Prescription painkiller overdose is becoming a common killer in Nevada, and nationally.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, overdoses caused by prescription painkillers are increasing, and Methadone abuse is escalating more rapidly than any other drug. In fact, methadone overdoses have increased over 500% between 1999 and 2005.
Methadone is given to heroin users in liquid form to treat addiction, and doctors have progressively been prescribing methadone in pill form to treat chronic pain. As reported by Kathleen Fackelmann of USA Today, most methadone overdoses are caused by the abuse of the prescription painkiller pills.
Methadone is difficult to prescribe safely, according to Fackelmann, because it remains in the user’s bloodstream long after the few hours of pain relief it provides. Too much methadone in the system will cause a user to go into a coma and stop breathing.
Another difficulty posed by methadone as a painkiller, reported by Holly Ramer of the Associated Press, is that methadone is metabolized slowly. Because a user may not feels its effects immediately, he or she might continue to take them, until the level of methadone becomes deadly.
Check back soon for more entries about the dangers of methadone.
Steve is the Managing Shareholder of Steven J. Klearman & Associates, a civil litigation law firm located in Reno, Nevada. He practices primarily in the areas of civil litigation and injury law, and has authored one of the definitive guides to Nevada civil law that is widely used by Nevada judges and attorneys, his book entitled Elements of Nevada Legal Theories.