Prescription Drugs in the Media

Not sure how many of our readers are fans of the A&E show “The Glades,” but on Sunday, in a ripped-from-the-headlines move the Florida-based cop drama highlighted the Pill Mill problem that has been causing so many headaches throughout the Southeast. Read More

A Country Thing? Rx Drug Abuse Most Common In Rural Areas

Prescription drug abuse is a major point of focus for our blog, as it is a problem the scope of which is still not fully understood.  Florida has received a lot of attention for its pain clinics, but it seems the areas in which prescription drugs are mostly abused are rural (which should come as no surprise to the viewer of the OxyContin Express).

According to a new study that will appear in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (see Science Daily for the full article), rural teens are more likely to abuse prescription drugs.  With adjustments for other factors made, the study found that rural teens were 26 percent more likely than urban teens to admit to prescription drug abuse.

In general, 1 in 8 teens reported prescription drug abuse at some point in their lives, itself a rather alarming statistic.  The study suggests that the greater tendency toward prescription drug use in rural areas may be the result of a lack of availability of similar illegal drugs, such as heroin.

While a heroin shortage in rural communities may sound like a good thing, it doesn’t seem like, based on these statistics, the country life is simpler or free of drug use.  In fact, not only is prescription drug use a problem in rural communities, but treating it may be more difficult than it would be in an urban community.  Rural teens may be less likely or have a harder time finding places that will help them deal with a substance abuse problem.  It is possible that their communities do not have the same awareness level as do larger communities or have the same ability to deal with a local drug problem.

We have documented extensively in our blog that prescription drug abuse can have as many consequences as illegal drug abuse.  For parents and policymakers alike, it’s something to think about.

US: Illegal Drug Capital of the World

We’re number #1…according to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) (via Talk Radio News Service) the US is still the “largest market for illegal drugs in the world” with marijuana and drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin the most widely used.

Are you shocked that the United States takes this title?  Consider that an estimated 20%  of people in the US have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.  Considering the US population that’s not a small number of people.

It seems that Americans have decided to make their own decisions about whether or not they will medicate.  Although OxyContin can be extremely dangerous and comparable to heroin or crack cocaine when injected or smoked, people seem to find popping pills a routine experience.  Which is what makes OxyContin so addictive and so dangerous.

Want to learn more?  Check out this excellent documentary from Vanguard journalist Mariana van Zeller, the OxyContin Express:

And of course, you don’t have to wonder whether someone you know and love is abusing prescription drugs. Check out our Vicodin Test / OxyContin Test for more information and to be sure the person you love is clean.

Vicodin – The (Almost) Illegal Drug

Vicodin is a trademarked pain reliever, popular and fairly well-known in America. Its component parts are hydrocodone and paracetamol (aka acetaminophen) [interesting fact: acetaminophen increases the effect of the hydrocodone. You might think it would be the other way around, since acetaminophen is best known to us as Tylenol, but that is not the case]. Anyway, Vicodin is not your average pain-reliever; unlike ibuprofen, which is an unscheduled drug, Vicodin is a Schedule III drug, meaning it could cause moderate or low physical dependence, or a high psychological dependence if abused.

We knew this already – but did you know that the FDA voted this past summer to recommend that Vicodin should be eliminated? The advisory panel that made this decision also singled out Percocet (a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen). As the CNN article on the subject notes, these are just recommendations from an advisory panel – but typically, the FDA follows them.

It’s certainly a controversial matter considering how much press prescription drugs in general, and Vicodin in particular, have received in the past few years.  The FDA made its recommendation based on the risk of overdose and severe liver injury, but they could have as easily made the recommendation based on drug abuse, as 9.7% of 12th graders said they tried Vicodin in 2008 (see the National Institute on Drug Abuse for more).  Prescription drugs have become the new face of illicit drug use, and the string of tragic high-profile deaths drove that home last year.

So it is up to all of us to raise awareness about how a drug that can be so helpful can be misused to get high with disastrous effects:  addiction, drug trafficking, and overdose deaths.  You can fortunately test for many prescription painkillers in one swoop with a Vicodin Test / OxyContin Test.  Vicodin and OxyContin have hydocodone and oxycodone as the basis of their structure, respectively, and since both are opioids very similar in structure they can both be found with 98% accuracy in the same test.  Definitely something to know when you are thinking about prescription drugs like Vicodin – a drug dangerous enough to almost be considered illegal.

New Articles Available on the Main Site

Hi everyone!  Did you know we’ve been very busy at Home Health Testing providing new and clear information on our line of home drug and home health tests?  Yes, it’s true!  Take a look at some of our longer articles, put on the main site due to their size.  If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or contact us!

Business Solutions – The Hair Drug Test

Home Drug Test Instantly With Saliva Tests

Why Home Drug Testing Can Help Solve The Prescription Drug Abuse Problem

Home HIV Test – 5 Good Reasons Why You Should Take One

Home Thyroid Test – 3 Reasons to Take One (also published on ezinearticles as 3 Reasons to Take a Home Thyroid Test)

Nicotine Tests and Insurance Policies

If you don’t see the topic you would like to know more about, let us know!

OxyContin Tests Turn the Home Drug Test Market Around and Fill A Vital Niche for Parents

The Problem of Prescription Oxycodone Abuse

As you may know, prescription drug abuse has developed into a huge problem in the United States. For example, a 2005 Monitoring the Future survey of high school students showed that OxyContin abuse went up among 12th graders by 40 percent in 3 years. OxyContin is one of the many generic names for drugs that include the narcotic oxycodone.

When used as prescribed, drugs like OxyContin and Percocet (which also contains oxycodone) provide much needed pain relief to cancer patients and people recovering from surgery. When incorrectly used however, OxyContin earns its nickname “hillbilly heroin” by producing heroin-like highs in the user and doing so in many cases more cheaply than heroin itself. This is why the Oxycodone, or OxyContin Test, developed – in response to a growing problem that needed a solution.

Before the OxyContin Test was made, there was no 98% accurate way for a urine drug test buyer to test for oxycodone based drugs, even though they do have much in common with opium and heroin, drugs which can all be tested for at once.

The Difference Between Opiates and Opioids

To understand why oxycodone needs its own home drug test, first we must examine how the drugs of concern here are classified. They are all opioids. Opioids are chemicals that work on the brain’s opioid receptors. Endorphins, for example, are opioids produced naturally by the body. Morphine, opium, heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone (Vicodin) are all opioids too. They are so similar, but they cannot all be detected by the same drug screen. Why?

FDA cleared urine drug tests for Opiates that are on the market are made to detect specifically morphine or specifically heroin. An Opiates test that has a 300 nanogram per milliliter cutoff level is one that is looking for morphine-based drugs, while an Opiates test that has a 2000 nanogram per milliliter cutoff level is looking for heroin and opium. Morphine does have a lot in common with oxycodone, as they are both opioids, but morphine can be found naturally, whereas oxycodone cannot. Oxycodone must be made in a lab. This leads to some structural differences.

While a urine drug test for Opiates can pick up morphine, heroin, and so on, depending on the cut-off level, it can only detect oxycodone/OxyContin in great quantities – overdose levels. So a new design was called for to deal with the prescription drug abuse problem.

The OxyContin / Vicodin Test

The same technology used to create other urine drug tests was used to make the oxycodone test. It can pick up OxyContin, Vicodin (made of acetaminophen and hydrocodone, a drug very similar to oxycodone), Percocet and other hydrocodone, hydromorphone, or oxycodone-based drugs with 98% accuracy. This is a much greater accuracy for these drugs than was available with either of the two versions of the opiates urine drug test. Depending on metabolism and other factors, oxycodone appears in urine 2-5 hours after it is used and disappears from urine 2-4 days later. The new oxycodone specific drug tests can find oxycodone in urine at the level of 100 nanograms per milliliter, a very small amount.

Making the Right Choices as a Consumer of a Home Drug Test

Whether you are a member of a police department, a worried parent or a friend, it is important to have the right information in hand when making a decision about how to deal with drug abuse. If you suspect drug abuse and want to test for it, make sure you choose a test that targets the drug at hand. You might think that an opiates drug test could detect oxycodone, since opiates in general and oxycodone are very similar. This is not the case when it comes to home drug tests though and a careful shopper will have the most success in finding oxycodone.