Painkiller sales soar around US, fuel addiction


Salon Staff
April 5, 2012 10:36AM (UTC)

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.

Advertisement:

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.


Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff



Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •