Fatal Drug Overdoses in U.S. Increase for 11th Consecutive Year

hospital sign“Fatal drug overdoses have increased for the 11th consecutive year in the United States, new data show. According to a research letter published Tuesday from the National Center for Health Statistics, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010, an uptick from the previous year and the latest sign of a deadly trend involving prescription painkillers.

In 2010, 57% of overdoses, or more than 22,000, involved known prescription drugs. Three-quarters of those involved painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet while another 9,400 involved some unidentified drug cocktail.”


Source: LATimes.com -February 19, 2013

Is The Era Of OxyContin Abuse Over?

“OxyContin? That’s going out of style,” says Dr. Gregory G. Davis, professor of pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and associate coroner for Jefferson County, which includes the city. “Right now it’s heroin. We’ve gone from one or two heroin deaths per year to one to two per week.”

Dr. Kevin Whaley, Assistant Chief Medical Examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, has seen the same thing: “There has been a decrease in oxycodone [the active ingredient in OxyContin] overdosage as a consequence of the tamper-resistant measures taken by the manufacturer,” he says via email.


Source: Forbes.com – December 13, 2012

Reformulated OxyContin Reduces Oral, Nonoral Abuse Among Potential Opioid Abusers

Abuse of oxycodone HCl controlled release (OxyContin) declined by 49% among individuals being assessed for substance abuse problems in the first 11 months after introduction of reformulated tablets (ORF), a study presented during the American Pain Society’s 31st Annual Scientific Meeting has shown.

“While the prevalence of abuse of reformulated oxycodone HCl controlled release appears to have stabilized, longer term follow-up is needed to assess whether the reduction in abuse is sustained over an extended period of time,” they concluded.


Source:  Monthly Prescribing Reference – May 17, 2012



Florida goes from “Oxy-Express” to anti-prescription drug abuse leader – 3/14/12

One year after Florida launched its pill mill strike force teams, state leaders say Florida has gone from being known as the “Oxy-Express” to a role model for the nation on how to crack down on prescription drug abuse.

On Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott reported that prescription drug strike force teams have removed about a half million pills from the streets and made more than 2,000 arrests, including 34 doctors in the past year.


New York

Law Would Force New York City to Alert Neighbors on Methadone Clinic Openings – 3/13/12

New legislation has been proposed that would require the city to notify local community boards of plans to open methadone clinics in the wake of a failed attempt to bring a clinic to lower Manhattan last year.

The bill Councilwoman Margaret Chin is set to introduce would force the city’s Health Department to contact community boards and the City Council about any plans to open methadone clinics when the department is first contacted by the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services for certification.



Addiction costs Oklahoma more than annual budget – 3/10/12

  • Addiction costs Oklahoma and its residents an estimated $7.2 billion a year.
  • That’s more than the state government’s budget of $6.7 billion.
  • That’s roughly $1,900 for every man, woman and child in the state. Enough to create about 273,000 median-wage jobs. Enough to build nine skyscrapers like Oklahoma City’s Devon tower.


New OxyContin Has Lower Street Price Than Old Crushable Formulation

The new harder to crush version of OxyContin has a lower street price than the original, according to research revealed at a conference of law enforcement officers November 15. A new formulation of the opioid pain reliever OxyContin was launched in 2010, accompanied by hope that it would deter drug abuse, injection and overdose. A year later, researchers have shown that the new formulation sells for 28% less than the original OxyContin on the black market, using street price data from the RADARS® System StreetRx.com. The price per milligram of the new difficult to crush OxyContin is $0.56, compared to $0.78 for the original during the first half of this year. Similar results were seen in a survey of law enforcement officers from the RADARS System Drug Diversion program.


Source: RADARS System StreetRx.com – November 15, 2011

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