A new FDA approved opioid drug is set to hit the street that is being referred to by doctors as a “drug dealer’s dream”. Zohydro is set to hit pharmacy shelves next month after the FDA’s advisory board voted 11-2 against the drug. This drug is aimed at the patient who needs a more powerful pain pill and cannot get relief from what is currently available. However, advocates don’t understand the need for the drug when we are already struggling with addiction and deaths from the lesser powerful drugs currently on the market. Zohydro is a pure narcotic that contains hydrocodone and has 5 to 10 times more power than Vicodin. Even more disturbing, the Zohydro set for release isn’s tamper resistent which allows abusers to easily crush, then snort or inject the drug.
According to the International Narcotics Control Board 2012, “the United States, with about 5% of the world’s population, is now consuming more than 84% of the world’s entire oxycodone supply and more than 99% of the hydrocodone supply”. A group of more than 40 medical experts wrote to the FDA, “in the midst of a severe drug addiction epidemic fueled by overprescribing of opioids, the very last thing the country needs is a new, dangerous, high-dose opioid”. We have all seen the opioids affect someone in our community. Too many people have already become addicted to similar opioids such as oxycodone and too many deaths have been the result. The FDA needs to start taking some responsibility and recognize the statistics that are being generated from these powerful pain medications.