February 2, 2012
It seems like prescription medications are getting stronger and more addictive all the time. One of the few things I have not been addicted to I nevertheless understand the mind of an addict and the body and mind can be tempted easily into addiction.
But are there people out there who cannot exist on a current cocktail of the most high-powered pain killers on the planet?
Drug companies are working to develop a pure, more powerful version of the nation’s second most-abused medicine, which worries me that it could spur a new wave of abuse.
The new pills contain the highly addictive painkiller hydrocodone, packing up to 10 times the amount of the drug as existing medications such as Vicodin. Four companies have begun patient testing, and one of them — Zogenix of San Diego — plans to apply early next year to begin marketing its product, Zohydro.
If approved, it would mark the first time patients could legally buy pure hydrocodone. Existing products combine the drug with non-addictive painkillers such as acetaminophen.
Critics say they are especially worried about Zohydro, a timed-release drug meant for managing moderate to severe pain, because abusers could crush it to release an intense, immediate high.
Do we really need more potent painkillers? I respectfully ask my readers who need heavy-duty painkillers to chime in. If you do, let us know if you think you are addicted to your pain medication. There is a difference between really needing it to control pain and needing it because you like the way it makes you feel.