Forty-six Americans die every day of painkiller overdoses. Many of these overdoses involve the painkiller oxycodone. Oxycodone is an extremely powerful pain medication that is an opioid–a drug derived from the opium-poppy. It works by interfering with the body’s ability to sense pain messages that are delivered along nerve paths. It basically disables one’s sensory perceptions.

Oxycodone produces such a profound state of euphoria that people who are prescribed the medication become addicted and begin to require a larger dose to achieve the same level of pain relief. This can lead to accidental overdoses and does so on a frequent basis.

Patients with pain issues and a prescription for Oxycodone make up only a fraction of the people who use the drug. It is, understandably, popular as a recreational drug as well. Euphoria, after all, is the goal of substance abuse–the escape from the pain of living in the real world. When it comes to recreational use, dosage control is completely left behind. The addict always assumes the “more is better” stance. This is a situation that consistently leads to overdoses.

Measures to Monitor

With painkiller deaths becoming a real American issue, a new measure to curtail the frequency was badly needed. In response, the state of Florida decided to try a new tactic to lower the painkiller death statistics–and it seems to be working. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program was set up in 2011. It is designed to keep tabs on every oxycodone prescription that is written in the state. The program also monitors any other mind-altering medicines as well, such as hydrocodone or morphine. The program tracks how many pills are being dispensed and who they are being dispensed to.

Since Florida established the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, oxycodone-related overdoses have significantly decreased in number. Researchers have attributed this in part to  newly enforced laws that keep doctors from providing “pill mills” that subsist solely on a prescription writing treatment plan for their patients. The shutdown of pain clinics that were basically functioning as drug dispensing facilities has also played a role in the drop in oxycodone-related overdoses. Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is credited with one-quarter of the drop in numbers and that’s a pretty impressive figure. Other states have tried drug monitoring programs that were not as successful. Florida seems to have the right formula.

Pioneering Program Works!

Florida’s pioneering program sets an example for other states to follow. Keeping precise numbers on the number of prescriptions written for Oxycodone–which is found in Percocet and Percodan–makes it easy for troublesome trends to be spotted. The program also works as a deterrent to illegal sale and use of powerful, dangerous drugs. No one likes to be “monitored”. It makes people nervous. Physicians, pharmacies, and patients all become more law-conscience when big brother is watching.

If a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has a proven track record of saving lives, shouldn’t every state establish a system similar to the one Florida has implemented. Oxycodone-related overdose fatalities are far more common than heroin overdoses and there’s an effective way to diminish the occurrences.


Let the experts at Treatment Now help you through opiate detox and addiction treatment for prescription painkillers.

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