It triggers addiction to painkillers in the U.S.
Increases the use and abuse of these drugs has coincided with a wave of overdose deaths and robberies of pharmacies
NEW YORK, April 5. – The sale of the two most popular painkillers offered by prescription in the United States has soared to new areas of the country, according to an analysis.Experts, concerned, consider that the pressure to relieve patients’ pain is unleashing an addiction of epidemic proportions.
Figures from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA, for its acronym in English) show a dramatic increase between 2000 and 2010 in the distribution of oxycodone, the main ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan. In some places, sales increased 16 times.
The increases have coincided with a wave of overdose deaths, pharmacy robberies and other problems in New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Florida and other states. Opioids for pain relief, a category that includes oxycodone and hydrocodone 14800 deaths caused by overdose in 2008 alone, and the number of deaths is increasing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
All across America, pharmacies received and distributed the equivalent of 69 tons of oxycodone and 42 tons of pure hydrocodone in 2010, according to available statistics. This is enough to give 40 Percocet pills 5 mg and 24 Vicodin 5 mg every person in America.
The DEA records the data from shipments to distributors, pharmacies, and hospitals, medical and educational institutions. Eventually analgesics are administered and sold to patients, but the DEA does not record how much you receive each patient individually.
The increase is partly due to the pains of aging population and a greater willingness of doctors to relieve pain, said Gregory Bunt, medical director at the chain of clinics for the treatment of addictions Daytop Village in New York.
- Painkiller sales soar around US, fuel addiction (newsok.com)
- America’s All Doped Up: Painkiller Abuse on the Rise (motherboard.vice.com)
- Addictive painkiller sales surge in new parts of U.S.: study (ctv.ca)