Narcotic hydrocodone abuse on the rise

NEW YORK—Drug counselors and Health agencies are raising concerns regarding a striking increase in the hazardous abuse of narcotic hydrocodone drugs, including Vicodin, Norco, and Lortab.

Subsequent to a review of police laboratories by the Enforcement Administration, it was found that nationwide arrests of hydrocodone-containing pills were second in place only after those of oxycodone-containing pills (narcotic in drugs like OxyContin and Percocet). Compared with 13,659 arrests of hydrocodone pills in 2001, the total arrests hiked to 44,815 in 2010.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health demonstrated that nearly 8% of the country’s 12th-graders were involved in hydrocodone abuse last year.

Although nationwide figures on fatality rates are available, certain states combine hydrocodone, oxycodone, and other opiates together when calculating fatal overdoses. However, one study demonstrated that Florida alone accounted for 910 hydrocodone-related deaths, and the drug was found in the bodies of 1,803 individuals from 2003 to 2007.

The DEA believes that the rise in numbers can be attributed to a nationwide increase in prescription drug abuse.
Drug dealers and addicts have resorted to violence in a desperate attempt to get drugs resulting in twice the number of pharmacy robberies, moving from 380 in 2006 to 686 in 2010.

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