By Staff Writer
Many people throughout the U.S. are addicted to prescription painkillers. While law enforcement efforts have tried to attack the problem by reducing the supply of the drugs, one pharmaceutical company is starting a new tactic to ensure that its products are not abused.
Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxcycontin, one of the most widely abuse drugs, recently formulated its pills so that they cannot be crushed, according to the New York Times. The pills must be broken up in order to be injected or snorted, which delivers the strongest high. However, when a person tries to crush the new pills, they turn to a gummy consistency that cannot be injected or snorted.
While this represents a major advancement in the fight against Oxycontin abuse, the news source reports that many addicts are now simply turning to other substances. In some cases they are using other brands of pills, while others are beginning to use street drugs like heroin or cocaine.
The issue underscores the difficult nature of the prescription drug abuse problem, which has grown considerably over the past decade. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that there are now more new users of prescription pills than marijuana.