This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

WAISMANN METHOD® Medical Director Expresses Concern About Shift In Opioid Drug Use

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- An "abuse-proof" formulation of OxyContin may have helped reduce the number of patients abusing the drug, but Dr. Michael Lowenstein, medical director for WAISMANN METHOD® opiate detoxification and treatment, is voicing alarm at recent data showing it may have consequentially resulted in a sharp increase in heroin and other opioid drug use.

"After the new abuse-resistant OxyContin was released, I expressed concerns that it could encourage patients to migrate to other, sometimes more dangerous opioid drugs," said Dr. Lowenstein. "Two years later this fear has become a reality, as the New England Journal of Medicine reported a huge increase in high-potency prescription opioids while heroin use nearly doubled.  Patient education is more important now than ever before, so we can work to actually help alleviate people of their addictions to opioids rather than replace one narcotic for another."

The NEJM study scrutinized data from 2,566 patients with opioid dependence, and found that abuse of OxyContin as the primary drug decreased from 35.6 percent to 12.8 percent from July 1, 2009 to March 31, 2012. During the same time period, respondent figures showed a rise in use of opioids, like hydrocodone and oxycodone, and powerful opioids, like fentanyl and hydromorphone, which rose from 20.1 percent to 32.3 percent. Data collected from WAISMANN METHOD® patients between January and December 2011 also showed similar trends. During this time, there was an 80 percent decrease in the number of patients treated for OxyContin dependency compared to those in 2010. At the same time, oxycodone patients treated at the facility went up by 35 percent.

According to the NEJM study, heroin was the most common opioid being used among the 66 percent who indicated they had switched after the abuse-resistant OxyContin was released.  Qualitative responses from the study indicated many patients who switched to heroin did so because it was easier to obtain and more economical than prescription drugs. One participant said, "Most people that I know don't use OxyContin to get high anymore. They have moved on to heroin [because] it is easier to use, much cheaper and easily available."

"We want patients struggling with opioid addiction to know that there are true solutions, and that they don't have to continue to put their lives in danger by using prescription painkillers or switching to illicit street drugs like heroin," continued Dr. Lowenstein. "Abuse-resistant drugs are not the answer, and we in the medical community have a responsibility to do more for our patients so they can eventually live drug-free lives."

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs