Specific pain medications ended chronic situations for many people. But they also heralded a wave of new addictions.
Now, according to an ABC News report, the House of Representatives has before it a bill that would ban the circulation of specific pharmaceuticals that are easily abused when used as recreational drugs. Variants of addictive pain and oral medications are currently under the microscope.
While such an addiction is often an accident, the easy high achieved with prescription pain medications quickly became known. As a result, drug dealers working the streets no longer worry as much about pushing heroin as they do oxycodone.
If the bill passes, the Food and Drug Administration would be required to refuse the approval of new pharmaceuticals without formulas that are resistant to tampering. For example, pills need to be manufactured in such a way that they cannot be easily melted down or crushed.
Addicts often change the form of these medications to match their preferred consumption method, rather than simply swallowing a pill. The bill, known as the Stop the Tampering of Prescription Pills Act (STOPP) would apply to both brand and generic versions of specific formulas.
The question on this table with such an act, however, is whether or not this approach to drug control will have an impact on use and abuse. Pills that are harder to smash or melt may simply force users to find another way to manipulate the drug. It could also create a market for the development of devices that allow the necessary force to smash a pill into powder.
If passed, will this act actually address the problem or simply put a band aid on the gushing wound that is the drug abuse epidemic?