New Rx Drug Stealing Oxy's Thunder
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There's a new kid on the block in rural America: Opana, a prescription drug with nine overdoses under its belt in Indiana, is seizing the title of small town America's favorite drug from Oxycontin and meth. While methamphetamine has long been associated with rural areas, opioids like Opana have surpassed meth as the most abused drug, especially in places like southern Indiana. Prescription drugs are responsible more US deaths than cocaine and heroin combined, according to the CDC, and people living in rural areas are twice as likely to OD on pills than their urban counterparts. "This Opana pill has really kicked us in the rear," said Sergeant Jerry Goodin with the Indiana State Police. "We've never seen an addiction like this." Local authorities are alarmed by the rise of Opana abuse, which they say started in 2010 after Oxycontin became more difficult to snort and inject. Opana is more potent per milligram than Oxycontin, making this drug particularly dangerous for people unfamiliar with the effects of high grade opioids. Like Oxycontin, Opana is either snorted or injected and is known on the street as "stop signs," "the O bomb," and "new blues." Endo Pharmaceuticals, who manufactures the drug, announced in December that they will reformulate Opana to make it more difficult for an abuser to crush. The new pill is in production now, making addicts desperate to get their hands on the current version—Fort Wayne, Indiana reported 11 pharmacy robberies related to Opana since news of the drug reformulation hit.