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Topics: alcohol, drugs, workers, workplaces

Info to help you maintain a drug-free work environment.

Opiates

USA Today
Thu, 2013-04-25

Highlights: Powerful prescription painkillers have become pricier and harder to use. So addicts across the USA are turning to this more volatile drug. The new twist: Heroin is no longer just an inner-city plague.

DFBS Note: Be on the lookout - workplaces follow communities in drug use.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Mon, 2013-03-11

Highlights: Prescription painkiller abuse, which has centered on Eastern and Southern states, is now taking hold in Western states. Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Idaho have the country’s highest prescription drug abuse rates, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Kansas City Star
Tue, 2013-03-05

Highlights: With street prices of some opiates, such as Oxycontin, hitting $80 for a single pill, a growing number of illicit users in Missouri are looking to economize — with heroin. A report says the white powder long associated with big Eastern cities is fast-growing in Missouri and other Midwestern states, even shooting into small towns and rural areas.

DFBS note: This story just seems to repeat from region to region.

Risk and Insurance
Fri, 2013-03-01

Highlights: The workers' compensation industry and the pharmacy benefit managers who help employers manage prescription medication are getting ready for a new class of painkillers. "There has never been a more damaging impact on the cost of workers' compensation claims from a single issue than the abuse of opioid prescriptions for the management of chronic pain," according to a report by Mo.-based insurance broker Lockton Cos.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Wed, 2012-12-05

Highlights: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) has alerted U.S. law enforcement to prepare for a potential influx of painkillers from Canada, which has given approval to six generic drug companies to manufacture oxycodone products. The United States will face a similar decision about whether to approve generic versions of powerful painkillers. A U.S. patent on the original formulation of OxyContin will expire next April.

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Fri, 2012-11-30

Highlights: As Kentucky begins to see results from its crackdown on prescription drug abuse, officials report a rise in heroin use. Law enforcement officials say heroin imported from Mexico and Central America is cheaper and more easily available than prescription opioids, such as Oxycodone.

DFBS note: A trend repeated in many parts of the country.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Wed, 2012-10-17

Highlights: Nearly 1 in 12 injured workers who were prescribed narcotic painkillers still were on the drugs three to six months later, according to a new report on worker's compensation claims. The report also found that drug testing and psychological evaluation, two measures designed to reduce abuse of the drugs, were not being done most of the time.

The New England Journal of Medicine
Thu, 2012-07-12

Highlights: In August 2010, an abuse-deterrent formulation of the widely abused prescription opioid OxyContin was introduced to make OxyContin more difficult to solubilize or crush, thus discouraging abuse through injection and inhalation. This formulation successfully reduced Oxycontin abuse, but also led to an increase in the use of heroin, a drug that may pose a much greater overall risk to public health than OxyContin.

DFBS note: Kind of like "whack-a-drug-mole".

The Partnership at DrugFree.org
Thu, 2012-07-12

Highlights: Oxycontin abuse has decreased now that the painkiller has been reformulated to make it more difficult to misuse. Many people who abused the drug have switched to heroin.

DFBS note: Staying on top of community drug use trends can alert you to a potential workplace risk.

USA Today
Wed, 2012-07-11

Highlights: This rise of Opana abuse illustrates the adaptability of drug addicts and the never-ending challenge facing law enforcement authorities, addiction specialists and pharmaceutical companies. Just when they think they have curbed abuse and stopped trafficking of one drug, another fills the void. Opana's dangerous new popularity arose when OxyContin's manufacturer changed its formula to deter users from crushing, breaking or dissolving the pill so it could be snorted or injected to achieve a high.

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