Oxycodone and Hydrocodone: Use, Abuse and Treatment.

Oxycodone and hydrocodone, two similar sounding generic prescription drugs, are narcotic pain medications that are being abused at epidemic levels in the United States and Canada. Oxycodone, which is sold under the brand name OxyContin and used in Percocet and Percodan, is a powerful analgesic designed specifically for severe pain disorders. It has highly addictive properties. Hydrocodone, which is an ingredient in Vicodin, is another painkiller that is frequently prescribed for moderate to severe pain for everything from toothaches to backaches. Both medications are subject to abuse and may cause fatal overdose when mixed with alcohol, other drugs or when taken in amounts exceeding recommended dosages. OxyContin is a time-released formula of oxycodone that was introduced in 1995 as a Schedule II drug. It is a synthetic opioid that is very similar to morphine. OxyContin gained national attention in 2003 when conservative radio talk host Rush Limbaugh admitted that he was addicted to it. Since then, detox centers and pain management specialists have focused on helping patients withdraw from…

Continue Reading

Are You or is Someone You Love Abusing Prescription Drugs?

Drug abuse is a very serious and dangerous problem. When many people think of drug abuse, they're picturing illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. Another very real form of drug abuse is prescription drug abuse. Prescription drug abuse, to be put simply, is taking a prescription medication that is either not prescribed by a doctor or taken in a way other than prescribed. Prescription drug abuse cuts across a wide segment of the population, from Hollywood celebrities to the kids taking pills from the family medicine cabinet. OxyContin is the prescription drug that receives the most press coverage, but many other drugs that are also being abused. It could almost be said that if a drug is available under prescription, someone has tried to abuse it. Most Abused Drugs and Methods of Abuse These are the three main categories of prescription drugs that are routinely abused: Opioid Painkillers – includes oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxymorphone (Opana) Depressants – includes alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) Stimulants – includes amphetamines (Adderall),…

Continue Reading

Slight Drop in Prescription Drug Abuse among Young Adults

Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. has dropped to the lowest level since 2002, reflecting a crackdown on over-prescribing doctors and black market drug dealers. Prescription drugs are no longer being abused quite as prominently as they once were, especially by young adults. In fact, the abuse of prescription drugs dropped to the lowest level since 2002 . Experts are crediting the drop in drug abuse to crackdowns at federal and state levels on doctors who offer prescriptions for profit and on patients who have obtained drugs by visiting pill mills and doctor shopping. Young adults, who were among the largest group of abusers of prescription drugs, have also showed the greatest drop in abuse. The number of young adults, defined as those between the ages of 18 to 25, who regularly abused prescription drugs went from 1.9 million to 1.7 million, roughly a 14 percent drop. Only 3.6 percent of those abused pain relievers, such as Percocet, or Vicodin. In 2010, 7 million people used pain killers, tranquilizers,…

Continue Reading

New Mexico Drug Problems

Recently in New Mexico the battle against drug related deaths has become more difficult than ever. New Mexico has the highest drug overdose death rate in the entire nation. This high death rate may be partially due to the fact that the state’s funds and attention have been focused on prevention of other substances of abuse. Alcoholism and heroin addiction have haunted the state for years, but the drug of choice by addicted individuals has recently switched to prescription drugs. Awareness activism and law enforcement have lagged behind this trend. In a span just short of 10 years the drug overdose rate has jumped 60% in New Mexico, with the majority being prescription drug related. Prescription drug overdose rates now outnumber that of all other This epidemic in New Mexico is especially worrisome due to the fact that it doesn't affect one small facet of the population. Prescription drug abuse spans socio-economic, race, gender, and age barriers. There seems to be no end in sight. Not only do many…

Continue Reading