After more than 13 years of often bitter wrangling among various interest groups, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may finally tighten restrictions on hydrocodone-combination painkillers like Vicodin, Lortab and Norco, moving them up from ‘Schedule III’ to the more tightly controlled ‘Schedule II.’
Hydrocodone-combination painkillers contain hydrocodone and some form of acetaminophen (or paracetamol). Hydrocodone is a leading cause of addictions and deaths. But acetaminophen overdoses result in at least 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations and 458 deaths each year. So there’s more to the risk than just the opiate hydrocodone.
Under the new schedule, doctors would be required to actually write all prescriptions, rather than just call them in without seeing a patient. And they would only be allowed to prescribe three months worth of doses, rather than the six months allowed under the current Schedule III.
Opponents of the plan say that “up-scheduling”, as it’s called, hydrocodone combination meds from Schedule III to II, would deny patients access to their meds. On the other hand, supporters of the plan say it’s more important to reduce the terrible epidemic of Vicodin addiction and ruined lives.
Supporters want to reduce hydrocodone addiction
Supporters include consumer and patient safety associations, many concerned physicians and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). On the opposing side are the drug companies, some pharmacists’ groups and some medical associations. While supporters are concerned about the safety of patients and reducing hydrocodone addiction, the opposition seems to be more about the potential for less income, since there’s no hard data to back up their claims that it would impact patient access.
Supporters say the new rules won’t create insurmountable hardship for patients, because the pills are there for prescribing as usual, and all that’s being asked is a little more attention from doctors and pharmacists. They remind us that prescriptions are required for all other similarly dangerous drugs – and hydrocodone is a dangerous drug – require doctor visits and written prescriptions. And few patients, if any, are complaining about it.
Hydrocodone biggest killer in Florida
Here in Florida and in many other states, hydrocodone leads the list of death-dealing drugs – far ahead of oxycodone and OxyContin. In fact, hydrocodone is the most-prescribed drug in the entire country. Hydrocodone accounted for 131 million prescriptions, for 47 million patients, in 2011 – far ahead of the cholesterol drug simvastatin, in second place with 94 million prescriptions.
Way back in 1999, the former director of an addiction treatment center in Syracuse, N.Y., petitioned the FDA to raise restrictions on hydrocodone combination drugs like Vicodin, Lortab and others. The drug had exactly the same reputation as oxycodone, especially among law enforcement and emergency room personnel. Since then, more consumer groups, physicians and even the DEA have all called repeatedly for up-scheduling of hydrocodone.
Until now the FDA has largely ignored the evidence against Vicodin
The FDA, on the other hand, has largely ignored legal and medical evidence and advice, even from its own people. In 2009, an FDA advisory panel recommended removing Vicodin from the market because of its danger to the public. Now, after two days of hearings this past January, a new advisory panel has recommended that the FDA take steps to reschedule hydrocodone combination drugs to Schedule II.
In spite of all the arguments against it, Schedule II controls just don’t sound as if any legitimate patients would unduly suffer. Novus Medical Detox Center is a leader in the field of drug treatment, with years of experience handling Florida hydrocodone detox. We cast our vote for tightening up the restrictions on hydrocodone combination drugs like Vicodin, Lortab and Norco, because we’ve seen the damage these drugs can do.
An article was published in October 2010 that states: “An estimated 20.4 million people in the United States used some kind of illicit drug in the past 30 days.” *That equates to about 15% of the population of the entire United States.
And as it was revealed a few years ago, Oprah was not immune to the misguided lure of taking drugs.
In an interview with Billy Bush in 2005 Oprah divulged painful private secrets for the first time on-air. Oprah said her hardest-kept secret was of her drug abuse.
Oprah stated: “Years ago I had a woman on my show who was talking about drugs and how she was addicted to her boyfriend and I had used drugs in my 20s with this boyfriend and I was more addicted to the boyfriend than I was to the drugs,” she revealed. “So the admission to using drugs on television was the biggest thing.”
“It was Crack, right?” Billy asked.
“Yeah, well it wasn’t called crack at the time. It was called freebasing. It was before crack was crack,” she admitted.
Tragically, Ecstasy is one of the most popular drugs among youth today. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimates Ecstasy users to number approximately 9 million worldwide. The vast majority of users are teenagers and young adults.
Mixed with alcohol, Ecstasy is extremely dangerous and can, in fact, be deadly. So widespread has been the harm of this “designer drug,” that emergency room incidents have skyrocketed more than 1,200% since Ecstasy became the “club drug” of choice at all-night “rave” parties and dance clubs.
If Ecstasy is ruining your life and you want to overcome your drug addiction, call Novus Detox today at 1-866-591-5390 for a confidential consultation with one of our drug counselors.
A recent bust at a mid-state middle school is shedding light on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse among teens.
Seven students at Stewarts Creek Middle School of Rutherford County in Tennessee were expelled after a teacher caught them with prescription pills on campus. Rutherford County school officials said they have a strict zero tolerance policy.
It is reported that the students involved told school administrators they brought in two different kinds of medications. One is believed to have been a drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
“You use whatever rationalization you can to justify the fact that you’re not living truthfully,” he observes about substance abuse. “You make this death machine seem glamorous so you can get on to the next moment. But it isn’t glamorous, and it isn’t fun.”
“People rise out of the ashes because, at some point, they are invested with a belief in the possibility of triumph over seemingly impossible odds,” Downey says. Meeting his current wife, producer Susan Levin, helped his recovery.
“She told me, ‘I’m not doing that [drug] dance with you. I’m drawing a line in the sand here.’ She was absolutely clear about it. That doesn’t mean that other women, business associates, movie directors, insurance companies, judges and law enforcement hadn’t been clear about it too. It was that, before I met Mrs. Downey, I just didn’t give a damn. What changed is that I cared.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three out of four prescription drug overdoses involved prescription painkillers—also called opioid pain relievers. In fact, these drugs were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008, more than cocaine and heroin combined.
This is a challenge that hits some parts of America disproportionately. In a period of nine months, for instance, a tiny Kentucky county with a population of less than 12,000, saw nine people die from pain medication overdose.
Novus Detox is a Florida Drug Detox Center that provides a safe and painless drug detox program for people who are suffering from substance abuse. To find out more about our program visit www.novusdetox.com or call us at 1-866-591-5390.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Career Turned Around When He Gave Up Drugs
Samuel L. Jackson’s success wasn’t always so straightforward, and he says it contributed to his battle with drugs, including marijuana and crack cocaine. In his early 40s, Jackson’s career had spanned two decades but still hadn’t produced a blockbuster. One of his painful addiction memories includes his wife and young daughter encountering him on the floor, having passed out from cocaine.
Following the incident, Samuel L. Jackson voluntarily entered rehab, not knowing at the time that his addiction to crack cocaine would be the real-life knowledge he poured into his famous role in Jungle Fever in 1991. Even though he had successfully completed a drug addiction recovery program, his knowledge and portrayal of a crack cocaine addict was so true-to-life that movie producers arranged a time to talk with him to be certain he wasn’t still abusing the drug.
Samuel L. Jackson has stated that he has been off drugs since two weeks before his start into movie showbiz. It just goes to show that being off drugs really does make a difference!
If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse, contact us for a free consultation with one of our experienced drug counselors. Call 1-866-591-5390.
Drew Barrymore Has Turned Her Life Around – For The Better
With Drew Barrymore’s life doing so well, it would come as a surprise to some to learn that Drew Barrymore’s movie stardom which began at a very early age was accompanied by a more frightening early age shock offscreen — a premature appetite for drinking and drugs. By her own admission she had her first drink at age 9, began smoking marijuana at age 10 and at age 12 took up cocaine. At age 13, she has twice undergone extensive drug rehabilitation treatment.
Drew Barrymore Stated:
“I’m not psychic. But for today I can stay sober. I never want to go back to my old ways. I know that. That is my future. One day at a time. I’m Drew, and I’m an addict-alcoholic. I’ve been sober for three months, two weeks and five days, and I’m really proud of that.”
According to Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) reports, In 2009 alone, from within emergency departments in the US that:
- 4.6 million visits were made due to drug related incidents
- 27.1 percent involved non-medical use of pharmaceuticals (i.e., prescription or over the counter medications, dietary supplements)
- 21.2 percent involved illicit drugs
- 14.3 percent involved alcohol, in combination with other drugs.
Drug use continues to escalate. With the continual peer pressure and stress due to various problems we encounter in life, those without immediate solutions to deal with the stress and peer pressure can become overwhelmed and find it easy to escape with the use of drugs or alcohol.
The unfortunate part of this “drug-fueled escape” is that one can find themselves engulfed with a problem now even larger and more insurmountable than before, as one is now trapped by an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Drug addiction and alcoholism is a problem many people face. Addiction often destroys dreams, ambitions and the relationships with the people around them.
While some find a way off these drugs, the majority are trapped without any escape or hope of living a normal life again.
Novus Detox helps people who are dealing with all kinds of substance abuse. Our program is unique and highly successful. To get more information about how we can help, call us today.
In yet another example of celebrities gone bad, 2010 Miss USA winner Rima Fakih was arrested early on December 4th in Highland Park Michigan and charged with driving while intoxicated. At the time of her arrest, police officers found a half-empty bottle of wine behind the driver’s seat of her car. She allegedly failed two breath tests, one recorded a 0.19% alcohol level, and the other a 0.20% alcohol level. The legal limit in Michigan is 0.08%, so Ms. Fakih had a blood-alcohol level of over twice the legal limit.
The Police report says the 26-year-old was driving erratically, going 60 mph and weaving in heavy traffic. Police report that the traffic stop happened around 2:15 a.m. Officers on the scene said she appeared disoriented, and exhibited slurred speech. When asked if she was drinking she reportedly said no.
To make matters worse, Fakih initially attempted to deny being arrested, and tweeted, “Let’s clear things up now…. I’m NOT in Michigan and I’m NOT in jail!” However the tweet was removed the next day.
Ms. Fakih was arrested, handcuffed, and taken to a police station. Not exactly the best way to represent the country as a former Miss USA, or as a role model for the many young ladies that admire her.
There is never an excuse for drunk driving. Too many innocent people die every day every year at the hands of intoxicated drivers. Your friends, family and loved ones are all affected by this crime. The fact that it’s a celebrity has no bearing on the gravity of the situation, but it does help to bring the severity of the problem to light. If you drink, don’t drive. Call a cab, or a friend or family member to give you a ride home. Or use a designated driver, it’s really that simple.
Thankfully nobody was hurt this time, and hopefully Ms. Fakih will get the help she needs for her problem. If convicted, she could face up to 93 days in jail, though it’s unlikely she will see any jail time, it’s more likely she’ll be ordered to perform community service. It’s another example of how being a celebrity doesn’t put you above the law.
Categories: Drug News