Jump in painkiller sales provoke worries about addiction, regulations

Share this article:
A huge rise in the use of oxycodone over the past decade has led to increasing worries about the number of addicts and a lack of places to treat them.

Pharmacies received and dispensed around 69 tons of pure oxycodone and 42 tons of pure hydrocodone in 2010, the Associated Press reported in an analysis. The increase in older patients is one reason for the rise, as are the number of veterans returning injured who need painkillers. At times, nursing facilities' oxycodone supplies have been targeted by thieves.

The number of painkiller addicts also has risen in tandem with a rise in sales of potent painkillers. In some locations, the sales of oxycodone have increased sixteenfold, with the strongest sales being in Tennessee and Kentucky. Healthcare experts also have expressed concern about an inability to keep up with the increasing demand for addiction services.

Still, the amount of time a resident may have to wait for a controlled painkiller in a nursing home has been the subject of scrutiny, with some calling for an ease in regulations.

Share this article:

More in News

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do not readmit more patients to hospitals, researchers find

Skilled nursing facilities with poor quality ratings do ...

Low-quality and high-quality skilled nursing facilities readmit about the same proportion of residents to hospitals, suggest research findings recently published in the American Journal of Medical Quality.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study ...

Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare ...