On June 2nd 2012, the 11th pharmacy robbery for the year in Fort Wayne, Indiana occurred. This is an unusual high number for a city of only 250,000 people, and in each case the robbers asked specifically for the drug Opana, a powerful prescription painkiller.
Fort Wayne is not unlike many other towns in America; places that have been plagued with prescription addiction. And now with a new painkiller on the market, the problem has become more severe than ever.
How One Lead To Another
A few years back, the prescription painkiller of choice being abused was Oxycontin. This hit the streets and was fueling a painkiller abuse epidemic throughout the US. However, the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the drug saw that this was happening and changed the formula of the drug to prohibit the crushing of the pills. This slowed down the use of Oxy for illicit purposes to a degree, but as is the case with many other drugs, one gets stopped and another crops up. In this case, the new painkiller of choice was Opana.
Similar in Oxycontin in terms of effects, Opana is on the market and is still able to be crushed, thereby allowing the drug addict to snort or inject it and achieve a high rapidly. The maker of Opana recently changed the formulation of the drug to a non-crushable form, but this was unfortunately too late. There is still a large amount of the previous formulation on the market and the demand for this is ever increasing.
The Office Of The National Drug Control Policy notes that prescription drug abuse is the nations fastest growing drug problem and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has classified this situation as an epidemic, with 1.3 million emergency room visits in 2010 alone, a 115 percent increase since 2004. The annual milligram-per-person intake of painkillers has increased from 74 milligrams to 369 milligrams from 1997-2007, that’s a increase of about 5 times in a period of a decade, with the trend continuing to go up in the last few years.
In one part of the country, a state medical examiners office reported that the amount of drug overdose deaths had tripled since the year 2000; of those overdoses, 44 percent had methadone and/or oxycondone in their system.
The rapid switch from Oxycontin to Opana is concerning many drug prevention experts; with many of them predicting that once the supply of the crushable form of Opana runs out, the addicts will just turn to the next available avenue to obtain their high. Many experts are predicting heroin use (which produces a similar effect), to increase in the near future.
This trend has already begun with the youth in the US. Due to financial and other concerns, there has been an increasing trend of heroin abuse amongst teens throughout the country. This trend really increased in the past few years, coincidental to the stricter policies and regulations on the distribution of prescription drugs.
What To Do With Someone Addicted To Painkillers
According to Narconon drug rehabilitation, prescription painkillers are some of the toughest drugs to get someone off of. This is one of the few drugs where you can’t just have the person quit cold turkey; a wean-down approach is required to safely get the person off the drug.
In addition to this one will experience side effects and cravings without the right treatment after the initial detox process.
If you know of someone struggling with an addiction to painkillers and would like to get them effective help, call Narconon drug rehabilitation today.