A monthly injection to treat opioid dependence, approved in October 2010 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has gotten off to a slow start but is proving useful in helping certain patients, say doctors familiar with the drug, extended-release naltrexone (Vivitrol).
A study of drug overdose deaths in Florida between 2003 and 2009 has found that prescription medications were involved in 76 percent of cases. During that same period, 34 percent of overdose deaths involved illegal drugs.
Prison officials throughout the country are finding that Suboxone, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, is being smuggled in through ingenious means, including greeting cards, children’s artwork and under stamps.
Methadone, long used to treat heroin addiction, is now becoming a popular tool in the fight against prescription drug abuse in Florida. A state review last year concluded that more methadone clinics and satellite offices will be needed to deal with the growing number of patients addicted to prescription drugs.