing. The drug is being bypassed during pharmacy robberies in favor of Opana, methadone and other narcotic drugs, and some hospital emergency rooms are reporting a decrease in OxyContin overdoses.

According to Forbes, the Journal of Pain and other publications, the introduction of a new tamper-resistant form of OxyContin in 2010 seems to be responsible for a decrease in abuse of the drug. Drug addicts previously crushed OxyContin pills to circumvent the drugs time-release mechanism and experience the full impact of the drug in one rush. Instead of allowing drug abusers to crush the pill for snorting or injection, the new OxyContin turns into a gummy mush when tampered with.

Unfortunately, the reformulation of OxyContin does not appear to be leading to an overall drop in drug

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Chinese Surgeons Treat Opiate Addiction by Removing Brain’s Pleasure Center

Doctors in China are experimenting with an extreme treatment for addiction. The experimental procedure consists of destroying portions of the brain’s pleasure center in an attempt to stop cravings for opiate drugs like heroin. Possible side effects including permanently disabling an addict’s ability to experience the entire range of human emotions, including the capacity to feel joy.

Attempts to Ban Controversial Procedure

The controversial procedure was banned by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004, due in part to pressure from Western media related to ethical concerns. There are also suspicions that researchers have not been truthful about results of the procedure and have exaggerated the benefits in order to be published in leading medical journals. The Ministry of Health’s decision was also reported to be based on the lack of long term data about effects of the procedure.…

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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 …

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How the Internet Fuels Prescription Drug Abuse

In the past decade, anyone with an e-mail account has most likely received spam e-mail that advertises the sale of prescription drugs.  Millions of these e-mails are sent out each year from pharmacies that are typically located outside of the United States.  These rogue pharmacies are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws and freely dispense potentially dangerous drugs like Percocet and Oxycontin that normally require a doctor’s prescription.

A recently completed 7-year study conducted by the University of Southern California and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has revealed a correlation between Internet access and prescription drug abuse.  States with the highest growth in high speed internet access also saw the greatest increase in treatment admissions for prescription drug abuse.

According to Dana Goldman, a public health expert at the University of Southern California, the findings suggest that widespread use of …

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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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Treatment Admissions for Painkillers is Up 400%

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Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment for Prescription Painkillers Increases 400%

An increase in the misuse of prescription painkillers has led to a dramatic increase in the number of admissions for substance abuse treatment due to abuse of the drugs.

The proportion of all substance abuse treatment admissions involving abuse of prescription painkillers increased by more than 400 percent between 1998 and 2008, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Admissions to a substance abuse treatment facility increased from 2.2 percent in 1998 to 9.8 percent in 2008, according to SAMHSA. Increases in admissions associated with abuse of painkillers were found among all segments of the population, regardless of gender, age, race, educational level and employment status. The study determined the following about admissions due to prescription painkiller abuse:

  • Men: The proportion of admissions to treatment
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