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Are "Abuse Resistant" Painkillers as Helpful as They Seem?

addiction pill prescription painkiller addiction research

The abuse of prescription painkillers is reaching epidemic levels in this country. In the past 15 years or so, fatal overdoses have increased by 400%. One way that pharmaceutical companies are trying to combat this epidemic is to develop so-called "addiction resistant" or "abuse resistant painkillers."

However, there are people who have serious doubts that these so-called "abuse resistant" painkillers are actually preventing addiction or overdose at all.

abuse painkillers research addictionStrategies for Combating Prescription Pill Addiction

Pharmaceutical companies have faced criticism that they are profiting from the addiction and misery of people who get hooked on their products. In response, drug companies like Purdue Pharma and Pfizer have tried to develop prescription painkillers that aren't conducive to drug abuse.

One of the main strategies they've developing is formulating drugs that can't be crushed. Thus, they can't be snorted or injected. Purdue Pharma has marketed a abuse resistant version of OxyContin which they call Hysingla.

The Drawback to Abuse Resistant Painkillers

On the other hand, both research and experts' experience show that these abuse resistant drugs may not be relevant. One expert, Andrew Kolodny, severely criticizes these so-called addiction resistant drugs. He says that he's hardly ever met addicted people who actually snort or inject crushed pills. Most patients take the pills orally, which would mean that efforts to make them resistant to crushing would be irrelevant.

Additionally, research shows that most people who have overdosed on prescription painkillers didn't buy them from a dealer. Instead, they got them from a doctor. That means that addiction looks so similar to the justified use of painkillers that it's hard to combat one of them without interfering with the other.

Reputable Rehab for Prescription Painkillers

Of course, people who are struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers need to find some sort of treatment. Whether they take the pills orally, or have found ways to inject or snort them, the effect is the same. The danger is the same too, with more and more overdoses involving prescription painkillers each year.

The best way to fight prescription painkiller addiction is with the right course of rehab. Call Retreat at Lancaster County to learn how we can accept your insurance to help you get your rehab stay paid for.

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