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Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets not effective in combating opioid epidemic, says study

Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets not effective in combating opioid epidemic, says study

The introduction of tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets in the market did not help in combating the opioid epidemic in Australia, according to a recent study published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry.

Briony Larance, the lead author of the study and senior research fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney stated that the pill was introduced with the aim of preventing tampering and using it via snorting and injecting. It did, however, reduce the use of oxycodone by people who injected drugs.

In 2014, a tamper-resistant version of oxycodone was released in Australia and to study its impact, the researchers collected data from several sources, comprising health datasets, opioid sales data, survey of people using injections, and more than 600 people who tampered with the opioids. However, no impact was observed on overdose, help and treatment seeking behavior or population-level opioid use. Larance stated that in Australia, majority of people use pharmaceutical opioids instead of injections which appears to be a limiting factor for studying the impact of tamper-resistant tablets as a way of addressing the opioid epidemic.

Opioid epidemic in America

In 2015, more than 33,000 Americans overdosed on opioids and half of the deaths were linked to prescription pain relievers and heroin. The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported that in 2016, 116 people died from opioid overdose every day while 11.5 million continued misusing prescription opioids. With millions of people already dependent on opioids in the country, the situation is only worsening further. A controlled released version of oxycodone was also released in the U.S. – the pill was hard and would break into pieces but would not crush into a powder. On adding water, it would form a gel like substance, which was difficult to inject or snort. However, its effect on the opioid crisis could not be established since at the same time, additional efforts for controlling the situation were introduced by the government.

America has entered a third decade of opioid epidemic and there is a pressing need of a multipronged approach to curb the menace. The country is in need of more prevention and treatment-based programs, making health care services accessible to all. People need to be educated about the pitfalls and encouraged to seek support and timely treatment. The authorities also need to train more first responders in using overdose reversal drug naloxone, which can significantly prevent deaths.

Road to recovery

Long-term opioid use can take a toll on the human body. Use of heroin and other crushed opioids can cause the veins to collapse. Heroin and other pills can infect the heart lining. Opioids can depress the respiratory process and slow down breathing that can cause instant death. Opioids can cause excessive daytime sedation by acting on the brain. They can increase an individual’s chance of suffering from depression, psychosis and a host of other mental illnesses. They can also slow down the digestive system and can cause constipation, nausea and vomiting. Injecting opioids increases the risk of being affected with hepatitis or AIDS. Chronic use can also cause psychomotor impairment and weaken the immune response. Therefore, it is important to seek timely intervention before it’s too late.

Sovereign Health offers effective treatment for mental health issues, substance abuse and dual diagnosis for both men and women. We also have numerous oxycodone addiction treatment options to help our patients recover in a safe and secure environment. For more information, you can call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-683-9756 or chat online and get connected to our state-of-the-art oxycodone rehab centers.