New report that could impact prescription of pain relieving drugs

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by richvank, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. richvank

    richvank New Member

    ER visits related to opioid abuse skyrocket, study finds

    By Alaric DeArment

    ATLANTA (Jun. 18) Emergency room visits due to abuse of prescription pain relievers more than doubled between 2004 and 2008, according to a new government study.

    The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found that the number of ER visits linked to abuse of prescription opioids went from 144,644 in 2004 to 305,885 in 2008, a 111% increase, based on data from SAMHSA’s Drug Abuse Warning Network, which tracks drug abuse data from emergency rooms.

    “The abuse of prescription drugs is our nation’s fastest-growing drug problem,” Office of National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske said. “And this new study shows it is a problem that affects men and women, people under 21 and those over 21.”

    Oxycodone, the generic name for Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin, was the biggest culprit, with ER visits rising during the 2004-2008 period by 152% to 105,214. Hydrocodone was the second most cited drug with a 123% rise to 89,051 visits, followed by methadone with 63,629 visits, a 73% rise.
  2. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Pain drugs abuse requires urgent action: CDC
    Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:18pm EDT
    Related News

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Emergency room visits tied to the abuse of prescription painkillers have jumped 111 percent over a five-year period, an alarming increase that threatens the American public health system, U.S. government researchers said on Thursday.


    Emergency department visits involving the nonmedical use of pain drugs such as oxycodone rose to 305,885 in 2008, from 144,644 in 2004, according to a study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "We urgently need to take action," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement, noting that trips to the emergency department for nonmedical use of prescription pain drugs are now as common as those for use of illicit drugs.

    "These prescriptions medicines help many people, but we need to be sure they are used properly and safely."

    SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said the increase in emergency department visits is straining the health care system.

    "This public health threat requires an all-out effort to raise awareness of the public about proper use, storage, and disposal of these powerful drugs," Hyde said in a statement.

    The spike in emergency department visits associated with nonmedical use of these drugs occurred among men and women, as well as among those younger than age 21 and those 21 and older.

    Abuse of other drugs, such as morphine, fentanyl and hydromorphone, resulted in fewer visits to the emergency room. But they, too, have increased sharply, according to the study published in the CDC's weekly report on death and disease.

    Part of the increase reflects higher prescription rates among doctors in the United States, researchers said.

    The top three most abused prescription pain drugs between 2004 and 2008 were:

    * Oxycodone, in which emergency room visits for nonmedical use rose 152 percent to 105,214.

    * Hydrocodone, in which emergency visits rose 123 percent to 89,051.

    * Methadone, in which emergency visits rose 73 percent to 63,629.

    The study was based on 2004 to 2008 data from SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network, a public health information system that monitors drug-related emergency hospital visits across the United States.

    Last August King Pharmaceuticals won approval for its morphine-based drug Embeda, a pain medicine meant to help thwart abuse by those who crush or chew long-acting opioid drugs to get a dangerous high.

    But in April FDA advisers urged the agency to reject an experimental painkiller from King and Acura Pharmaceuticals called Acurox pill.

    U.S. government statistics show more than 13,000 fatal overdoses involving opioids occur each year.

    (Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen; Editing by Xavier Briand)
  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    This is why it is important to be under a doctor's care and keep records of medications you have been prescribed. If you are in an ER not affiliated with your doctor they may be able to contact your doctor.No guarantee as the ER staff are so busy it is hard to sort out whether a person is drug seeking or not.

    Several years ago, I was out of town and in the er for a flare. I was given fentanyl without any questions other than what medications I reported to them. Now I look back on that and not only find this scary but wonder if I had been black, Hispanic or another disenfranchised group, if I would not have been given the fentanyl shot even with information.

    The system needs to be fixed on both ends of the spectrum.

  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Good point as it does vary where you live. I know my ER would not give out pain meds. indiscriminately like the other one I went to. Fortunately, they are also able to access my files which are now computerized.

    My brother in law is an Oncologist so is very aware of the issues surrounding chronic pain conditions. He finds it worrisome if meds. are withheld to people who absolutely need these medications.

    I have had people tell me that I am taking too many pain medications. I am not. I am on an average dose of Tramadol. I occasionally will supplement with Tylenol which I can do safely as long as I do not go over the recommended dose for each and wait three hours before taking the other med.

    The fentynl shot was a horrible experience for me. I am not saying it is not needed in some situations. I was out for 48 hours. They would not even let me drive back to the hotel so I took a taxi, thank goodness. I had to stay in the ER for half an hour to be monitored for side effects.

    I guess I ended up walking across the street once I got to the hotel and bought ten dollars worth of candy, something I have never done in my life. When I came to there were wrappers all around and the receipt. Didn't even get to enjoy the benefits of the chocolate as I don't remember a thing. Since I was in a town where I did not know anyone, I wish the ER staff had notified someone or kept me overnight to be monitored. My hospital has a program where you can stay overnight in a ward to be monitored for such situations and not be charged as much as you would be for a hospital stay.

    I was probably having the OSA at this time which is even scarier. Okay I will stop venting. Thanks for listening.