Our View: More control over pain pills

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 2:18 PM

Editorial Board, Standard-Examiner

We strongly support the Food and Drug Administration’s proposal to label hydrocodone combination pills, or opioids, as Schedule II drugs, which will tighten control over these dangerous drugs and make it more difficult for individuals to abuse the pain pills.

Hydrocodone combinations mix the dangerous drug with other, safer painkillers. A typical hydrocodone combination is Vicodin. Purer hydrocodones, such as Oxycontin, are already classified as Schedule II drugs. As a Schedule II drug, a written prescription from a doctor is required, and there are no refills allowed. To get a second prescription, the doctor would have to sign the prescription again. There would also be quotas on manufacturing of the drugs.

The stronger measures, which must be accepted, are common-sense proposals. Too many people, in the Top of Utah, in the rest of Utah, and in the entire U.S., are addicted to these prescription pain killers. The easy access to these highly addictive, dangerous drugs is frankly, mind-boggling.

According to the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, 80 percent of the pain pills manufactured in the world are used in the United States. More than 50 people die each day in the United States from prescription drug overdoses. A new report from the Trust for America’s Health, cites Utah as eighth in the nation in painkiller overdose deaths.

It must be horrible to be prescribed an addictive painkiller for original pain and then find oneself addicted to the opioid after the original pain has healed. There are doubtless many persons in the Top of Utah who are caught in the pit of pain-pill addiction. Too many people are dying, or having their lives wasted in a painkiller fog.

As a society, our reliance on these dangerous drugs must be reduced considerably. Fewer dangerous pills should be prescribed. The FDA’s proposal is a solid first step toward achieving that goal.

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