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Oxycontin treatment in Ohio

Health organizations, have launched a national initiative to educate the population on the dangers of the usage of prescription drugs, and the potential for abuse and addiction. With psychological addiction, there is a worry with obtaining and using substances that are persisting despite the consequences.

Physical dependency, that is sometimes not avoidable, develops when a person is exposed to oxycontin at a high enough dose for enough time that the body adapts and develops a tolerance for the substance. This means that higher dosage are needed to achieve a drug's original effects. If the individual stops taking the drug, withdrawal will occur.

But the physical dependence does not necessarily lead to dependency in every cases; the person cannot just stop taking the drug; the dosage has to be slowly decreased, a method to gradually decrease a drug's amount over time to decrease withdrawal reactions.

Physician supervision and appropriate usage is critical for most prescription drugs. Doctors consider a patient's diagnosis and whether non-addictive treatments should be considered first. Very strong opiate drugs play a critical role in pain management so it has to be supervised.

Complicating matters is that some doctors are widely undertrained in identifying drug addiction. The average physician gets little training in drug abuse, mainly because drug abuse has only been recently recognized as a health problem.

One recent survey from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City indicated that nearly half of primary care physicians report having difficulty talking about substance abuse with patients. To educate health-care providers about the risks of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma of Stamford, Conn., manufacturer of the product, has issued a warning in the form of a "Dear Health Care Professional" letter, which will be distributed to physicians, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals. The letter highlights the problems associated with OxyContin abuse and explains the changes to the labeling, including proper prescribing information.

Surveys demonstrate that the non-medical use of prescription drugs, especially narcotic painkillers, continues to rise in several populations. The amount of individuals who had used pain relievers non-medically at least once during their lifetime raised 5 percent, to 31.2 million Americans, from 2002 to 2003. Among young adults, the non-medical use of any psychotherapeutics in the past 30 days rose from 5.4 percent to 6 percent. Also among young adults, present non-medical use of pain relievers raised by 15 percent, from 4.1 percent to 4.7 percent.
While this is an emerging substance abuse concern, the challenge it presents is of a different order from the traditional drug threats. Existing as they do in every drug store in every city and town in America, prescription substances are both more ubiquitous and at the same time more susceptible to regulatory control, with the mechanisms to reduce the threat of prescription drug misuse substantially within the scope of state and federal regulatory authority. What is necessary is continued improvement in the surveillance of practices like "doctor shopping" coupled with more careful and responsible medical oversight, preserving legal access to needed medicines while at the same time deterring unlawful conduct.
State-level prescription substance monitoring programs have taken a leading role in detecting and deterring the diversion of popular prescription controlled substances, like as OxyContin and Vicodin. PDMPs, as they are known, are in function or plan to be operational in 24 states in 2005, with Ohio, Alabama, Wyoming, and New Mexico all establishing programs in the last year. In addition, at least six states— New Jersey, Tennessee, South Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, and New Hampshire —are thinking about legislation to establish programs of their own. Certain states, notably Mississippi and Oregon, expect to implement the program through administrative rule instead of legislation. The Administration strongly supports these PDMP efforts as an efficient way to address this issue and accordingly, the President's fiscal year 2006 budget contains $5 million for prescription monitoring.

The consumption of club drugs like ecstasy, GHB, ketamine, and LSD has steadily risen in Ohio. These narcotics are rising in popularity among young adults and juveniles, particularly in urban regions of the state where the number of rave parties is also increasing.

The diversion and abuse of OxyContin pose an important threat to Ohio.

According to 2003-2004 information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 745,000 (7.88%) Ohio residents (ages 12 or older) reported past month use of an illicit drug.

Around 3.4 million (39.03%) Ohio residents admitted that using marijuana occasionally (once a month) was a “serious risk”.

Additional 2003-2004 NSDUH results demonstrate that 261,000 (2.76%) Ohio citizens reported illegal drug dependence or abuse within the past year. About 167,000 (1.76%) admitted past year illicit narcotic dependence.

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