Posts Tagged oxycontin abuse
A teenager shares her story of OTC drug addiction, specifically with cough syrups, which she hid from her family for the longest time.
Kristin, now 18, got her first taste of over-the-counter cough medications when she was about 15 or 16 years old. She admits that during those times, she had personal issues that needed to addressed.
Television became her source of information on the effects of cough medications. In the beginning, she took out a bottle from their medicine cabinet and drank all of its content. She felt so drunk after and then she began taking the drug on a regular basis for at least twice a week.
At a point when she was using the drug more often, she had to buy the item herself, and there were times when pharmacies refused to sell the medication to her due to her age. She was still able to get hold of the drug by having older people buy it for her.
Her high school friends did not know anything about her addiction. She found other students who were on the same situation she was in. She made friends with them and they were the ones who introduced other types of drugs and alcohol to her system. By this time, she leveled up to OxyContin and morphine pills.
Her studies suffered and things started to take a bad turn. From being a straight-A student, she was now hardly making it to the cut. Still, she kept everything from her parents.
Her family knew of her addiction when she finally got arrested. She stole something from her teacher and the teacher called the cops. She eventually told her parents she was hooked for years, and they were surprised that they did not know anything about it.
Today, Kristin is under the Lexington Center for Recovery for treatment. Kristin says, “It’s hard, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I wish that I had never started in the first place because when you do, once is never enough. It’s not worth it. You’re just going to end up dying or in jail.”
Prescription drug use among teens is an issue that is taking center stage in the state of Arkansas, in response to the observation that the state posted the highest rates of teen prescription drug abuse.
Twenty one percent of high school seniors in the state have admitted to prescription drug abuse, while 33 percent revealed that they did not believe that there is anything wrong with abusing prescription drugs. The state has one of the highest rates of abuse of medical pain relievers among 12-25 year olds, and 63 percent of teens source prescription drugs from their parents’ or other family members’ medications.
These facts regarding prescription drug use among Arkansas’ teens were explained during the monthly meeting of the Community Organization for Drug Education (CODE) on Wednesday. In attendance during this meeting was Steve Varady, policy coordinator with the Office of the State Drug Director, who said: “We don’t want our kids to die from prescription abuse… There is a myth of safety with prescription drugs; we are trying to teach that they (prescription pills) are not.”
Painkillers, depressants, and stimulants are the common types of medications that are abused by teens. Two thousand five hundred young people, aged 12 through 17, try abusing a pain reliever for the first time each day, and more teens are found to be abusing prescription drugs, as opposed to marijuana. They are also more readily available to teens, as opposed to illicit substances.
Varady enjoins all Arkansas residents to be vigilant about safeguarding prescription medication, by monitoring their medicines and controlling access, as well as disposing old or unused medicines properly.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich is in support of House Bill 93. What is House Bill 93? It’s the bill that aims to prevent prescription drug abuse, a major concern in which Ohio, Florida and Kentucky.
Gov. Kasich has also proposed to put in $36 million for rehabilitation and treatment plan that focuses on the creation of opiate task forces in many counties and implementing strict laws on physician prescription requirements.
It has been noted that in the states of Ohio, Florida, and Kentucky, teenagers becoming addicted to Oxycontin is on the rise, and there seems to be an emerging “epidemic” on painkiller abuse. Ohio became a haven for addicts as cheap and accessible Oxycontin pills have invaded the area. This is why drug overdose deaths are increasing. According to a feature on Yahoo! News, Rep. Terry Johnson of Scioto County reported a 360% increase in OD deaths since 1999-2008 and in 2009, the leading cause of death within the state is prescription drug overdose.
What Oxycontin does is that when a person is under its influence, all coherent and rational thoughts seem to disappear. In Vinton County, the most prevalent prescription drug abusers are teenage girls. Girls usually put these pills into their soft drinks and they end up having unprotected sex with multiple partners. Some of these girls come from middle class families and some are even those making it in honor rolls and athletic teams.
One thing is certain after all these events. — if officials don’t act now, a sad and disturbing future is ahead for teenagers.
Due to the continuing increase in the number of people on prescription drug abuse and addiction, a string of recent pharmacy robberies have been manifesting in Colorado, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
A feature on Denver Post shares that these pharmacy robberies have been linked to the “Hooded Pain-Med Bandit,” a young, dark-haired man with a gun tucked in his waistband. The robber has been to three Walgreen pharmacies in Wheat Ridge and Arvada since December last year. The latest to be reported was just this February 12th in Arvada where the bandit supposedly lifted his shirt and flashed the gun on the pharmacist. The poor pharmacist was ordered to hand over all the painkillers that they had. In his previous activity at Wheat Ridge, he ordered all of the Oxycontin and Vicodin to be given to him.
“Obviously, this is concerning because an addict, or someone desperate, who is trying to steal narcotics is also armed,” Arvada police Cmdr. Aaron Jacks said.
Cases of prescription drug abuse in Colorado have increased by 95% in almost a decade. There were 228 deaths in the state linked to prescription drugs in 2000, and by 2009, 445people have died from painkiller abuse.
Special agent Kevin Merrill, acting OIC of DEA’s Denver division also noted that 70% of all recorded drug-related deaths can be attributed to painkillers. “For some reason, the society today has an appetite for pain-killing drugs,” Merrill said. “These painkillers are very, very potent and much more potent than your normal morphine. A lot of these painkillers were made for people who have terminal cancer or major invasive surgery. They are not made for long-term relief.”
Some pharmacies have taken their steps to prevent robberies by not partaking in the sale of narcotic drugs, and some even carry signs that say “We do not carry Oxycontin. Don’t break our door down. We don’t have them.”
Prescription drug abuse is dubbed by a feature on the Chicago Sun-Times as the “fastest-growing drug problem” in the United States. Deaths due to accidental drug overdose have increased five-fold over the last twenty years, according to the CDC. It also overtook heroin and cocaine combined as the cause of overdose deaths in the United States in 2007.
This meteoric rise of prescription drug abuse is due to several reasons. The fact that these drugs – usually painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin, and Fentanyl – are basically legal substances that are prescribed by doctors for legitimate reasons, people think that it is safer, regardless of whether it is used properly or abused.
Sally Thoren, executive director of Gateway Foundation, an organization that provides substance abuse treatment, said: “People think, ‘It comes from the doctor. Mom took it for a toothache or a broken bone. How bad can it be?’”
Another reason for the surge is the fact that there was also an increase in doctor prescriptions for painkillers, a trend that began in the 1990s. According to Kathleen Kane-Willis, director of Roosevelt University’s Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy, the greater availability of prescription painkillers became the catalyst for more widespread abuse: “In the 80s and early 90s, there was so little pain medicine prescribed… Now, the pendulum has kind of swung the other way.”
She suggested that while there is no need to deny pain medication to people who need them, it is important for doctors to have frank conversations with their patients regarding the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
While efforts are being made towards ensuring that these prescription pain medications are kept out of homes, or at least secured, the investigation identified an emerging source of these medicines: patients.
In Buffalo, New York, 33 people have been charged due to their roles in bringing prescription drugs to the street. Patients apparently visit a doctor – or go doctor-hopping – collecting prescriptions and filling them, and then selling them to drug dealers. Some of these patients are Medicaid patients whose doctor’s appointments and prescriptions are paid for by the program.
Patients can see doctors and be given prescriptions for pills such as OxyContin. When the patient is on the Medicaid program, the program is normally billed an estimated $1,060 for a 60-pill, 80-mg prescription. The doctor’s visit will cost anywhere from $23 to $39. Drug dealers buy these pills from patients for as much as $1,000.
Charles Tomaszewski, former supervisor of the Drug Enforcement Administration office, shared: “I have to admit we were sort of surprised at how big this had become… The suburbs, the city, there was no area that wasn’t touched by this.”
Dale Kasprzyk, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Buffalo, called the operation as “a lucrative underground business for people.”
According to a report made by the Government Accountability Office last year, an estimated 65,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in New York, as well as in four other states, visited six or more doctors between 2006 and 2007 in order to get multiple prescriptions.