[Pharmwaste] Change in doctors' attitudes responsible for increase in pain meds

Grasso, Cheri Cheri.Grasso at METROKC.GOV
Tue Aug 21 17:19:05 EDT 2007


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Last updated 8:15 a.m. PT


Change in doctor attitudes responsible for increase in pain meds




Ten years ago, the state of Washington began a major push to make sure
doctors weren't undertreating pain. The change was revolutionary for
people dealing with chronic pain, but it was also a boon for drug
dealers and those with addiction problems.

Between 1997 and 2005, the percentage of people using five major
painkillers rose 96 percent in Washington state, according to an
Associated Press analysis of statistics from the Drug Enforcement

Oxycodone, commonly known as Oxy Contin, is responsible for most of the
increase in this state. Use of oxycodone increased by 500 percent
between 1997 and 2005. Use of morphine and hydrocodon, commonly known as
Vicodin, also have increased dramatically: morphine by 223 percent and
hydrocodon by 166 percent.

OxyContin, morphine and Vicodin are three of the most popular
prescription pain medications -- popular among doctors for their
effectiveness and among drug abusers because they are fast-acting and
hit the body's pleasure centers.

In King County, the number of people admitted to area hospitals for
painkiller treatment increased more than fivefold between 1999 and 2006,
from 87 to 452, according to a June 2007 report on drug abuse trends by
Public Health -- Seattle & King County. Adults calling the King County
help line for Oxycontin abuse rose from 20 calls in 2003 to 401 in 2006.


Please note new e-mail address is cheri.grasso at kingcounty.gov
<mailto:cheri.grasso at kingcounty.gov> 

Cheri Grasso, Health and Environmental Investigator Local Hazardous
Waste Management Program 

130 Nickerson Street, Suite 100 Seattle, WA 98109

206-263-3089 cheri.grasso at kingcounty.gov
<mailto:cheri.grasso at kingcounty.gov> 


More information about the Pharmwaste mailing list