2012 Articles

CDC Taking Steps to Combat Opioid Deaths – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that enough opioids were sold in 2010 to give every American adult a 5 mg Vicodin tablet every four hours for a month, according to Ileana Arias, Ph.D., Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. (Source: Med-Sci Daily News, April 21, 2012)

‘Naive’ teens think Rx pills harmless, experts warn – Teenagers aren’t scared by prescription drugs. Pills must be safe since Mom, Dad and Grandma all take pain killers for chronic pain, they think. And every year, dentists and doctors prescribe them for millions of kids with aching teeth and broken bones. “Young people are just naive,” said Gil Kerlikowske, director of President Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. “They’re not buying (the drugs) in the alley behind a convenience store in a foil wrapper.” Source: The Tampa Tribune, April 16, 2012.

Painkiller prescriptions grow nearly 200 percent since 1991 – Painkiller abuse in the United States has exploded along with skyrocketing prescriptions and sales, top national health officials told a crowd of hundreds at a national drug summit April 11. Source: >Courier-Journal, April 12, 2012.

Sales of prescription pain killers rising; experts see addiction epidemic – Sales of the nation’s two most popular prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country, an Associated Press analysis shows, worrying experts who say the push to relieve patients’ suffering is spawning an addiction epidemic. Source: The Associated Press, April 5, 2012.

Pain Pill Suppliers Should ‘Self-Police’ – Drug-distribution companies must police themselves to help the government keep addictive prescription painkillers from finding their way to street dealers and addicts, a federal judge ruled. The companies “do have an obligation in the first instance to self-police” in order to track unusually large drug shipments that may signal diversion beyond their proper use, said Judge Reggie Walton. Source: The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2012.

Prescription Drug Abuse: America’s Problem – Left unchecked, the prescription drug abuse problem will continue to grow out of control, draining limited resources and devastating families. Read commentary by Operation UNITE President & CEO Karen Kelly in Join Together. Source: The Partnership at Drugfree.org, January 13, 2012.

Welcome to Florida, Kentucky’s Pain-Pill Pipeline – An explosion of Florida pain clinics has turned a 1,000-mile stretch of Interstate 75 into a pain-pill pipeline — the chief supply line feeding Kentucky’s deadly prescription-drug abuse epidemic. Source: The Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper investigation October 16, 2011.

Florida’s Drug Overdose Epidemic – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a new report that undoubtedly surprised many across our nation: In Florida alone, prescription drug overdoses claimed 16,650 lives from 2003 to 2009 — an average of eight deaths a day. Source: The Partnership at DrugFree.org, August 23, 2011.

ASAM releases new definition of addiction – The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has released a new definition of addiction highlighting that addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavioral problem involving too much alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex. Source: Faces & Voices of Recovery eNewsletter on August 17, 2011.

Our view: When painkillers kill 2 people every hour, it’s time to act – “America’s deadliest drug problem? Not heroin, not cocaine, not even crack cocaine. The larger problem is abuse of drugs that are perfectly legal: prescription pain medications.” Source: USA Today editorial on April 25, 2011.

FDA looks to crack down on misuse of opioid painkillers – U.S. health officials unveiled Tuesday, April 19, 2011, a new plan to try to curb misuse of extended-release and long-acting opioid pain killers such as OxyContin, morphine and methadone. Source: USA Today article by Amanda Gardneron on the new Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS).

Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse – A bipartisan effort aimed to unite like-minded policy-makers to raise awareness of abuse, and to work towards innovative and effective policy solutions incorporating treatment, prevention, law enforcement and research. Source: Congressional press release announcing creation of caucus on June 3, 2010.

‘Pillbillies’ who come to South Florida for drugs, stay and commit crime – Out-of-state travelers called “pillbillies” who are visiting South Florida to score prescription drugs are doing not only that, they’re also adding to the local criminal population. All take a toll on local resources, taxing the jails, the courts and police, say attorneys, judges and law enforcement authorities. Source: Sun Sentinel article May 16, 2011.

Gov. Rick Scott signs pill mill bill into law – After initially fighting one of its key provisions, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill aimed at cracking down on clinics that frivolously dispense pain pills, feeding a nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic. Source: The Miami Herald, June 3, 2011