Addiction Treatment Specialists, Behavioral Health Professionals, and even members of Congress have recently been more outspoken than ever on the abuse of prescription drugs in the United States — especially the abuse of opiates such as the painkillers Oxycontin, Vicodin, and other prescription pain-relieving drugs.
Amongst all of this debate about the current crisis involving these prescription drugs, a darker and more dangerous prescription drug epidemic is rumbling in the waiting.
Zohydro is the latest prescription drug that is under consideration to be released to the public as a prescription drug. What is so worrisome about this up-and-coming possible drug release is that this drug is not just some light prescription drug, it is a painkiller that is said to be more than 500x (times) stronger than standard dose Vicodin. This is prompting both those in the medical community and the public safety community to issue warnings on this drug even before its pending approval.
CRUSHING PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS
The most rampant form of prescription drug abuse that is occurring with painkillers in the United States stems from the conversion of prescription opiates from their pill form into the forms commonly abused on the streets. When abused, prescription painkillers are often crushed into a fine powder and then can be snorted or “cooked,” prior to injecting. Medical professionals and pharmacologists warn that the crushing of the pills can drastically increase both the “high” that comes from the drug, and the deadly side effects.
“Medical professionals and pharmacologists warn that the crushing of the pills can drastically increase both the “high” that comes from the drug, and the deadly side effects.”
Coupling the growing concern over prescription painkillers being crushed for abuse, and the looming release of the extremely potent Zohydro, drug-makers and addiction treatment professionals-alike are pushing for the greater use of non-crushable prescription pills.
NON-CRUSHABLE PRESCRIPTION PILLS
Non-crushable prescription pills, are not necessarily “non-crushable.” These pills are designed to not be crushed in a way that would render the substance usable in a snorting or injecting form of abuse. Though still in a production-stage, this new pharmaceutical technology is offering the possibility of one day making prescription drugs “tamper-proof” against abuse through traditional street-abuse methods.