New Painkiller Offers Potential for Abuse and Addiction

Leading Treatment Center for Addiction and Co-Occurring Disorders Warns of Dangerous New Prescription Drug Zohydro

Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, the nation’s leading center for women and adolescent girls struggling with addiction, eating disorders, trauma and co-occurring disorders, warns the new narcotic painkiller Zohydro poses a great potential for abuse and addiction.

Zohydro is the only approved extended-release product that contains the man-made opioid hydrocodone.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March of this year, the drug is five times more powerful than Vicodin and Loritab.

The last thing we need is another potent opioid pain medication with such highly addictive properties, especially in today’s clinical environment in which prescriptions are regularly written by under-educated and under-trained physicians,” said Kim Dennis, MD, CEO and medical director at Timberline Knolls. “Many physicians prescribing these types of medications don’t have the training or accountability to identify addiction risks.”

Andrew Kolodny, MD, president of the advocacy group Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, stated that the new drug will “kill people as soon as it’s released.” Currently, 120 million opioid prescriptions are filled each year, making them the most abused medications in the U.S.

“We are right in the middle of a prescription drug use disorder epidemic; deaths from overdose have quadrupled since 1999,” said Dr. Dennis. “And yet, despite efforts by the medical community to revoke approval, this drug is now available to consumers.”

Supporters of Zohydro indicate that physicians need another tool in their toolboxes to treat the most extreme incidences of pain such as post-surgical back pain, extreme trauma or cancer. Those standing in opposition claim that it is all about the bottom line and the millions of dollars that such a drug will bring to pharmaceutical companies.

Certainly, patients with little to no addiction risk can probably use this drug safely, but anyone with even a low risk of substance use disorder is a strong candidate for addiction, abuse, and very possibly, death.

About Timberline Knolls:

Timberline Knolls is a leading private residential treatment center for women and adolescent girls (ages 12 – 65+) with eating disorders, substance abuse, trauma, mood and co-occurring disorders.  Located in suburban Chicago, residents receive excellent clinical care from a highly trained professional staff on a picturesque 43-acre wooded campus.  Women and families seeking Christian treatment can opt for specialized Christian-based therapy.  For more information on Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, call us at 877.257.9611. We are also on Facebook – Timberline Knolls, and Twitter – Timberline Knolls.