There is a new Sheriff in town, move over Oxycontin! There are many drug companies looking to capitalize on the raging success of powerful painkillers, and with that comes the fear of experts for their potential for abuse.
The newest drug to apply for Human Testing is a variant of the popular drug Vicodin, made popular on the hit TV series House. Vicodin is a mixture of Hydrocodone and Acetominophen (Tylenol). What Pharmaceutical company Zogenix of San Diego is working on is a variant of the drug carried Zohydro, which is pure hydrocodone in a time release formula. hydrocodone is one of the most abused prescription drugs on the planet in Vicodin. Zohydro will be a new class of painkiller, with a huge potential for abuse.
Drug abuse experts are particularly worried because like other time released versions of painkillers, abusers could crush the pills bring on an intense, immediate high.
April Rovero, president of the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse. told Fox News “I have a big concern that this could be the next OxyContin, We just don’t need this on the market.”
OxyContin, which was introduced in 1995 was designed to manage pain with a formula that released pure oxycodone over many hours.
Addicts quickly realized that the powerful painkillers could easily be crushed to get to the full dosage immediately and get them really really high. The drug quickly became known in illicit circles as “Hillbilly Heroin”.
Oxycodone is now the most-abused medicine in the United States, with hydrocodone second, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. CVS recently announced that in Florida, where more painkillers are prescribed than anywhere else in the Unites States, they will no longer stock the drugs for fear they are helping junkies feed their habit. Other stores have had to post signs that all oxycodone and hydrocodone are locked in a time release safe after hours so they can avoid break ins.
Drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone are typically prescribed for pain but are heavily abused due to their ability to produce intense highs. These drugs are in the same chemical family as heroin and morphine, producing similar effects on the body. In addition to making users crave their effects, opiates are incredibly physically addictive, causing intense withdrawal symptoms.
Do you think that the country needs more pure versions of these painkillers?