According to a nationwide survey of opioid drug abusers currently in rehab facilities, the prescription painkiller oxycodone seems to be their drug of choice. Hydâ€‹rocodone, also known by its brand name Vicodin, was next in line. In total, 75 percent of those surveyed said that one of those two drugs was their favorite.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Nova Southeastern University in Miami interviewed more than 3,500 people in various drug rehabilitation centers across the United States. The subjects were asked what their drug of choice was and why. Oxycodone was favored by 45 percent of users, while hydrocodone came in second at 30 percent.
Young, male addicts were more likely to prefer oxycodone, while hydrocodone was a more popular choice for women and older people. Hydrocodone abusers also preferred to receive the medication from a physician or friend rather than a drug dealer.
"Opioids are prescribed to treat pain, but their misuse has risen dramatically in recent years," said principal investigator Theodore Cicero, in a press release. "Our goal is to understand the personal characteristics of people who are susceptible to drug abuse, so we can detect problems ahead of time."
For example, Cicero said that he wants to help doctors be better able to identify people who are faking pain just to get more pills as well as individuals who are hurting but may be at risk of becoming dependent on painkillers.
He also noted that half of those surveyed said that they became addicted to pills after first using them only for pain management.
If someone in your life has become dependent on prescription painkillers, now is the time to seek help. Contact Intervention Services today to learn how an professional interventionist can help your loved one.