Zohydro is a new FDA approved prescription painkiller that is made up of pure and undiluted hydrocodone which is a semi-synthetic opioid. Before Zohydro, other opium based pain pills like Vicodin were diluted with acetaminophen. Zohydro reached the market and became available to consumers in March 2014. Controversy surrounding the safety of the substance continues to rise and many states are seeking to implement state wide bans on the substance. The FDA states that the approval of Zohydro is based on the need for a substance that can effectively treat patients who have not responded well to any of the currently available substances. The FDA approved the substance despite its production agencies advisory panel coming to a majority decision against the approval of the substance. There are groups of doctors collaborating for the FDA to reconsider their approval of Zohydro because of the danger that the substance poses. Some of the dangers and reasons for the controversy surrounding the release of Zohydro include the following:
According to the International Narcotics Control Board, America already consumes more than 99 percent of the world’s supply of hydrocodone. Overdose deaths in the US have also significantly increased over the last decade from around 4,000 to over 17,000 according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This data suggests that the release of Zohydro among the US population has the potential to cause massive increases in accidental overdose deaths, emergency room visits and addiction. The abuse of opioid painkillers is already so prevalent in America that releasing a new, more potent and easier to abuse substance like Zohydro is dangerous.
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