Corralling opioid supply won’t end the demand

Corralling opioid supply won’t end the demand

Purdue Pharma pushed OxyContin with great success and profitability, as described in your March 26 editorial, “A prescription for responsibility.” In 2012 two CVS pharmacies in Sanford, Florida, ordered 3 million doses of oxycodone, fueling the supply of pills that made their way up I-95 to be sold locally.

Were the drug’s manufacturers aware that the average pharmacy ordered 69,000 doses of the drug per year? The Drug Enforcement Administration shut down the distribution warehouse, a move that was swiftly overturned by a federal judge.

 When the DEA finally made inroads into interrupting the Florida pill mills, drying up and increasing the cost of diverted medications, heroin came to the economic rescue with doses under $20, compared with one Percocet pill selling for more than $50.

Our struggle with opiates ends only when illegitimate demand for the drugs ceases. Corralling the supply is laudable but spawns unintended consequences, such as people now maiming their pets as a way to secure opiate drugs from veterinarians.

Eliminating demand requires robust treatment and recovery programs but will ultimately succeed or fail based on the effectiveness of education, prevention and early detection of children at risk.

One Response

  1. Reducing supply won’t work and neither will treatment unless the individual truly wants to quit abusing drugs. I know first hand because I was let go cold turkey by a doctor years ago that it’s not easy even when it’s just your body requiring medication and not your mind screaming for a high! I do wonder about the effectiveness of treatment programs that just replace one high with another, how does that get a person off drugs? It sounds uncaring but why torture people who require opiates for chronic pain and give drugs to addicts? My own daughter is an addict who has been through multiple treatment programs without success and I say if she and other addicts are so determined to self destruct LET THEM! Just quit torturing people who require opiates to treat pain they didn’t ask for!

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