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Oxycontin Addiction Media Reports, Editorials and Blogs

State Fights Prescription Drug Abuse
By Kaustuv Basu

September 17, 2009 - At Merritt Island's Hobbs Pharmacy, customers call ahead if they want to fill a prescription for OxyContin.

The powerful painkiller is not stored on site.

Mark Hobbs said this is his way of trying to fight prescription drug abuse. The family-owned pharmacy on Banana River Drive was robbed twice in 2007. "We have people with a real need for their medications," said Hobbs, whose family has run the pharmacy for more than 40 years. "And then there are people who are addicted to the stuff and desperate for it."

In Brevard, 199 people died from prescription drug abuse in 2007 and 2008. Prescription drug seizures by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office went up by 87 percent in 2008 compared with the year before, from 2,895 doses to 5,406 doses.
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Mom on drugs while pregnant guilty of cruelty
Matthew Pleasant
August 25, 2009 - A 30-year-old who abused pain medicine while pregnant and passed the addiction to her unborn child pleaded guilty to a cruelty charge Monday.

Anahit Dufrene of Houma was arrested after Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center doctors reported to officers her newborn girl was suffering from withdrawal symptoms, deputies said.

Her daughter, now 7 months old, is still undergoing treatment, said Jason Lyons, a Terrebonne Parish assistant district attorney. The girl and Dufrene’s two other children are in the custody of her husband’s parents.
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An Open Letter to Victims of Oxycontin
Marianne Skolek
August 24, 2009 - In my years of exposing Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, for criminally marketing their drug, I have never been disappointed in their efforts to gain revenue in their promotion of the drug.

Below is a brief outline of events and circumstances that have left me wondering "Do these convicted felons have a conscience?" From the beginning of my work, I have wondered how the words "under treatment of pain" could be so freely used by Purdue Pharma in their marketing tactics.

I have also wondered how a physician working for the FDA could be involved in the approval process of OxyContin in the 1990's and subsequently become employed by the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the drug.

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My turn: Prescription drug abuse can kill
By: Maya Raschel - Opinion
April 2, 2008 - I am writing in concern of an increasing epidemic in Juneau, as well as the rest of the nation. The epidemic I am talking about is youth abusing prescription drugs such as OxyContin and oxycodone.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse's annual survey reported in 2005 that OxyContin use by 12th-graders was up 40 percent nationwide.
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Prescription drugs: legal and lethal
Forget heroin and cocaine. The dangerous drugs claiming the lives and minds of the stars are prescription painkillers and a new class of happy pills that doctors are handing out by the million
Source: TimesOnline.com
By: Robert Sandall
February 24, 2008 - What finally killed Heath Ledger wasn’t heroin or cocaine. Despite his well-publicised problems with illegal hard drugs in the past, the potentially lethal compounds found in the Manhattan apartment of the 28-year-old Hollywood actor after his death in January had all been legally prescribed. Just another victim of the American private-health system, you might think, the prescription-on-demand culture that wiped out Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. Not our problem.

Think again. Of the six sedatives, painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs Ledger was taking, three had been prescribed here during his recent spell filming in London. In common with a growing number of young serial drug abusers – including his fellow film star Owen Wilson, whose attempted suicide last year was attributed to a three-day binge on the legal painkiller OxyContin – Ledger had moved on from street drugs. Having been caught on film two years ago at the Chateau Marmont in LA snorting a white powder, he had discovered a less troublesome, if no less dangerous, route to oblivion.

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Latest Prescription Drug Statistics Prove Compelling Reason
for Addicts to Seek Treatment

Source: PR Web
Published Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Destin, Florida (PRWEB) February 12, 2008 -- New research indicates that not only is abuse of prescription drugs killing more people than cocaine or heroin but that sales for prescription painkillers are also on the rise. According to a recently released study by The National Center for Health Statistics, "Prescription pain killers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin now kill five times as many people as heroin and almost twice as many as cocaine."

This is a very scary combination of events - not only are deaths related to prescription drugs like OxyContin increasing, but the availability of these drugs have also increased
"This new research shows clearly why it is critical to seek help for your own or a loved one's addiction as soon as possible," says Randy Ross, president of Narconon Gulf Coast. "People's lives are at stake and if individuals don't seek treatment for their own or a loved one's prescription drug addiction, the result can be lethal."

In addition to research showing a rise of prescription drug-related deaths, the Associated Press has also reported on findings from an investigation and analysis of federal drug prescription data*. Findings show, "Retail sales of five leading painkiller drugs nearly doubled over an eight-year period, reflecting a surge in use by patients nationwide." Oxycodone, a chemical used in the popular prescription drug OxyContin, has played a large part in the increase as, "OxyContin use jumped nearly six-fold between 1997 and 2005."

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Pills Take Lethal Local Toll
Source: Herald Tribune
By: Kevin Dale
Published Sunday, February 10, 2008

In just a few short years, a quiet public health crisis caused by prescription drug abuse has cost Southwest Florida residents millions of dollars.

The increasing number of addicts has pressured state and local government to spend millions building and operating new treatment facilities.

Beyond that, there is the difficult-to-measure impact on public safety services -- police, emergency medical response and jail space. Perhaps no single agency has been affected more than the Sarasota-based District 12 Medical Examiner's Office, where 20 percent of the bodies autopsied are now drug-related.

"I think people do shrug it off, but it is at epidemic levels at this point," said toxicologist Dr. Bruce A. Goldberger, whose University of Florida laboratory processes the blood tests for hundreds of Florida's drug-related deaths each year.

In roughly five years, area substance abuse treatment centers have watched prescription drugs alter the way they do business.

A swell of people addicted to oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have helped create waiting lists for already scarce detox beds, and prompted treatment centers to expand:

Between 2002 and 2006, Manatee Glens, Manatee County's primary taxpayer supported drug-treatment center, doubled the money it spends on substance abuse treatment to $1.6 million.

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Trends in Abuse of Oxycotin and Other Opioid Analgesics in the United States: 2002-2004
Source: Science Direct
By: Theodore J. Cicero, James A. Inciardi and Alvaro Munoz
Published October, 2005

OxyContin® (Purdue Pharma L.P., Stamford, Conn) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995 as a sustained-release preparation of oxycodone hydrochloride and was thought to have much lower abuse potential than immediate-release oxycodone because of its slow-release properties. However, beginning in 2000, widespread reports of OxyContin® abuse surfaced. In response, Purdue Pharma L.P. sponsored the development of a proactive abuse surveillance program, named the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance (RADARS®) system. In this paper, we describe results obtained from one aspect of RADARS—the use of drug abuse experts (ie, key informants)—as a source of data on the prevalence and magnitude of abuse of prescription drugs.

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