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Will tightened painkiller regulations reduce drug abuse?

Will Tightened Painkiller Regulations Reduce Drug Abuse?

The Drug Enforcement Administration has announced tighter restrictions on prescription painkillers in an effort to curb drug abuse in the U.S.

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, the regulation will classify hydrocodone-combination products, such as Vicodin, as a Schedule II drug instead of a less-restrictive Schedule III drug. Pure hydrocodone has already been listed as a Schedule II drug since the 1970s.

Hydrocodone is one of the most prescribed and most abused painkillers in the U.S. The move is part of the government's effort to reduce what it calls a growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 15,000 deaths in 2008 were due to prescription painkiller overdoses, compared to just 4,000 in 1999.

The Food and Drug Administration first recommended the restrictions in January 2013. The new rules will put tighter regulations on doctors as well as manufacturers and pharmacies.

Under schedule II regulations, doctors can only prescribe a supply of the drug limited to 90 days with no refills. And one medical professional tells The Wall Street Journal pharmacies will now have to keep those drugs secured and will only accept written prescriptions.

Now, the government believes these regulations will help fight hydrocodone addiction, although it has not specified how the regulations will contribute to a decrease in drug abuse in general.

Other experts think it might make it more difficult for those who rely on these medications for chronic pain to keep their prescriptions filled.

According to USA Today, the FDA has resisted implementing similar regulations in the past for this exact reason. But it finally changed its stance amid the growing number of reports of widespread abuse.

But one addiction specialist tells The New York Times the change might even cause a hike in the use of other illegal drugs such as heroin.

Others question whether these regulations are comprehensive enough.

FOX BUSINESS: "It's people going in the medicine cabinet, it's illegal drugs, prescription drugs getting on the illegal market. The government needs to do more. ... Oxycodone is already in schedule II, that causes more deaths."

The new regulations will take effect in October.

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noteugene August 25 2014 at 5:45 AM

I snapped my back lifting weights 40 years ago. constant pain. knew about pain killer addictions so never took them. until a couple years ago. had too. bones wore out after grinding against each other so long. constant nerve pressure. hydrocodone barely gives relief but I can live without excruiating pain. enough for me. then some kid behind a desk in washington who pushes a pencil for a living, doesn't know 1 damn thing about pain, because of the way some others have abused these drugs, decides that I shouldn't have them either? blanket laws enacted like this is the only thing you can expect from goverment mandated health care. good luck with that.

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10 replies
combatpainter August 25 2014 at 5:21 AM

I don't think we need the govt. to manage our pain. Holly crap! I feel bad for people who are in pain. They will suffer because of a few addicts that can easily become alcoholics or illegal drug users. There will be a huge black market for pain relief. Prohibition all over again. We need to stop the govt. regulations. This takes away our basic freedom of individual responsibility. Allow people the freedom to make smart choices.

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4 replies
kmcc895370 August 25 2014 at 6:31 AM

I used to take Darvon for knee, back, neck & shouler pain brought on by arthritis and a hard working life. Then out of the blue the FDA banned it and I had to go to vicodin. Now they've cut the painkilling ability of it in half so i have to take more to try to get the same much needed relief. Now this? I might as well take the bridge. Thanks government! As usual you screw the innocent to questionably punish the abusers.

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3 replies
crazy ray August 25 2014 at 6:41 AM

Moronic to punish people in pain for the actions of abusers. People like me wiith multiple ruptured discs will have to suffer now because the DEA is more concerned about addicts than honest citizens who need relief.

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2 replies
commonsense1sc crazy ray August 25 2014 at 11:32 AM

I agree, I guess the DEA will rather people who really need the pain relief to start smoking pot since they are no longer enforcing the Already Enacted GOVERNMENT LAWS!! Isn't this government going over the top now? It's a crying shame. I can relate to your pain since I retired from the military and had surgery's and on my spine and need more. I hope that you recover quickly from your disc problem.

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calderasf crazy ray August 25 2014 at 1:23 PM

False false false

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dlong0930 August 25 2014 at 6:38 AM

I have been living with pain for almost 30 years from Fibromyalgia. The only thing that eases the muscle pain is Vicodin and Soma. Both now schedule II drugs. I do not get "high" from these medications like alot of people do. As a matter of fact I don't know how they do. Maybe they take more than 1 at a time like what normally you would, but I wish the DEA would leave my medications alone and concentrate on the abusers and the dr's that just randomly write a prescription without actually treating the patient.Such as the person who drives down from KY or TN to FL to get some sleaze doctor to write them a prescription

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1 reply
cigary43 dlong0930 August 25 2014 at 9:02 AM

The reason you don't get a "high" is because your pain takes the medication and that is where it goes....pain eats up the chemistry of that medication and you'll never get a "high" from it. The only people who do get high...are those who don't have pain. Ask you Dr about this factoid.

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ddokken69 August 25 2014 at 6:50 AM

You have got to be kidding me!! I find it amusing that they want to make it harder for people with chronic pain to get these type of drugs and 15,000 deaths according to the records from last year related to pain meds but lets step back for a moment look at a REAL KILLER that is often left out of the picture, ALCOHOL,HMM?? If you compare the number of deaths due to drinking.... well the numbers speak for themselves but oh yeah I forgot all the grand poobah's in D.C. don't want anyone to mess with their what I call crutch of society how would they run the country sober??

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2 replies
commonsense1sc ddokken69 August 25 2014 at 11:35 AM

I guess that is why they are not pursuing people who sell and use Pot! Maybe that is what they are wanting people to use now to control pain.

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Priscilla ddokken69 August 25 2014 at 2:37 PM

Well said!

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Nan August 25 2014 at 6:56 AM

As someone in constant pain from arthritis in my back, my only relief is from hydocodone. It is the only thing that remotely gives me just a small amount of a real "life". I agree with another poster, I do not know how people get high on this drug. It's the usual - everyone has to pay the price for the sins of a few. I will have no reason to try and go on with my life if I do not have access to some relief from pain - 10+. Surgery is not an option - it would not solve my problem.

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2 replies
calderasf Nan August 25 2014 at 1:26 PM

they snort it for one thing

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foxeyred27 Nan August 25 2014 at 1:26 PM

I agree, I have Fibro, disc and vertebre damage in neck, back, and mid back. also osteoarthritis, my pain is so severe I have no life now, I can't do anything. I take loritab and just suffer. I ask myself almost everyday why am I here??
If drugies want to get high they will, all they do when you take one thing away, is find another. and alchol is the worst one.

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yorkiemum August 25 2014 at 7:39 AM

Firstly, most drug abusers get their drugs on the streets. Secondly, I think the majority of these overdose deaths are people who just can't take the chronic, exquisite pain any longer, or are too physically sick and without care to go on.

In the city where I live, a terminal cancer patient's husband was unable to get her prescription for pain meds filled because the pharmacies are now allowed to deny ANY medication to patients without having to give a reason. This woman suffered two weeks of horrible agony before she died. What they are choosing to do to chronic pain patients is going to raise the suicide rate to rise exponentially. It's inhuman, by any standard.

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1 reply
calderasf yorkiemum August 25 2014 at 1:28 PM

They get them on the street buying from people who get hundreds of these pills from dsr.

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fred August 25 2014 at 6:15 AM

Since the gubbermint does such a good job running the show, how could anyone object to this?.........RIGHT!!

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1 reply
calderasf fred August 25 2014 at 1:27 PM

Yes, thank god out tax $ support smart educated people watching out for us and the drug companies only look out for their profits

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Elizabeth August 25 2014 at 6:11 AM

Recently separated my shoulder, and the ER doctor insisted that I should take either Vicodin or Percocet. I chose to just take OTC Tylenol. I do think that doctors sometimes over prescribe some medications, but I also believe that they should be available to those whose pain is truly unbearable. No government agency can possibly know who needs what medication - that should be a mutual decision made by the patient and the physician.

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1 reply
nickle911 Elizabeth August 25 2014 at 12:30 PM

This is nuts the government has already pass strong control of med last year now they want to control your life even more

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1 reply
calderasf nickle911 August 25 2014 at 1:29 PM

paranoid there's a drug for that

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