According to an Associated Press analysis, sales of the nation’s two most popular prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country. This is worrying experts who say that the push to relieve patient suffering is creating an addiction epidemic. And as painkiller sales soar around US, fuel addiction, this is one of the most severe problems that the U.S. has had to face.
From New York to New Mexico, Drug Enforcement Administration statistics show a dramatic rise between 2000 to 2010 in the distribution of oxycodone, the key ingredient in Oxy Contin, Percocet and Percodan.
This epidemic was centered for years in Appalachia and the Midwest, but has now made its way coast to coast and is affecting just about every area throughout the country.
Highlights Of Painkiller Sales By State
In the state of California for instance, although receiving only modest amounts of oxycodone in 2010, has still seen a dramatic increase – more than 500 percent around Modesto and Stockton. Where there used to be a massive methamphetamine epidemic, there is now a switch to prescription painkiller medication.
This is due to the accessibility and ease in which someone can get their hands on prescription painkiller medication.
In Los Angeles, few drugs have seen as rapid a rise in the past decade than prescription painkillers. From the hills of Hollywood to the senior citizen homes of Westwood, addiction treatment centers and medical professionals agree that opiate painkiller use is on the rise within almost every demographic in the city.
In Florida, the AP analysis emphasizes the difficulty of the state’s decade long battle against “pill mills”, unethical doctors who churn out dozens of prescriptions a day.
In 2000, Florida oxycodone sales were centered around West Palm Peach, one of the locations of the now infamous George brother clinics. By 2010, oxycodone was flowing to nearly every part of the state.
In the first six months of 2010, dispensing doctors in Florida ordered more than 41 million tablets of oxycodone from suppliers –– nearly nine times more pills than doctors ordered in all other states combined, DEA records show.
In 2008, prescription painkiller overdoses killed 14,800 Americans. In 2009, when the George brother clinics were at their peak, opioid abuse propelled to a staggering level in the number of drug related deaths nationwide. That year, 37,485 Americans died from narcotics overdoses, a figure that for the first time surpassed the number of deaths from car accidents.
A Plan Of Attack To Stop Painkiller Sales
The Obama administration recently outlined a national plan for tackling prescription painkiller abuse.
In South Florida, the birthplace of a pain clinic industry, law enforcement and community leaders have already started speaking out against the epidemic.
“The message is that a national consensus exists that the prescription drug crisis is real,” said Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe, who has led stepped-up enforcement efforts targeting crooked clinic operators and rogue doctors doling out pills. “To defeat the scourge of prescription abuse and trafficking, we need education, appropriate rules and laws and vigorous enforcement of those rules and laws.”
These figures are startling and reveal that there truly is a situation in this country in relation to the abuse of prescription painkiller medication.
Narconon rehab centers and other private and public organizations like NA have seen the devastation that painkiller addiction has caused many states throughout the country. Statistically, the Narconon rehab centers can achieve a 76% success rate for permanent sobriety and is a long-term residential program that lasts 4-6 months and could be longer depending on the individual needs of the person.
If you know of someone who is affected by an addition to prescription painkiller drugs, contact Narconon rehab centers for help now.