SAMHSA: More now use pain relievers nonmedically

June 26, 2006

More people initiated nonmedical use of narcotic pain relievers in the past year than initiated use of marijuana or cocaine. This finding comes from a new report from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that extracted data from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

SAMHSA: More now use pain relievers nonmedically

More people initiated nonmedical use of narcotic pain relievers in the past year than initiated use of marijuana or cocaine. This finding comes from a new report from the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that extracted data from the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The new report, "Nonmedical Users of Pain Relievers: Characteristics of Recent Initiates," shows that 48% of new initiates used Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone bitartrate, Abbott), Lortab (acetaminophen/hydrocodone bitartrate, Mallinckrodt), or Lorcet (acetaminophen/hydrocodone bitartrate, Mallinckrodt); 34.3% used Darvocet (acetaminophen/propoxyphene napsylate, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals), Darvon (propoxyphene HCl, Xanodyne), or Tylenol with codeine; 20% used Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone HCl, Endo Pharmaceuticals), Percodan (aspirin/oxycodone hydrochloride/oxycodone terephthalate, Endo), or Tylox (acetaminophen/oxycodone HCl, Ortho-McNeil); 18.4% used generic hydrocodone; 14.3% used generic codeine; 8.4% used oxycodone; and 4.3% used morphine. Over half of people who initiated nonmedical use of pain medication (54.9%) in 2004 were female. The report is available at http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/.

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