Painkiller sales soar around US, fuel addiction

Topics: From the Wires,

Painkiller sales soar around US, fuel addictionIn this March 28, 2012, photo, Patricia Reynolds-Udell poses for a photo at her home in Utica, N.Y. Reynolds has struggled to find treatment after becoming dependent on hydrocodone pills originally prescribed for a broken tailbone. Sales of the nation’s two most popular prescription painkillers have exploded in new parts of the country, an Associated Press analysis shows, worrying experts who say the push to relieve patients’ suffering is spawning an addiction epidemic. From New York’s Staten Island to Santa Fe, N.M., Drug Enforcement Administration figures show dramatic rises between 2000 and 2010 in the distribution of oxycodone, the key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)(Credit: AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Sales of prescription painkillers are exploding in new areas, and experts are worried that’s creating a wave of addiction.

Pharmacies, hospitals and physicians dispensed the equivalent of 69 tons of pure oxycodone and 42 tons of pure hydrocodone in 2010. That’s enough to give 40 5-mg Percocets and 24 5-mg Vicodins to every man, woman and child in the United States.

An analysis by The Associated Press shows distribution of the two drugs is booming from New York’s Staten Island to Santa Fe., N.M. Some places saw effective per-capita sales increase sixteenfold between 2000 and 2010.

Oxycodone is the key ingredient in OxyContin, Percocet and Percodan. Hydrocodone is in Vicodin, Lortab and Norco.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 7
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

    Dinah Fried

    Famous literary meals

    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

    Famous literary meals

    "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments are not enabled for this story.