Oxy Watchdog

Keeping An Eye On OxyContin

Archive for the ‘Pain Advocates’ Category

Opiate drug use in workplace nearly doubles

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 28, 2010

Use of opiate drugs in the workplace, such as OxyContin, has increased by 40 percent from 2005 to 2009 , according to data from Quest Diagnostics, a diagnostic testing company. This article in the New York Times reports that while working while under the influence can pose safety risks, many employees may be taking legal pain medications prescribed by doctors, and impairment can be difficult to prove. Last year alone, the rate of employees testing positive for prescription drugs rose by 18 percent, mirroring similar trends of rising prescription drug use in the U.S. population overall.

Read about prescription drug abuse trends in the U.S. here.


Posted in Pain Advocates, Surveys & Statistics, Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Opiate addiction treatment faces mixed reviews in U.S.

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 11, 2010

Though buprenorphine, a drug used to fight addiction to opiate painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, was approved for use in the U.S. in 2002, it hasn’t met with the anticipated amount of success, reports this article from Medpage Today. Unlike methadone, the current opiate treatment drug of choice, buprenorphine partially inhibits the brain from receiving the feeling of euphoria associated with opiate use. What’s novel about the drug is that primary care doctors can prescribe it and patients can then treat themselves from home, rather than checking into a clinic. However, many physicians are hesitant to not only treat addicts, but to take on the added responsibility of prescribing the drug.

A large problem with the treatment of opiate abuse is that the addict can often become addicted to the treatment drug. Though it is virtually impossible to overdose on buprenorphine, it’s not exempt from abuse. In fact, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency reports that buprenorphine ranks among the top 25 most frequently identified substances analyzed in laboratories and in 2006, an estimated 4,440 emergency room visits were associated with buprenorphine misuse.

Despite its abuse in the U.S., buprenorphine has found some success in France, where it’s credited for a decrease in overdose deaths and a six-fold drop in injection drug users.

Watch a video from Medpage Today about buprenorphine here.

Posted in Informational, Pain Advocates, Pharmaceutical Industry | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Wash. restricts addictive painkillers, pain advocates worry

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on September 13, 2010

In reaction to new statistics on prescription drug abuse, Washington pushed through unique legislation that limits the amount of opiates patients can be prescribed before consulting with a pain specialist, but now the medical community and pain advocates are voicing their concerns. According to this article in the Seattle Times, state guidelines adopted in 2007 attempting to curb prescription abuse haven’t worked, necessitating more stringent regulations. Though the state has the seventh-highest death rate involving prescription opiates, some doctors and advocates argue that doctors leery of losing their license will withhold drugs from those in need.

Posted in Litigation, Pain Advocates, Policy & Regulation | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The other side of the pain pill abuse epidemic

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on November 30, 2009

Oregon’s The Bulletin has an interesting analysis of what it terms the “pain pill conundrum” – namely, the allegedly chilling effect the OxyContin abuse phenomenon has had on those who legitimately use prescription painkillers to treat chronic pain. The article claims that of the estimated 50 million Americans who suffer from chronic pain, “a staggering number” of those patients are having trouble getting the help they need, with doctors reluctant to prescribe opiates for fear of attracting the attention of law enforcement agencies. This has left many patients complaining they’re being treated like criminals or drug addicts, having to prove their innocence in order to get needed treatment, the article claims.

Posted in Pain Advocates, Trends | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Oxy ban debate

Posted by Oxy Watchdog on October 20, 2009

Freelance writer Rod MacTaggart has a post that aptly summarizes the argument in favor of banning OxyContin from the marketplace, claiming that “thousands of people will be spared the expense and interruptions of detox and drug rehab programs.”

It’s a stance that is strongly countered by pain treatment advocates, who point out that opioids like OxyContin are safe and effective when taken as intended and have helped millions of pain sufferers.

The question is how to draw the line between legitimate pain treatment and abuse.

Posted in Pain Advocates, Policy & Regulation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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