Navigation Links
Prescription Painkillers Trail Only Marijuana in Abuse Rates, Report Shows
Date:1/10/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Prescription painkillers are second only to marijuana when it comes to drug abuse, a new government report claims.

Some 22 million Americans have misused prescription painkillers since 2002, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

"Any time you have 2 percent of the population using medications like this there is a lot to do, but we are doing a lot with a combination of putting tighter controls on who can get these drugs and public education," said Peter Delany, director of SAMHSA's Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality.

Also, programs such as the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which allows doctors to track patients who may be getting painkillers from several sources, has helped get a handle on the problem, he added.

And although the misuse of prescription painkillers has remained fairly constant over the past few years, the real consequence of the problem is the number of people seeking treatment, he said.

"The number of people seeking treatment has come on faster than we thought," Delany said. "The number of people going for treatment for prescription pain drug use has quadrupled from 2004 to 2010 and we have seen a similar increase in what's going on in the emergency room."

In 2009, there were nearly 425,000 emergency department visits involving non-medical or inappropriate use of narcotic painkillers and an estimated 15,600 deaths involving these drugs, according to Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, which is part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Some people are concerned that by cracking down on prescription drug abuse, patients who need these pain medications will not be able to get them.

Delany said these concerns must be taken into account as solutions to the problem are crafted and implemented.

On Wednesday, the FDA proposed guidelines for drug makers for testing and evaluating new formulations of these drugs that make them harder to abuse by making them more difficult to tamper with so that abusers can "get high."

In the SAMHSA report, the abuse of narcotic pain relievers varied state to state; pooled data from 2010 and 2011 found that rates of abuse for those aged 12 or older ranged from 3.6 percent in Iowa to 6.4 percent in Oregon.

Seven of the states with the highest rates of narcotic painkiller abuse were in the West -- Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.

Four of the states with the lowest rates were in the Midwest -- Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota -- and four were in the South -- Florida, Georgia, Maryland and North Carolina, according to the report.

Abuse of these drugs decreased in Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

The report is based on data from the SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is a survey of approximately 67,500 people across the United States.

"The public health community has begun to recognize the scope of the epidemic," said Dr. G. Caleb Alexander, co-director of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore.

Alexander noted that the problem is partially the result of trying to correct another problem, namely, the under-use of narcotic painkillers to manage pain in those who need it.

"One of the factors that has contributed to the epidemic are well-intentioned efforts to try to improve the identification and treatment of patients with pain," he said.

Another factor is the heavy marketing of narcotic painkillers by drug makers, Alexander said. In addition, doctors may be dispensing more pills in a prescription than a patient needs, he added.

"There is abuse and deception in every step of the pipeline, from warehouse robberies to pharmacy holdups down to theft from people's medicine cabinets, so it's a very complex problem," Alexander said.

Another expert, Leo Beletsky, an assistant professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University School of Law & Bouve College of Health Sciences in Boston, is concerned that government efforts to curb narcotic painkiller abuse may go too far.

"Government officials have championed a number of solutions drawn primarily from the drug enforcement playbook, such as prescription monitoring programs, prosecutions of doctors accused of over-prescribing, and pill mill raids," Beletsky said.

Focusing only on drug supply is short-sighted and dangerous, he noted. "First, it may unduly restrict legitimate patient access to effective pain care and, second, recent data suggests that cutting patients with substance abuse problems off prescription opioid medications may actually push them towards injecting heroin," Beletsky said.

"In other words, as we craft solutions to address prescription drug misuse, we must be extremely careful to avoid causing more harm than good," Beletsky added.

Along with actions to restrict supply, the answer to this problem must include wider access to substance abuse services, drug treatment, counseling and other investments in the scientifically proven ways to address substance abuse, Beletsky explained.

More information

For more on prescription drug abuse, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Peter Delany, Ph.D., LCSW-C, director, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; G. Caleb Alexander, M.D., co-director, Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore; Leo Beletsky, J.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, law and health sciences, Northeastern University School of Law & Bouve College of Health Sciences, Boston; Jan. 10, 2013, report, The NSDUH Report: State Estimates of Nonmedical Use of Prescription Pain Relievers: 2010-2011


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
2. Many Who First Misuse Prescription Pills Get Them From Friends, Family: Report
3. 16 years old is peak risk for teens misusing prescription drugs
4. Mental Health Woes Raise Odds for Prescription Painkiller Abuse
5. American Kids Getting Fewer Prescription Drugs: Study
6. More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs
7. Herpes Treatment Site: Top Reasons to Avoid Prescription HSV Drugs
8. Changes needed for oft-ignored prescription warning labels
9. AFTS Labs Partners With Physicians To Complement NY's Mandated I-STOP Tracking System For Pain Pill Prescriptions: A Recipe For A Safer Community
10. Good mood foods: Some flavors in some foods resemble a prescription mood stabilizer
11. PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Prescription Painkillers Trail Only Marijuana in Abuse Rates, Report Shows
(Date:10/13/2017)... OBISPO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... or dementia. However, many long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if ... the 90-day elimination period, when the family pays for care, is often waived, so ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global ... at scenic Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global ... physical activity. The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and ... aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Del. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... and advisory services for healthcare compliance program management, will showcase a range of ... National Association for Assisted Living (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... meet the demand of today’s consumer and regulatory authorities worldwide. From Children’s to ... and tested to meet the highest standard. , These products are also: ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Oct. 12, 2017 West Pharmaceutical Services, ... solutions for injectable drug administration, today announced that it ... opens on Thursday, October 26, 2017, and will follow ... business expectations at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. To participate ... (International). The conference ID is 94093362. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today ... Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , where ... Following a comprehensive ... minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal ... completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects ...
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: