April 5, 2012

Painkiller sales exploding in new parts of country

Experts have expressed concern that new analysis shows sales of the United States’ two most popular prescription painkillers are soaring in new parts of the country. While experts say in theory the explosion is to relieve patients’ suffering, in reality its creating an addiction epidemic.

The analysis, performed by The Associated Press, found that from New York’s Staten Island to Santa Fe, N.M., Drug Enforcement Administration figures had raised between 2000 and 2010 in the distribution of oxycodone, which is the main ingredient of OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan.

According to The Wall Street Journal, some places saw sales increase sixteen fold.

In 2010, the strongest oxycodone sales had overtaken most of Tennessee and Kentucky, heading north to Columbus, Ohio, and south to Macon, Ga. Ten years earlier, the largest sales were maintained in the areas of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

Also, the key ingredient of Vicodin, Norco and Lortab is on the rise in Appalachia and the Midwest.  

Gregory Bunt, medical director at New York’s Daytop Village change of drug treatment clinics, told The Wall Street Journal that the source of the prescription drug increase epidemic is twofold. It’s partly due to an aging U.S. population dealing with pain and also a greater willingness by doctors to treat pain.

If users become physically dependent and driven by addiction, sales soar and “doctor shopping” begins.

Click here to read the full article in The Wall Street Journal.

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