This Is America's Fastest-Growing Drug Problem

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There are few wars that the United States can conceivably say it's not won, but the war on illicit drugs and general drug abuse continues to be one such instance where there's no clear victory in sight.

According to a National Drug Threat Survey (link opens a PDF) conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the use of illicit substances in 2011 was actually down, but only marginally, to 8.7% of the population aged 12 years and older from 8.9% in 2010. The NDTA study notes that certain regions of the country deal with difficult challenges based on their location relative to Mexico, a country with weaker drug-trafficking enforcement. The study specifically notes that heroin infiltration from Mexico into the U.S. continues to be a serious problem in a number of regions.

America's fastest growing drug problem
What the report also notes is that the fastest-growing drug problem isn't even an illicit drug of all. With the exception of marijuana, which is still the most widely used illicit drug, controlled prescription drugs, or CPDs, represent by far the most rapidly growing drug problem we have in America.

Source: DEA, National Drug Threat Survey 2007-2011, 2013.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, pain relievers are the most commonly abused CPD, with its data indicating that 6.1 million people (about 2.7% of the U.S. population) aged 12 years or older admitted to nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs. When polled over the prior month, CPD use was 2.4% of the population, compared with 0.4% for hallucinogens and 0.5% for cocaine. Marijuana use, as noted, was notably higher at 7% of the polled population.

The truth of the matter is that prescription drug abuse is a very real and very serious problem, at least in the eyes of law enforcement agencies around the country, of which 28% identified CPDs as the top drug threat in their region. Worse yet, NDTS's data indicates that access to controlled prescription drugs is only increasing, and may grow even further as Obamacare expands patients' ability to see their doctor for preventive care purposes. Based on the responses from law-enforcement agencies, the high availability of CPDs increased from 40.7% in 2007 to 75.4% in 2013.

Notable steps have been taken to help curb the illegal use of prescription drugs, including disallowing the three top Internet search engines from allowing Internet pharmacies from advertising on the sidebars of search pages unless they're Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, and through encouraging Americans to turn in unused or unwanted prescription medications at a number of nationwide locations.

Ultimately, this isn't proving to be enough, as the data would suggest. High levels of CPD abuse are forcing the Food and Drug Administration to take a tougher stance on drug approvals, especially for chronic pain medications that are opioid-based, and it's pushing select drug developers to innovate new drug formulations that are abuse-resistant.

Source: DEA.

An area of immense opportunity
Yet within this innovation lies a genuine opportunity for biopharmaceutical companies to make a meaningful difference on reducing drug abuse, and for investors to potentially get rich. Let's have a closer look at a few of the leading companies involved in drug-abuse-resistant technologies and see what they're doing to reduce already high CPD abuse levels.

One company completely geared toward curbing CPD abuse is Acura Pharmaceuticals, which currently has two abuse-resistant products currently approved by the FDA. The first is Oxecta, a drug that treats moderate to severe pain and is licensed out to Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) , while the second is Nexafed, a unique bioequivalent of the nasal decongestant Sudafed that will form a gummy gel if broken down and mixed with solvents typically used to create methamphetamine. Currently, Acura is working with federal regulators and discussing the possibility of bringing a new version of the painkiller hydrocodone to market. This hydrocodone-and-acetaminophen combo is currently in midstage studies. 

Another key group of players in this space is the combination of Pfizer, Pain Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTIE  ) , and DURECT (NASDAQ: DRRX  ) , which are on their third try of developing Remoxy, an abuse-resistant, extended-release oxycodone capsule. The drug itself is designed to taste bad and is resistant to being ground down, injected, or snorted, which should reduce the chances for abuse. Unfortunately, even abuse-resistant pain meds are viewed with a discerning eye by the FDA, which has, on two previous occasions since 2009, issued a complete response rejection letter to all three parties. The trio announced this past October that a new set of studies would be giving Remoxy another attempt at an FDA approval.

I would increasingly look for drug-abuse-focused companies to step to the forefront in an effort to counteract a rising tide of CPD abuse and would certainly suggest you keep your eyes on these companies moving forward.

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Read/Post Comments (36) | Recommend This Article (28)

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  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 4:12 PM, glenns45 wrote:

    On Record the Government ships in illegal drugs and launders the money through Wells Fargo and offshore Banks. The Controlled substance act of 1970 signed by discredited crook Richard Nixon is a unconstitutional act designed to help the corrupt Government monopoly on drugs' It is not the Government's business what drug a Physician prescribes.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 4:17 PM, dianrib wrote:

    NAFTA CAFTA ALL anti US trade policies hurt US economy Worst they make it so easy to get drugs into USA which is # 1 destination of illegal

    drugs ! And # ! destination of PORN ! Shame on us America . How did we become so weak & immoral ?.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 4:19 PM, CaptainCrapper wrote:

    I did enjoy making my own poppy tea for a summer, but I never got hooked or turned to heroin. Maybe that's the answer.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 4:25 PM, Disgustedman wrote:

    I know 2 females who get oxycontin and then turn around and sell the pills to a dealer who sells them out of his house. I'd say something, but this is the only way they can supplement their SS payments.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 4:59 PM, anotherstat wrote:

    Statistics are numeric opinions.

    The sentence that states ".......2.7% of children 12 years of age and older admitted to nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs." I didn't know controlled pain medicine is now a psychotherapeutic drug.

    I wish analysts would get to the root of why people turn to chemicals/drugs and alcohol for their escapes. To me that this more important than what drug(s) they are taking, and statistics.

    People will turn to ANYTHING for an escape, so the drug doesn't mean that much to me. Abuse any chemical, drug, food, alcohol, etc., and you'll cripple your body and/or die. If a person is looking for their escape through chemicals/drugs/alcohol they'll find and use anything to get. Much like the game 'Whack a Mole'.

    Society should not believe that the problem will be minimized by eliminating a few drugs that are statistically the most abused drugs. The problem will just become a new drug created from anything, or an existing drug.

    The problem isn't what they are taking, it's why they are turning to drugs and alcohol. 'Why' is rarely thoroughly addressed because no one wants to really dig deep and work hard to thoroughly address and deal with the question for people. It's easier to bandaid and give false impressions than to treat the root of the problem.

    The longer 'why' is never thoroughly addressed, then the drug problem will only become worse.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 5:46 PM, vet212 wrote:

    Our problem is we don't punish dealers harshly enough and we definitely don't treat the User, the root of our drug problem severely enough either and the legalization of weed is only going to add to the problem as it IS the entry level drug for most addicts

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 5:48 PM, blairsqw368 wrote:

    DUH is this really a surprise to anyone at all? the pharmaceutical companies are running the show on this

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 6:27 PM, Drflox99204 wrote:

    I have worked in substance abuse treatment and prevention and the health care field over 30 years...this isnt new, the numbers are not new- same whore, new dress...what we are doing now is a better job of record keeping and breaking out individuals drugs. There are many things that can be done to address the issue, Limits on the number of pill prescribed, working with docs to look at alternative drugs, Schedule drug registries, all are great but ---the main one is if you are foolish enough to over-dose on scripts, you are foolish enough to die.(gene pool cleaning model) Kids need to be taught the consequence of missing you medications from kindergarten, people need to be able to easily dispose of scripts when done and there are left overs. Prices need to drop so that you dont horde left over meds. The main thing is government needs to stay out of the drug policy business, make all meds legal, and let the idiots who overdose and abuse die.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 6:30 PM, JePonce wrote:

    Discredited that like FDR and his super majority in Congress that repealed prohibitions on alcohol that now puts $35 billion in the tax revenue coffers and kills 2.5 million citizens each year?

    That criminal?

    Or the decriminalization of pot for taxes?

    Or how about that criminal Obama who used his Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, to release from prison 8 crack cocaine dealers? That crook?

    Our legal system once sought truth and administered Justice. Democrat's legal system ignores truth and administers fairness and economic expediency.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 6:33 PM, IainElliott wrote:

    There is no war on illicit drugs. The war is against people using or selling or otherwise involved with illicit drugs. By describing it as a war against certain substances, the government avoids the embarrassing fact that it is making war against its own people. Doublespeak like this has subtle effects on social psychology, tending to smooth over situations and promote complacence.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 7:02 PM, stockanal45 wrote:

    I'm surprised the author didn't mention DRRX's other pain killer, POSIDUR. Unlike Remoxy, it is a non-opioid based pain medicine similar, but better than PCRX's EXPAREL. (I have no idea why both meds are spelled with all caps.) If or when POSIDUR gets FDA approved, DRRX most likely will become a 10-bagger or more. PCRX was under $5/share prior to FDA approval. Now, it's over $60/share. Also this was in a 3-4 year span. I was fortunate enough to get in at an avg. cost basis of about $6.50/share but dumb enough to sell out at $25/share!

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 7:48 PM, bugmenot wrote:

    Make $ selling the cure for the disease u created

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 8:17 PM, LibertyForAll2 wrote:

    The only problem America has is that the DEA exists at all. It is none of the Feds business what drug anybody does. The war on drugs is really the monopoly that government agencies created. They bring the drugs in, at cheap rates and arrest anybody caught with them. Thus more taxes stolen to "help the drug problem." Interesting how before drugs were made illegal there was largely no drug problem that I can find in any older news papers, but when they became illegal, there seemed to be a spike in a "drug problem." Like I said drugs are not the problem, laws are the problem.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 9:49 PM, shortsrscrewed wrote:

    The only argument I have with "the fool" is the fact PTIE has tried THREE times to get something passed by the FDA and they continue to fail. On the other hand, ACUR has 2 drug approved and on the market. Although PFE continues to drag their heels in marketing Oxecta, NEXAFED is gaining momentum daily. If they can move forward with another large drugstore chain, this stock will shoot out the roof.

    If a chain like CVS is trying to do the right thing, like quit selling tobacco products, they should just buy the ACURA NEXAFED franchise and be done with it.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 10:09 PM, frellmedead wrote:

    The war on drugs has been nothing but a monumental failure and a total waste of taxpayer money. But I suppose if you are one of the drug war profiteers, it has been a smashing success.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 10:10 PM, kdavis860 wrote:

    I know a person who figured she has fibromyalgia, and since the tests for it are subjective I guess if you think you have it then you do. She has had the craziest prescription drugs. I don't know how anybody gets so much medicine that's so strong legally. I wasn't at all surprised that prescription drugs are the fastest growing abuse category. Frankly if they legalize marijuana it would probably be safer for her to smoke it.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2014, at 11:37 PM, adam56 wrote:

    Its not the drugs that are the problem is how we use them.Drugs mentioned above are use for pain.Chronic pain usually.Now pain is the symptom not the the disease

    or cause.If we start thinking how to first find the cause and then treat it we won't have to use pain-killers.40 years ago narcotic pain killers were mostly used

    in hospital settings for people with advanced diseases like 4 stage cancer.Now there are prescribed for anyone who even complains about pain(isn't pain a very subjective sign?) by our happy drug pushers alias M.D.s.Mushrooming pain clinics do nothing but prescribe copious amounts of narcotic pain killers instead

    of treating the cause of pain.The government,Big Pharma ,insurance companies and yes M.Ds are just happy to endorse it since they all make tons of money on it.So the real problem is not a fringe 2,8% of "non-medical" use of narcotics but the actual prescription use of pain killers which according to some studies is used by 120 mln (that's 40 % of the country) of Americans.Now that's an addict nation!The 40 bln dollars we waste every year on the war of drugs will be better put in use on the "war on pain" .We should find better ways to treat pain syndromes than prescription drugs or injections.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 1:38 AM, alparadise wrote:

    DEA is the last element of the federal government beside DOD which is always totally funded by GOP in Congress. It's also the last bureau in it which still operates under the old J Edgar Hoover tactics of fear and intimidation. Sort of like seeing the 1950's in 2010's. Now that they aren't spending big bucks trying to get people to believe pot will kill you, they are now focused on prescription pain meds. As if they will lead to the end of civilization today. And how one tablet leads to certain death. Scare tactics. The harass doctors trying to help pain patients and then the patients. Doctors are often afraid to help patients because of fear of the DEA. Instead of this type of campaign, of fear, they should be working the other side, to try and work for mutual understanding of legit pain patients and their needs instead of coating everyone, abusers and patients, in the same evil coat of paint. If anything, they need to be put out of business. Right now they're working massive PR campaigns to justify their existence by going after 'CPD'.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 2:19 AM, roxander wrote:

    the american people need to realize the government and the court system is the enemy of all Americans they cause the problems .the politicians who you elected are the ones who dictate to you what we can or can not do ,and when they say no you people are to stupid to make the right choice so we the politicians will tell you when to breath when to poop and when to screw.and we have the nsa watching you and soon we will break down your doors if need be to force you to do as we command.people this is happening right now wake up and do something to stop them.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 3:01 AM, LaBeez wrote:

    The legalization of Cannabis( if we could can people calling it by its name marijuana is a slang and until it was used in the 30 's for the tax stamp act it was nonexistent) For those having issues with legal cannabis I invite you to do your home work before developing your uninformed opinions. Cannabis was originally placed under the tax as security measure prior to world two. When we determined our business venture Hitler had taken an expected turn and we knew we were going to war our Federal Reserve Financed Hitler for a specific campaign. He developed his own. Cannabis was regulated to prevent sympathetic support of the enemy as 100's of thousands of acres of this country was covered in HEMP it was used for everything back then especially militaries Rope Ruc Sack Coats clothes gun slings everything we wanted to prevent any large shipments of fiber making its way to the enemy. They came with the Marijuana to confuse and citizens paying attention. If Government had said it was placing a legal ban on cannabis people would have gone into riot. The reality of legalization is one that is needed this is about the government controlling its citizens telling us what we can and what we can’t consume it’s a matter of freedom something Americans have become all comfortable with allowing to be stripped one by one. Our government has successfully divided us and managed to effectively instill fear of some form in all of us as we either fear them or their enemies that they confess as being terrorist’s or each as a result of their direct programming and actions. United we stand divided we stall. They make examples of Americans that cut in their trade DRUGS to scare the rest of us. If your dope comes from a source they control and regulate you score it in an office and your dealer has PHD you fine if your dope comes from an opportunist seeking to profit from an obvious business supply and demand reality whose sole intention is to make money then there are problems the individual is stepping on there feet. And cutting in on their action. If the war was actually on drugs And every time they busted some low level mule in the street they raided the corporate of offices a CEO that runs a company that makes hundreds of millions of dollars annually that is knowingly selling the very precursor chemicals required for the manufacture of illicit drugs like Heroin, Meth Amphetamine and, Cocaine, To anyone with money big enough to provide all the necessary fronts required for him to do it. The war on drugs would start having effect... If you want declare toward on a substance then you need to fight that war at a substance level and that has nothing to do with the human consumption. Harsher sentences on drug dealers is not the answer there simply business minded individuals with an addiction for money. The dealers are not the substance there actually no different than deli owner or your grocer with the exception they sell a product controlled by our government. Hmmm Lets connect dots here we have a handful of illicit consumer drugs that have pretty much remained the same for 50+ that our Government has done nothing to prevent the production of on commercial level which would be the fastest way to curtail those problems. And put a permeate end to. There approach has been attack there own citizens that support illicit markets or partake in activities that they do not benefit from. But the industry that they do control and regulate Pharmaceuticals and Precursor Chemicals necessary to make them is making record profits annually and we have a current addiction problem in this country that makes all of the illicit drug use combined seem like a drop in the bucket as this is wide spread on all levels from teen agers to grandparents. The misconception here is that if your doctor gives it to you then it’s not a drug its treatment. Who is taking the blame for tightly regulated and controlled industry getting further out of control then Pablo Escobar ever imagined getting. They regulate it it’s an easy connection to make. Let’s not forget George W Bush The bush family owns 52 % of Ely Lilly pharmaceutical and lily pharmaceuticals they are the largest producers of Benzodiazepines Psychotropic, Anti psychotics Barbiturates, and actually produce quite a few of the opiates that are commonly abused. Fyntenol and offer bulk opium on their web site by the Kilo Gram Guess that war paid off. A hat what’s was about. It was not al quida or bin laden it was opium and bin laden was buying it all up. Driving market prices up and making it unavailable to Pharma Manufactures and killing their profits. September 2000 opium’s cost to medical pharmacy was $15.00a kilo September 2001 opium’s cost was $1400.00per kilo to pharma mfg's. You do the math every major producer of opium derivatives pharmaceuticals was crashing profits were nonexistent and they could not under financial attack being straggled. These companies have millions of addicts worldwide they need to keep supplied with their dope.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 3:35 AM, Commanderpost36 wrote:

    This country was founded on the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness up until the early 1900's that is when the Government decided the need to control that freedom and what Americans can and cannot do....Even to the point of saying Alcohol is bad and you cant have it. But somehow Americans revolted I guess to allow the right to drink.....but this still does not stop this gestapo Government showing one American that killed himself from drinking to much and using that as justification to control to take away rights provided to us from the beginning. And finally the people of two states have so far legalized pot for recreational use....The bottom line is the same....the fact remains statistically you will always have a percent of the population that will die or kill the innocent because of their decisions using drugs or alcohol and the few in the Government do not have the authority to justify taking the rights away from those Americans that choose to use drugs or alcohol. I'm certain these same totalitarian control freaks would love to take away our gun rights because someone used them to kill the innocent...In my opinion the people in control who think this way need to be forcefully removed.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 3:52 AM, Commanderpost36 wrote:

    In a Democracy the elected Government should not have the right to force its people to drink the water if they are dehydrated because it will save them......rather, the government should encourage its citizens to drink the water to avoid potential death and those that don't want to and die then they choose that path for themselves. Their needs to be fundamental changes made to this constitution to prevent the suffering of the people by the elected few law makers in power....certain laws that would for example take 70% of everyone's income because the Federal Government Feels the people should start paying off the deficit to achieve a balanced budget....well to avoid the obvious blood shed that would result laws that are passed that directly impact our fundamental rights should be voted by the people in a referendum and not that of questionable politicians to pass that can easily be influenced by other objectives.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 4:03 AM, Commanderpost36 wrote:

    Its funny how the media chooses to publicize certain subjects to directly influence public opinion to justify Government control.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 5:19 AM, TeriColone wrote:

    It has been known for a long time that opiates have been a "gateway" drug. Actually opiate addicts will probably be the first to tell you that.

    What's needed, is to have these companies come up with something that will help the opiate addict stay away from the opiate...meaning, like if an opiate addict went to detox and wanted to stop all the madness.....then there should be a pill that they can take so if they should fall and take an should have a consequence....or maybe the opiate shouldn't have any effect.

    Anyways.....hurry up and get MJ legalized for goodness sakes. Most of this crap would take care of itself if we all could just sit down and smoke a bowl together. ;)

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 6:44 AM, mikells wrote:

    .Why doesn't the gov quit going after people for drug use? This country has more people in prison and jail then all the countries in the rest of the world put together. Please quit ruining a persons life over drug use. Go after the bankers and corporations that commit fraud. Granted it won't be easy to win cases like the pot smokers but maybe the justice dept. will win a few.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 7:45 AM, phlogisticlee wrote:

    The govt. should, repair dams, build road and educate the public. ONLY. Congress should go back 2 being a part time job and every legislator should have to pee in a bottle every time they want 2 receive a paycheck.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 7:52 AM, DevonShire123 wrote:

    No one in the government (or "media") is fighting this problem. Rather, they are encouraging it, and profiting from it. Pull your head out.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 8:49 AM, jdblack69 wrote:

    "2.4% of the population admitted to using psychotherapeutic drugs for non medical use…"

    First, in the world of Govt stats they will term this as "statistically insignificant", at least when it suits their narrative.

    This article also doesn't make a distinction between admitting to experimenting vs admitting to being addicted which would be fairly important to my mind.

    Finally the response to "fix" the "epidemic" by lawmakers is ridiculous forcing patience to physically get to the doctor's office in order to get a prescription that doesn't have the ability to be refilled. It makes sense when a doctor is not comfortable or doesn't know their patient well enough but once a need is recognized by a doctor I do not see where this law benefits the patient in any way shape or form. When a person is in a situation where the need for the use of such a strong pain medication is verified and validated its tantamount to torture to force that person to drive to a doctor's office, then go to a pharmacy. Someone in intense pain and in need of relief is more of a danger behind the wheel than any other distracted driver.

    Additionally with all of the known harm too much acetaminophen ingested, the regulation forcing drug makers to add a certain amount of acetaminophen to these pain relievers smacks of typical government, and I don't mean as a compliment.

    Lastly, these latest high profile, celebrity overdose deaths are being used as a cautionary tale against pain medication and opiate addiction. Don't mistake my words as dismissing the dangers of opiate addiction, however what appears to be completely ignored is the role alcohol has played in many of these situations and in the Hoffman case it appears MSM has dismissed the role of heroin in order to further the narrative of pain pill addiction being the real culprit, now apparently being the new "gateway" drug to heroin in much the same way the authority packaged marijuana to the public.

    All that being said I see no way in which the above furthers investment ideas. So sorry.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 10:06 AM, sbrentbill wrote:

    The statistics are way off. They are the FDA's numbers and they want more control. I have had a great deal of difficulty in getting my prescriptions filled because the DEA and FDA are limiting the quantities given to pharmacies. Since they have lost the war on illegal drugs they are trying to clamp down on legal drugs. They need to stop and work on getting better drugs to markets and stop their numbers game. If a doctor gives you a prescription it should be filled. The main reason the numbers are higher are we have a aging population that is need of pain medication for the many ailments we have.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 10:38 AM, wgcross2 wrote:

    I am getting very tired of Medical News or Pharmaceutical News being all about investment opportunities. Healthcare is a humane endeavor not just an investment opportunity. I can remember when healthcare was mostly affordable. Things dramatically changed when Wall Street became involved along with the Hedge Funds, wealthy investors and Capital Venturists. It's obvious that this mix caused healthcare to soar in cost across the board. When you have tremendous pressure to return an investment, you'll trim expenses and raise the prices, especially in this instant gratification society and with Wall Street's perpetual growth model. We need to restrike a balance.

    The DEA is a total disaster. They've long lost the war and are responsible for the creation of today's powerful cartels, just like prohibition kicked the Mafia into high gear. Neither epoch achieved its goals and cost the nation and its people untold dollars and hardship.

    What concerns me the most, is that people who truely suffer chronic intractable pain are going to be the losers. It wasn't all that long ago that people dying of cancer and in unimaginable pain were allowed to suffer, but at least their lives weren't destroyed by addiction. I've seen it first hand and heard it justified by doctors. It was called the Civil War Mentality. One shot of morphine and you were a hopeless addict and your life was over. Pain specialists and then pain clinics finally freed & broke the stigma and provided access to the many people in need. But it wasn't easy and it was a long road. It required a huge paradigm shift.

    This study is nothing new. Every so many years one like this comes out. The last one was Oxycontin. However, no real research has been done on the root mechanisms for pain transmission. They still refer to the mystery transmitter as Substance P. Really? If you want to eliminate the narcotics, block the pain at the source. Don't just block the receptors in the brain.

    But a breakthrough of this magnitude would really hurt the Pharm industry- Codeine, Hydrocodone,

    Oxycodone, Morphine, Dilaudid, Demerol, Fentyl and other morphine analogs, provide enormous revenues for the Pharm industry.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 11:17 AM, wgcross2 wrote:

    We need to remember that Big Pharma has created the "pill" society. We're told to take a pill for everything from a hang-nail to being gay. We are one of the very few countries that allow Pharma to advertise on TV. Those commercials are rich. The people in them always look like they've achieved Nirvana. If you listen to the possible side effects, they're horrendous- various cancers, infection, TB, or suicide. Years ago, 1980, there was a late night commedy called Fridays. It was kind of like SNL. It was the first place I saw Michael Richards (Cosmo Kramer). They had a skit about a wacked-out pharmacist whose answer to everything was "take a pill". It was hillarious. Seems they were ahead of their time.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 2:56 PM, Patty wrote:

    Too bad our government doesn't read these comments and listen to the people.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 5:21 PM, oldkate wrote:

    The DEA can't catch the REAL Drug Lords, so, they pick on the Docs..& those whose life would be unbearable due to Chronic Pain!! I'm 72...If it weren't for my pain management, sensible ,Doctor, I couldn't leave the house at all, let alone once in awhile. I'm in complete agreement with the fact that the Pharmacutical Co. are the "Biggest "Dealers" around. There are already laws & built in controls for dispensing Pain Medications. That's not the Problem! The problem started with throwing Ritalin, (SPEED) at grade school kids 40 yrs ago...Now, the kids are on Prozac or a related Serotonin Drug. Which, by the way, is FAR more dangerous than Tylenol #3 or Hydrocodone! Try doing a search on how many Serotonin Surge related deaths there were last year! Yet the Drug Reps are still bouncing into the Docs offices, pushing their particular brand. How about the deaths due to Liver Failure, caused by Drugs to lower Cholesterol, Lipitor, etc...What are those #s? And, BTW, NO Government can pass Any workable Laws that will keep people from destroying themselves! In fact, we proved that with the Volstead Act! All 'new laws' will do, is make it impossible for , especially Senior Citizens & those with Cancer & other Painful Diseases, to get the meds they need. But then, those who advocate Euthanasia, will have a door wide open, to allow the poor, sufferring people to Die with Dignity...Such Compassion!!

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 11:37 PM, Gicomeng wrote:

    Drug Abuse Awareness programs that teach drug abuse so they can present the dangers have been a major source informing K12 students and adults that prescription drugs are safer than street drugs So Even though a drug such as methamphetamine has been around since the 1930s, dispensed to the military of both Axis and Allied forces during WWII, then used by at least two U.S.presidents in the form of "hot-shots" that also emerged in the film industry, had been legally sold in truck stops during the 1950s and 1960s, and until recently was prescribed for patients as young as 6 years old as treatment for ADHD, the public has been indoctrinated to believe the drug is deadly. So when a cautious person witnesses a tweaker consuming copious amounts of meth and survives without a problem,the cautious person will start administering more liberal doses of a CPD that is supposedly safer. In fact, CPDs are far more lethal than bubble gum street drugs,

    During the Carter administration, the number of drug-induced deaths never reached 8,000. In 1980 there was a drop to 6,900 deaths. Since 1981 when Ronald Reagan revived the War on Drugs, annual drug-induced mortality has been increasing every year and despite the reports from former DEA Special Agent in Charge, Stephen C. Delgado, drug abuse has been escalating at phernominal rates, paralleling drug-induced mrortality, which, according to the CDC doubled between 1999 and 2006. We are now looking at more than 40,000 deaths per year since the Obama adminsitration started.

    Seven years ago, I resurrected an idea that came about during the late 1960s, when the best solution was thought to be educating K12 students how to properly administer drugs. I agree, but rather than teach our students how to use street drugs, we need to be teaching them how to use CPDs and all drugs for medical purposes. My proposed program, the Drug Use Education (DUE) Process, is described in detail on my website at

    The DUE Process paradigm demonstrates how broader interpretations of pharmacotherapeutic necessity can transform adverse social behavior into individualized and safely self-administered medical care, extending the privilege for equal drug access to adult citizens following completion of K12 medical and pharmacology education, genetic and neuropsych evaluations, and optional post-graduate training. Licensing of individuals and registration of therapies they use, enables automated drug access, nutrition bar recovery, and provides instant identification and association with specific medications, streamlining engagements with physicians, law enforcement and all other authority. Basic and advanced first aid certification with the purposes to provide immediate emergency medical assistance and support during local disasters and , treat common disorders, disease, and injuries independent of a medical practitioner, and enhance the quality of healthcare encounters at every stage of life, while permitting access to medically beneficial responsible drug use thus, mitigating due process violations and the demand for illicit substances. The DUE Process model was cast as the centerpiece of the DUE Proxcess Initiative, inspired by President Lyndon Johnson’s 1966 program enforcing motor vehicle safety.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 4:15 AM, metou wrote:

    People get really stupid about freedom , like a lot of pot user like to point to it but if they can so can crack user an other drug user, or telling people they cant rob banks or kill people they dont like is not taking away freddom, freedom has limits. There no such thing as pure freedom, every nation has to have rules and laws , just because they wont let you get high on pot, crack or speed , doesnt mean they are taking your freedom from you. I cant go out and kill you because I cant stand you, and thats not taking my freedom away. Grow up!

  • Report this Comment On February 14, 2014, at 4:47 PM, jman84 wrote:

    Oxecta is just oxycodone, which the same thing in Oxycontin. This is just as addictive as the rest of the opiod family. Several years the FDA outlawed Darvocet and all it's forms because one of the formulation (Darvocet N-100) had 1000mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol). As a pharmacist this made no sense to me. Why not just reduce the amount of acetaminophen or use one of the other propoxyphene formulations as it had been used for years with little addiction problems. Now Lortab is the #1 pain killer and all of the older people who took one Darvocet at night for pain for years and years, now take 5 or 6 Lortab per day and increasing as tolerance goes up. It sure makes it look like the FDA wanted that to happen..

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Sean Williams

A Fool since 2010, and a graduate from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Economics, Sean specializes in the healthcare sector and in investment planning topics. You'll usually find him writing about Obamacare, marijuana, developing drugs, diagnostics, and medical devices, Social Security, taxes, or any number of other macroeconomic issues.

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