Tag Archives: addiction

Did OxyContin Maker Fail to Heed Signs of Drug’s Growing Abuse?

ABC News

OxyContin, a powerful painkiller introduced on the market seven years ago, has proven a wonder drug for many sufferers of persistent pain.

But now, in the wake of conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh’s announcement that he’s “addicted” to prescription pain medications – among them, OxyContin, according to law enforcement officials – much of the nation is aware that the drug can take powerful hold of people who misuse it.

The front-page coverage of Limbaugh’s addiction comes as questions are already being raised in Congress about the company that makes OxyContin, Purdue Pharma Co. of Stamford, Conn.

“My concerns,” said Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., “are they have pushed the envelope to the point that a lot of innocent people have just been devastated by this drug.”

New York Times reporter Barry Meier says in his upcoming book Pain Killer that Purdue Pharma failed early on to fully heed warnings its pain killer was becoming widely abused.

But when Congress began investigating, executives of Purdue Pharma testified under oath before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary that they did not learn that OxyContin was being widely abused until four years after it was introduced.

A company official said, “In February 2000 was the first time we became aware that something different was going on.”

Now that testimony is being called into questions by committee Chairman Wolf. “The company must have known,” Wolf says, “I mean they know how powerful a drug this can be, both for good and for evil. And so clearly the company had to know.”

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Addiction Resources

Gulf Coast Recovery
gulfcoastrecovery.com/
Gulf Coast Recovery is a treatment center that specializes in treating alcohol dependence and drug addiction.

Addiction, Physical Dependence and Tolerance

Addiction to narcotics is rare (less than 1% of patients) and usually occurs in patients with a prior history of substance abuse. Addiction is defined as the continued use of a specific psychoactive substance despite physical, psychological or social harm.

Physical dependence differs from addiction. Patients taking opioids on a chronic basis develop a physical dependence, and experience withdrawal symptoms during sudden abstinence from the drug. Addiction is primarily a psychological problem; dependence is a physical response to continued use of narcotics.

Tolerance is the need for higher opioid doses to maintain a constant effect. While this is a poorly understood phenomenon, most patients on chronic opioids do not experience tolerance. Alternative explanations, such as a new source of pain or progression of an existing lesion (especially a neoplasm), should be considered when tolerance occurs.

Pseudoaddiciton must be differentiated from true addiction. Patients experiencing continued pain will exhibit anxiety and drug-seeking behavior. These behaviors typically disappear once the pain is relieved. This pseudoaddictive behavior is extinguished by adequate pain relief, unlike the continued drug-seeking behavior of true addiction.

Addiction is a maladaptive behavior pattern, where the need to take a drug interferes with other life activities. The individual is preoccupied with a continuing drug supply, despite deterioration of family, work, and other social relationships. Addiction should be suspected if concurrent use of alcohol or illicit drugs, frequent visits to the ER seeking additional medications, forging or losing prescriptions, repeated noncompliance with medication regimens, and/or the unwillingness to discuss changes in pain medication are present. These are difficult patients to deal with and often psychiatry or chronic pain consultation is helpful.

Use of opioids in patients with a history of substance abuse is occasionally necessary. In these cases, a treatment contract should be utilized. This typically sets out basic terms, such as the single physician who will prescribe medication, the medication schedule that the patient is expected to adhere to, and the conditions which will lead to discontinuation of narcotic therapy.

Welcome to Life in Pain.

Disclamer

The premise of our site is to give chronic pain sufferers a voice and to change public, media and medical opinions about chronic pain it’s causes and the medications used to treat it. We need people to learn the difference between addiction and physical dependence. We want to feature chronic pain sufferers in a way that will open people’s eyes to our world. We want people to see that we are not running around searching for the next “fix”, and that chronic pain sufferers are consistently under medicated. On our web site we want to show what it feels like to be debilitated from consuming pain and what pain looks like. By featuring chronic pain sufferers and telling their personal stories along with pictures of their lives.

If you’d like to participate all you need to do is add your story.

If you need help or would like to create your own page with pictures and links or what not, then just email us at [email protected] and explain what you would need help with

We suggest you include:
Short Biography.
The story of your life with chronic pain.
Pictures.

Thanks.
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