Prescription drug abuse seems to have gotten out of hand in the United States, especially among people who are legally prescribed the medication after having surgery and who then find themselves addicted to the painkillers. The problem is that many of these individuals end up seeking out prescription drugs on the black market or through otherwise illegal means.
The FDA has now called for black box warnings on immediate release drugs in the hopes of stemming the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the U.S.
Interestingly, the FDA issued a similar warning for extended-release painkillers a few years ago. In 2013, the FDA required distributors of extended release prescription opioids to place labels on pill bottles, warning consumers about the risks of abuse, addiction and overdose. This requirement came in response to a belief among health officials and lawmakers that the long-acting drug formulations were more likely to lead to abuse and addiction than the faster-acting immediate release painkillers.
However, public health officials noticed that prescription drug abuse continued to rise even after the black box warning was issued. So the FDA continued to investigate and look into the possible reasons for painkiller addiction and found that immediate release opioids may actually be more likely to lead to drug abuse. According to FDA Commissioner Robert Califf, it was initially thought that the higher dosage strength of the extended-release drugs was “more attractive for abusers,” but “misuse and death” continued in the aftermath of the black box warnings being issued.
Federal health officials hope that the new black box warnings on labels of immediate-release painkillers will be more effective at slowing the rise in prescription drug-related overdoses and deaths.
To learn more about the black box warning for immediate release opioids, see the CNN.com article, “FDA Requires ‘Black Box’ Warning on Painkillers.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for illegal possession of prescription drugs, heroin possession, marijuana possession or any other drug offense in New Jersey, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer immediately. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. will help you fight your drug crime charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation about your case.