Report: More ED visits linked to abuse of two pain medications

CAL/AAEM News Service calaaem_news at
Tue Aug 10 20:48:49 PDT 2004

Report: More ED visits linked to abuse of two pain medications 

July 27, 2004 

The number of emergency department visits involving abuse of the narcotic pain 
medications oxycodone and hydrocodone has more than tripled since 1994, HHS' 
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported today. The 
drugs, better known by brand names that include Vicodin, OxyContin and 
Percocet, were cited in more than 47,000 drug-abuse related ED visits in 2002, 
up from about 13,000 in 1994. About three-quarters of those ED visits involved 
the abuse of multiple substances, most commonly alcohol, anti-anxiety 
medications and cocaine. Use of opioid pain relievers such as oxycodone and 
hydrocodone accounted for more than 10% of drugs mentioned in 
drug-abuse-related ED visits in 2002, on a par with heroin or marijuana. 
SAMHSA's latest national survey on drug use found non-medical use of 
prescription drugs to be the second most common form of illicit drug use, 
behind marijuana. For more information, visit 

Source: AHA News (   

Cyrus Shahpar & Brian Potts 
Managing Editors, CAL/AAEM News Service 

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