Zohydro has been given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration, and will be for sale in early March. CNN has reported that one person dies of a drug-overdose every 19 minutes. Zohydro is extremely potent and expected to contribute to this number. Over 40 healthcare, consumer and addictions groups have advocated revoking the approval. The Food and Drug Administration continues to be bombarded with letters and petitions imploring a decision reversal.
Zohydro is an opioid analgesic drug with a hydrocodone base. The drug will carry a potency of five to ten times that of Vicodin, depending on the dosage. Opioid analgesics are narcotic pain relievers that may become addictive when used over extended periods of time. There has been a severe increase in opioid related deaths. Over-prescribing continues at alarming rates, which is possibly assisting addiction triggers. With the prescription drug epidemic increasing at alarming rates Zohydro will not receive a warm welcome.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro in the midst of re-classifying hydrocodone combination pills. A proposal was placed for hydrocodone combination drugs to be re-classified as schedule II substances rather than schedule III substances. The re-classification will only allow the submission of written prescriptions. The patient will be restricted from orally refilling or submitting a prescription. Even with these strict guidelines, the United States consumes approximately 80 percent of the world’s pain pills. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, individuals abusing prescription drugs almost doubles in comparison to illegal narcotics. These illegal narcotics include cocaine, heroin, inhalants, and hallucinogens. `
Paul Gileno, the founder and President of US Pain Foundation, believes a person truly in pain does not abuse the medicine. In order to live a fulfilling life, a person suffering from chronic pain deserves pain relief. This frame of thinking has led to the uproar of the Zohydro’s release. Patients receiving these dangerous drugs are truthfully or deceitfully in pain. Individuals seeking a drug strictly for pain management can become addicted to the drug. Depending on the severity of the pain, the dosages will increase as tolerance builds. With the building of tolerance, physicians must distinguish between pain and addiction. This is a difficult task when treating patients with debilitating injuries. Deceitfully seeking these drugs provides an existing addict with the tools that hinder health.
The addict tends to develop certain dialogue and actions in order to successfully attain the drug. When deceitfully attaining these dangerous drugs with fictitious injuries, the overdose risk increases. The drugs can cross over into the palms of those who have not received approval for any prescription, enabling this high potent painkiller to gain access to the black market. The FDA believes that the number of patients truly in need of the drug will outweigh the abusers. Unfortunately, patients truly in need may become abusers. The highly addictive elements will cause sufficient damage when taken improperly. The FDA believes the multitude of regulations will cushion addiction. Zohydro’s approval by the FDA seems to have reckless regard to the growing drug epidemic.
By Ebony Waller