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Study Blames Prescription Drugs For Most Unintentional Overdoses

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:52 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Drug Products, Drug Abuse, Painkillers, Vicodin, OxyContin, Drug Overdose

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IMAGE SOURCE: © iStockPhoto / Rx Drugs / author: pixhook

New research confirms the growing dangers posed by the abuse of prescription painkillers and calls on clinicians to help prevent future cases of addiction and overdose.

In 2006, 295 people died of accidental overdoses. Of these, an estimated 67.1 percent were men. 63.1 percent of them used painkillers including methadone, OxyContin and Vicodin, which they did not have a prescription for and 21.5 percent had prescriptions from at least five separate doctors.

“Drug overdoses in the U.S. are the second-leading cause of unintended deaths behind motor vehicle deaths,” Aron Hall of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a joint telephone interview with Leonard Paulozzi, MD, MPH, also of the CDC.

Researchers targeted West Virginia for the study because it has the highest rate of accidental drug overdose deaths across the country – as well as the nation’s fastest rising overdose rate, said Hall. Mortality rates from overdoses in West Virginia increased by 550 percent from 1999 to 2004.

The study did not track where those people who overdosed, had obtained their drugs. It did, however, conclude that the majority of people using prescription painkillers to get high are getting their drugs for free from friends and family members.

Pain medications are prescribed nationwide at staggering rates. Legal methadone purchases have increased 13-fold over the last ten years, while OxyContin prescriptions are up nine-fold.

The sheer number of prescription pain medications written by doctors and filled by pharmacists daily is a majority of the problem, said Hall. He encourages doctors and pharmacists to counsel patients prescribed opiates about the potential risk of overdose – for both themselves and to those whom they sell or share their pills with.

The study titled, Patterns of Abuse Among Unintentional Pharmaceutical Overdose Fatalities, is published in the December 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. #


3 Comments

Posted by MFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEarianne Skolek
Thursday, December 11, 2008 7:16 AM EST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Marianne Skolek
Activist for Victims of OxyContin and
Purdue Pharma - a criminally convicted pharmaceutical company
908-285-1232
mskolek@aol.com
LINK

December 10, 2008


I have been actively exposing Purdue Pharma (a $10 billion criminally convicted pharmaceutical company) for criminally marketing OxyContin. Purdue Pharma had recently begun marketing OxyContin to pregnant women for pain. Purdue Pharma was also marketing for the undertreatment of pain in infants and pediatric patients which I believe is criminal. I have filed a charge against Purdue Pharma with the FDA and FTC as well as the DOJ in Washington, DC, who is monitoring Purdue Pharma's marketing activities while they are on probation. As a result of my complaints, Purdue Pharma and their Partners Against Pain websites were taken down "for maintenance." The Partners Against Pain website is still down, but the Purdue Pharma website is back up. Below is a recent email I forwarded to the FDA and DOJ for the further investigation into the unscrupulous marketing by Purdue Pharma to vulnerable pain patients.

Email to the FDA and DOJ - The official Partners Against Pain website is still down "for maintenance", but the official Purdue Pharma website is back up. If you click on the heading "Partners Against Pain", the reader is given the below paragraph. I believe strongly that PP will continue to stoop to the lowest level under the guise of "helping chronic pain patients in the U.S". Their reference to chronic pain patients wanting to die is totally unprofessional and unethical as far as I'm concerned. With all the treatments for chronic pain patients including many medications, they should be ashamed of themselves for calling to the attention of readers that chronic pain patients want to die.

Through PAP, Purdue commissioned a national survey of more than 1,000 chronic pain sufferers to learn more about access and barriers to pain treatment within the United States. Chief among the findings was the fact that almost half of American households (44 million, or 43 percent) have at least one family member who suffers from chronic pain resulting from a specific illness or medical condition. One-third of the sufferers queried described their chronic pain as so severe and debilitating that they feel unable to function normally, and sometimes feel their pain is so bad they want to die.

Posted by Nancy
Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:34 AM EST

Painkiller & Heroin Addiction help.

Buprenorphine is a medication when combined with therapy treats the medical condition of opioid addiction in the privacy of a doctor's office. FDA approved in 2002, this treatment has improved quality of life for patients and provided dignity to opiate addiction treatment.

The naabt.org Patient/Physician Matching System has connected 15,016 patients with at least one of the 2,270 participating physicians since 9/06.

This confidential System naabtList.org helps connect people addicted to opioids to doctors providing buprenorphine treatment. The free 24/7 service lets patients reach out for help anytime with privacy.

Patient registration is fast. A short list of questions helps match patients to physicians. All information is confidential residing on a secure server. Once the application is sent, emails are sent to physicians. The System then allows the physician to contact patients confidentially by email.

For information visit LINK

Posted by Mike
Friday, December 12, 2008 10:24 AM EST

I suffered from prescription drug addiction and alcoholism for 15 years. When I got clean I had my story published. It's called Constant Cravings: One Man's True Story of His Struggle with Prescription Drug Addiction. My hope for this book is that it will help addicts and their families as much as writing it helped me.

It is avaliable at: LINK

Comments for this article are closed.

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