Prescription Drug Overdose Remains a U.S. Epidemic, Painkillers Big Part of the Problem

We've been chronicling how widespread prescription drug abuse has become a problem of epidemic proportions. According to recent numbers released by the CDC, the number of deaths caused by prescription drug overdose serves as shocking evidence of the problem. There are now more deaths annually from overdose of prescription drugs than car accidents. This is the the result of a steep increase in prescription drug abuse that has occurred over the last two decades. These numbers beg the question of what is behind the trend. Why Prescription Drug Abuse is so Pervasive Prescription painkillers are the key players in prescription drug related deaths. Prescription painkillers now rank as third in popularity among teens who abuse, right after alcohol and marijuana. According to the FDA, one out of every seven teenagers reports prescription painkiller abuse for the purposes of getting high over the course of a year. It is possible that part of what is driving this is easy accessibility and a misconception of prescription painkillers. For many, obtaining a…

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Prescription Painkillers Keep Injured Workers Off the Job Longer

Over the past decade, insurance companies that compensate workers who are injured on the job have faced growing payments to workers who were given prescription painkillers for routine injuries. The New York Times reports that insurers spend $1.4 billion per year on payouts for opioid painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Besides paying for prescription painkillers, insurers are making additional disability payments to workers who are delayed or unable to return to work after being treated with strong painkillers. A 2008 study of workman compensation claims in California found that injured workers who took high dosages of prescription painkillers due to simple injuries like back strains stayed out of work three times longer than workers with similar injuries who were prescribed less medication. A 2010 study conducted by insurer Accident Fund Holdings found that workplace injuries cost an insurer nine times as much when OxyContin or other narcotic painkillers are part of the treatment. Between 2001 and 2008, the percentage of painkillers among all drugs prescribed for workers' injuries…

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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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More Info on PDM or Prescription Drug Misuse

Prescription medication misuse –accurately called “misuse” or PDM – by adolescents, early adults and mature adults is a mounting issue in California and the country. Prescription medications that are misused or taken for non-medical motives may change brain activity and cause addiction. Of course, OxyNEO is a frequently misused medication but there are many others that fall into the following categories: - opioids (regularly given to relieve discomfort) - central nervous system depressants (regularly given to relieve anxiety and sleep conditions) - stimulants (given to relieve narcolepsy, ADHD, and obesity). Continuing usage of opioids may lead to physical need and dependence. Used in excessive quantities, stimulants may lead to habitual usage, paranoia, fatally elevated body fevers, and irregular heartbeat. In 2006, 16.2 million Americans had used a prescription tranquilizer, pain reliever, sedative, or stimulant for non-medical reasons at minimum on one occasion in the year previous to being assessed. And this is a number that has grown exponentially in the ensuing years (we are waiting fornew data). Prescription Drug…

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