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DEA introduces new drug take-back program to combat prescription drug abuse

A new Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) rule aims to combat a growing epidemic of prescription drug addiction and abuse by authorizing pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and others to serve as drop-off sites for unused prescription medications. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the new regulation will help save lives and protect families from the dangers of prescription drug misuse. In 2011, unintentional prescription drug overdoses accounted for more than half of the 41,300 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Prescription opioids, which are increasingly prescribed for pain relief, are particularly addictive and likely to be abused. Opioid pain killer overdose caused ... Read More

Prescription drug deaths rise for 11th consecutive year

The number of prescription drug-induced deaths rose for the 11th straight year, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis. Most of the drug deaths were accidents involving potent painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin. “This is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly,” said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden. Prescription drug deaths continue to rise despite efforts to raise awareness of the risks among doctors and patients. The CDC reported a total of 38,329 drug-overdose fatalities nationwide in 2010. Nearly 60 percent of those deaths involved medicines, most of them prescription drugs. In 2009, the ... Read More

Prescription drug overdose and abuse now the leading cause of death in U.S.

Public health experts are warning that an epidemic of pharmaceutical drug injuries has broken out nationwide, likely fueled by the ever-growing number of prescriptions written for the relief of pain and anxiety. According to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of drug deaths exceeded the number of traffic fatalities in the U.S. for the first time in 2009, becoming the leading cause of death in the U.S. At least 37,485 people died from prescription drug injuries in 2009 — 1201 more than the number of people killed in traffic accidents during the same ... Read More

Doctor warns muscle relaxer Soma may be as dangerous as banned Darvocet

Why did it take so long for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pull Darvocet from the market? Especially when, on several occasions, FDA advisory committees recommended to the FDA that propoxyphene-containing drugs, like Darvocet or Darvon, should be removed from the market because of safety and dependency concerns? “It perplexed a number of us for many years that individuals were prescribed propoxyphene-containing products when these drugs didn’t appear to provide any greater pain relief than more simple approaches,” says Dr. Charles Argoff, Professor of Neurology at Albany Medical College and Director of the Comprehensive Pain Center at Albany ... Read More