Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prescription Pain Medication Abuse On Surprising Increase, With Unexpected Geographic Distribution

Date:
October 18, 2006
Source:
Rush University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center found prescription pain medication (PPM) abuse is a rapidly growing problem with surprising and often unpredictable distribution patterns.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center found prescription pain medication (PPM) abuse is a rapidly growing problem with surprising and often unpredictable distribution patterns. The research was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Anesthesiologists in Chicago, October 13, 2006.

Mario Moric, PhD, a researcher in the department of Anesthesiology at Rush, and colleagues used survey data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for 2002-04 to estimate the prevalence of drug abuse across the United States for various illicit and prescription substances.

Moric found that PPM abuse did not follow traditional patterns. “Individual states with high levels of PPM abuse may not recognize the problem. The prevailing assumption that only those states with high levels of traditional illicit drug abuse should be vigilant is clearly misleading.”

The researchers found distribution of PPM abuse across the United States varied greatly and differed from other seemingly similar drug abuse trends. PPM distribution differed substantially from inhalants, heroin and sedatives, was somewhat similar to cocaine and stimulants and was closely related to distribution of tranquilizers.

Furthermore, the researchers found that states with large metropolitan areas (New York, Illinois, Texas and California) did not have a high distribution of abuse, despite the common view that drug abuse is associated with the fast-paced lifestyle of city dwellers.

“Distribution of PPM abuse across the states differs from high-profile street drugs and even particular PPMs such as oxycodone, which has its own specific pattern,” Moric said. “It is for this reason that PPM abuse must be monitored separately from other illicit substances, and the most commonly abused or most problematic PPMs should be monitored individually.”

Oxycodone, in particular, was singled out by Moric’s group because of its highly addictive nature and specific distribution pattern, which differed from many other PPMs and illicit drugs. Similar to heroin in both its effect on the body and addictive nature, oxycodone is often crushed or mixed with other drugs and used for its heroin-like “rush.” Moric warned that the key to understanding and identifying abuse requires a more sophisticated understanding than that abusers simply want to “feel good.”

“As users become addicts, they undergo a fundamental neurobiological change,” Moric said. “Processes such as learning, memory, perception, arousal and motivation all drastically change, and to classify abuse purely as ‘pleasure seeking’ is a gross oversimplification.”

The surprising results from the study should offer something of a wake-up call to physicians and other health care workers everywhere in the country. “Clinicians need to be aware of the level of abuse in their area and moderate their vigilance accordingly,” Moric said.

If PPM abuse is identified in a particular area, a multifaceted response should be implemented, he said. “Drug abuse prevention, outreach and information dissemination programs by federal, state and nonprofit agencies should be notified so that public awareness can be heightened and action be taken to reduce the problem.”

According to Moric, anesthesiologists who practice pain medicine play a particularly crucial role in combating PPM abuse. “We feel that the most important function of anesthesiologists with respect to PPM abuse is in education. Anesthesiologists are the most relevant spokespersons for both the benefits of PPMs and the potential abuses,” Moric said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rush University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rush University Medical Center. "Prescription Pain Medication Abuse On Surprising Increase, With Unexpected Geographic Distribution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084504.htm>.
Rush University Medical Center. (2006, October 18). Prescription Pain Medication Abuse On Surprising Increase, With Unexpected Geographic Distribution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084504.htm
Rush University Medical Center. "Prescription Pain Medication Abuse On Surprising Increase, With Unexpected Geographic Distribution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017084504.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Some Positive Ebola News: Outbreak 'Contained' In Nigeria

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC says a new case of Ebola has not been reported in Nigeria for more than 21 days, leading to hopes the outbreak might be nearing its end. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

UN Ebola Mission Head: Immediate Action Is Crucial

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) The newly appointed head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, outlines operations to tackle the virus. Duration: 00:39 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

CDC Confirms First Case of Ebola in US

AP (Sep. 30, 2014) The CDC has confirmed the first diagnosed case of Ebola in the United States. The patient is being treated at a Dallas hospital after traveling earlier this month from Liberia. (Sept. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

New Breast Cancer Drug Extends Lives In Clinical Trial

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) In a clinical trial, breast cancer patients lived an average of 15 months longer when they received new drug Perjeta along with Herceptin. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins