White House Clamps Down on Narcotic Drug Prescriptions | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

White House Clamps Down on Narcotic Drug Prescriptions

Hydrocodone combination drugs like Vicodin will be reclassified in an effort to reduce drug abuse.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By McCarton Ackerman

08/25/14

| Share

The Obama administration has recently made an attempt to help put a stop to widespread prescription drug abuse by restricting prescriptions of some of the most common narcotic painkillers.

It was confirmed last Thursday by the Drug Enforcement Administration that hydrocodone combination drugs such as Vicodin would be reclassified. The new change will go into effect at the beginning of October.

Such drugs will now be put in the category for medical substances that have the highest potential for harm, which means that users can now only obtain 90-day prescriptions before receiving a new batch. Prescriptions for hydrocodone combination drugs can currently cover a 180-day period and can be refilled up to five times.

Although hydrocodone has been labeled as a Schedule II drug for decades, the combination drugs have been mired in the Schedule III category. The new change also means that patients will need to have a written prescription to pick up drugs and doctors can no longer phone orders in for patients.

"Almost seven million Americans abuse controlled-substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents," said DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart in a statement. "Today's action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

A report released this May by the National Institute of Drug Abuse confirmed that more than 100 people in the U.S. die each day from prescription drug overdoses, making them more deadly than car accidents, guns, and suicides. With more than five million Americans abusing painkillers each year, the U.S. is responsible for 75% of global drug use.

The problem has even extended to senior citizens, with emergency room visits related to misuse of medication doubling between 2007-2011 for those over the age of 55. “There's this growing group of seniors, they have pain, they have anxiety…and a lot of (doctors) have one thing in their tool box—a prescription pad,” said Mel Pohl, director of the Las Vegas Recovery Center. "The doctor wants to make their life better, so they start on the meds.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv