Feb 08, 2013
Some of you may have seen the recent news surrounding hydrocodone, but I wanted to share it here for those of you who haven't as it’s an important issue that could potentially affect millions of people. To give you a brief overview, an advisory panel to the FDA has recommended tighter restrictions on hydrocodone-containing drugs, which would essentially classify them among the most dangerous prescription medications available to patients. Having receiving patients for hydrocodone dependency for many years, I seen firsthand how dangerous this drug can be, which is why I am pleased to see the FDA taking steps to help prevent abuse.
As you may already know, hydrocodone drugs can be extremely unsafe if not used properly, but unfortunately many doctors are prescribing these painkillers unnecessarily. I can’t tell you the number of patients we receive for detoxification that were given a prescription for Vicodin for a minor pain, like a backache or tooth pain, which eventually led them to take a stronger opiate like oxycodone, creating a domino effect. It’s become a trend in this country for medical professionals to write prescriptions for hydrocodone drugs too quickly, which is creating an epidemic of these drugs being overprescribed to patients who often times don’t need them. This puts patients at risk for developing serious, and even fatal, health issues.
Last year at the WAISMANN METHOD®and Domus Retreat, we treated about the same number of patients for addictions to Norco as we did for Heroin, OxyContin or methadone. Although not completely surprised, I was appalled to find out that many of these patients developed a dependency to the drug after they were given a prescription for a very small injury. In my opinion, most of the responsibility lays with the medical professionals, not with the patient. I applaud the FDA for taking steps to curb hydrocodone abuse, but I also urge doctors to only prescribe these drugs in the most necessary circumstances.
Many people fighting hydrocodone dependency may feel helpless, but I assure them, they're not. Although I believe it’s important for policy makers and physicians to make steps toward change, I think it’s also critical for patients to be vigilant too. If you're prescribed a hydrocodone drug for minor pain, or your friends or family members are taking pain medication, ask your doctor for a different prescription and remind your loved ones of the risks of taking these drugs. Please share any solutions in the comments that you've found effective in preventing your friends, family members, or even yourself from being prescribed hydrocodone so we can do the same.