Abuse-Proof Prescription Painkillers May Spur Heroin Habit

The move by drug companies to make abuse-proof prescription painkillers may be inadvertently promoting heroin use, a new study found. The study of more than 2,500 people with opioid dependence found a 17 percent drop in OxyContin abuse with the 2010 arrival of a formula that’s harder to inhale or inject. During the same time period, heroin abuse doubled.

Unlike its predecessor, the abuse-deterring version of OxyContin turns to gel when crushed, making it harder for people to snort or inject for a rapid high. But nearly a quarter of study participants found a way around the formulation tweak, and 66 percent said they switched to another opioid – usually heroin.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/TreatingPain/abuse-proof-prescription-painkillers-spur-heroin-habit/story?id=16753332#.T_68BvJRDIA

Source: ABCNews.com - July 11, 2012

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