ER Doctors Pressured to Provide Opiates for Toothaches

The New York Times recently reported on an emergency room doctor in South Carolina who is wary of patients who complain of toothaches. Dr. Bruce Lobitz fears that the majority of these patients are using tooth pain as an excuse to get prescriptions for opiate painkillers like OxyContin, OxyNEO, or Vicodin. His fears are well founded – almost all the dental patients he sees request a painkiller prescription to "tide them over" until they can get to a dentist. Some of the even go so far as to claim they are allergic to all drugs except Vicodin. In these cases it is hard to deny a vicodin addiction is at the root of the issue. It's common for people who are without medical insurance to visit the ER when facing a health crisis. In many states, adult dental benefits available under Medicaid have been cut back or eliminated altogether. For these patients, the ER may be the only recourse for tooth pain. Unfortunately, ER doctors have no way of…

Continue Reading

New Drugs Same Old Problem – OxyNEO Zohydro Oxecta Etc

There is a lot of controversy brewing about the new drugs that are coming to market. "Tamper Proof" OxyContin An example is "harder to abuse" drugs: like OxyNEO. The question is, how "hard to abuse" are they? There are critics who point out that the drug's manufacturer Purdue Pharma doesn't make that claim in official documents. Additionally “The terms ‘tamper-proof’ and ‘break-proof’ are not claims which have been approved by Health Canada,” admits Randy Steffan who is vice president of corporate affairs at Purdue Pharma. Pfizer has joined the "profit (off of addictive drugs) party" with its Oxecta drug, which is made from the highly addictive ingredient in OxyContin called oxycodone. It is purported to be difficult to "Pure" Hydrocodone (or Vicodin) In a move that baffles the sense of corporate responsibility, there are multiple drug manufacturers planning to release a form of Vicodin that is made up of pure hydrocodone (the addictive painkiller ingredient in Vicodin). Zohydro is one name for the drug, and there are multiple entities…

Continue Reading

Washington State Tightens Doctor Access to Prescription Painkillers

Lawmakers in the state of Washington are using aggressive measures to stem the tide of prescription drug abuse. A new regulation requires doctors to refer patients who are taking high levels of prescription painkillers to a pain specialist if their condition shows no signs of improvement. The painkillers that the regulation pertains to include hydrocodone, methadone, fentanyl and oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin). All of these drugs, which are classified as opioids, are subject to abuse, dependence and addiction. Opioid painkillers are currently the most widely prescribed category of drugs in the U.S. Over the past decade, doctors have increase the number of prescriptions for these drugs by more than 400% despite limited evidence of their effectiveness in treating chronic pain versus the risk of dependence and overdose. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged doctors to lower the levels of opioids being prescribed. Over-prescription has led to the drugs being easy to obtain on the street and contributed to the rising epidemic of opioid addiction…

Continue Reading

Trends in Opiate Addiction Treatment

In the past decade opiate addiction has skyrocketed across the United States, with little progress in deterrence, in spite of stepped-up efforts in law enforcement. The rampant abuse of opiate based drugs (like OxyContin, Opana, Vicodin etc) is largely to blame as many young people who experiment with these drugs find themselves hooked and seeking much cheaper (and easier to acquire) heroin to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Upscale communities coast to coast have been shaken by the rash of heroin abuse in social groups of every economic status. In particular, Orange County, California, has had its share of drug offenders, but it was mostly believed that heroin (and other "hard" drugs) would never be a real problem there, at least in comparison to the epidemic facing it's neighboring Los Angeles. According to a sheriff's deputy from Orange County, a high school freshman was caught in late 2011 with dozens of heroin-packed balloons, ready for distribution. One of the difficulties in tracking just how big of a problem of heroin…

Continue Reading

OxyContin – The Epidemic Continues

“Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels, with more than 7 million people using prescription drugs for non-medical reasons every month,”this is the statement of Timothy J. Landrum, special agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration. Why has this become such a problem? The poster child for this phenomenon is OxyContin.  OxyContin is a medication  prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe (and chronic pain), but pharmacologically shockingly similar to heroin. It is no wonder it's so appealing to drug abusers, especially since can be obtained by prescription and can be covered by insurance. Authorities are becoming increasingly alarmed by the huge number of people abusing and getting addicted to prescription drugs. In just the first week of October, ten people, including two doctors, were arrested in a Los Angeles OxyContin case. “[They were] drug dealers who were abusing their authority in the medical community to profit from those vulnerable to these drugs,” Timothy J. Landrum said. But this case is an indicator of the lengths people will…

Continue Reading

Canada Takes Desperate Action Against OxyContin Addiction

The government of Canada is taking strong measures to stem the tide of OxyContin abuse. At the end of this month, the pharmaceutical company that produces OxyContin will no longer be allowed to manufacture and market the drug in Canada. Under government pressure, Purdue Pharma Canada is replacing OxyContin with a new formulation called OxyNEO. According to Purdue, the design of OxyNEO will make it more difficult to abuse. OxyContin is a time-released version of oxycodone, a highly addictive opioid painkiller. It has been described by drug experts as being twice as strong as morphine. When the time-released pills are crushed and injected or inhaled or chewed, OxyContin produces a high that has been compared to heroin. While OxyNEO will still contain oxycodone, Purdue claims that it will be harder to crush and will form a thick get that resists injection when added to liquid. Entire Communities Impacted The media in Canada has recently focused on the plight of First Nations native people living on impoverished reserves in the…

Continue Reading

Suboxone – Controversial but Apparently Effective

A study recently completed by Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital found that patients who are addicted to prescription opiate painkillers have a better chance of treatment success if they take a drug called Suboxone. Despite the positive results of the study, the use of Suboxone for treatment of opiate drugs is controversial.( Find out what suboxone detox is like). The study involved 653 people who were addicted to prescription painkillers and who were treated with Suboxone, which is a mixture of buprenorphine and nalaxone. This was the first large-scale clinical trial that tested different treatment options for the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. The study focused on the abuse of prescription opioid drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet rather than illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine. Suboxone helps treat opioid addiction by mirroring many of the effects of opioid drugs while reducing drug cravings. During the 12-week clinical trial, 49% of participants were able to maintain sobriety without experiencing depression while taking Suboxone. All of the test…

Continue Reading

Unbelievable Statistic about 1 Doctor in Florida

As we brace ourselves for the next wave of prescription drugs that are hitting the market (OxyNEO, TD Hydrocodone or Zohydro, and others), we would like to bring some attention to one key player in the prescription addiction and overdose epidemic: the irresponsible doctor. Doctors play a part in helping the addictive drugs get to the streets and into the hands of addicted users. Most doctors are guilty of ignorance of the drugs' addictive nature when they prescribe.  As bad as this is, the doctors that are really reprehensible are the ones that prescribe narcotics irresponsibly and do it for the motive of profit. Unbelievable Statistic Florida has long been known to be "ground zero" for the Oxy epidemic.  Lax regulation has created an industry of reprehsible doctors filling prescriptions recklessly for profit. One "doctor" named Riyaz Jummani actually prescribed more OxyContin in the first quarter of 2010 than the all doctors in the state of California combined. Try to wrap your mind around that.  He's in jail now,…

Continue Reading

Film Documents the Tragedy of Teen Prescription Drug Abuse

Jeff Shimkus, a Fire Department Captain in Anaheim, California, recently sat down with filmmakers to discuss his 19-year-old son Sam.  A college student, athlete and Special Education Instructional Aide, Sam died in January of 2010 from a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol.  The coroner ruled that his accidental overdose death was caused by mixing booze and Opana (a painkiller), Soma (a muscle relaxant) and Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug).  Although Jeff Shimkus had responded to many emergency calls related to drug overdoses while on the job, he was unable to save his son from suffering the same fate. Behind the Orange Curtain Trailer: http://youtu.be/WwZwL6tWwbg The story of Sam Shimkus, described by his father as a good kid who made a bad choice, will be part of a feature-length documentary entitled "Behind the Orange Curtain."  The purpose of the film, which is scheduled for completion in March, is to raise public awareness about the prescription drug epidemic in Orange County and across the nation.  According to the Orange County Register,…

Continue Reading

Dedicated to OxyNEO Drug Awareness

OxyNEO Drug Rehab is here to bring awareness to the phenomenon of prescription drug addiction and overdose. We are a group of addictions industry professionals who feel that the spectre of OxyContin will not be alleviated by the new formulation called OxyNEO.  Purdue Pharma has already released a "tamper proof" version of the drug OxyContin and  this has not really alleviated the "silent epidemic" of opiate addiction that OxyContin has become the poster child for.  To be fair, both tamper proof OxyContin and (most likely) OxyNEO are steps in the right direction and we appreciate that Purdue Pharma is addressing the issue (even if their executives are facing prison sentences for the unethical promotion of OxyContin which began in 1996). A Very Serious Epidemic of Addiction and Overdose OxyContin and OxyNEO are only part of a larger problem.  This is a problem that has radically affected millions of lives across all social strata in the United States (and certainly beyond).  The problem is that prescription drugs like OxyNEO are…

Continue Reading