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The FDA is Pushing For Greater Restrictions on Prescription Painkillers: Now what?

Austin, TX (PRWEB) December 06, 2013

In an effort to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, the FDA announced it will begin recommending tighter controls on how doctors prescribe commonly used narcotic painkillers that contain Hydrocodone. For those that have witnessed the destruction of painkiller abuse firsthand, this is welcome news. But according to several experts in the field, it’s a solution that is not without risk in the short term.

According to George Catlin, the founder of Withdrawal Ease, the epidemic of painkiller abuse is fueled in two ways. “The first is the relative ease of access that people have to these drugs, and certainly these new regulations should go a long way in curbing access. However, these new regulations ignore another key part of the problem: people who are physically dependent will do almost anything to avoid opiate withdrawal and detox.” According to addictionologists, opiate detox from drugs like Hydrocodone can be particularly excruciating and can persist for weeks.

Catlin has written extensively on this subject for years on his website. In his estimation, restricting access focuses only on the distribution problem.

“The fact of the matter is, there are hundreds of thousands of people that are physically dependent on these drugs,” says Catlin. “For many of these people, rehab simply isn’t an option because of the cost and time requirements; we must identify new protocols for opiate dependency because the current system isn’t working. Reducing the acuity of opiate detox is essential. Our concern is that many of these folks will turn to more potent forms of opiates — including heroin — to avoid the looming specter of withdrawal. It is the engine that drives physical dependency. Many will resort to more potent, drugs like Heroin or expensive replacement therapies like Suboxone (Buprenorphine) which can cause even worse withdrawal symptoms than Hydrocodone.”

Heroin use is on the rise.

The comeback seen in heroin use has been driven largely by the law-enforcement crackdown on illicit use of prescription painkillers, drug officials say. That has pushed those who were addicted to the pills to turn to heroin, which is cheaper and oftentimes more plentiful. Further restricting access has the potential of driving demand for heroin even higher.

“The FDA recommendations are certainly very good news,” Mr. Catlin said. “But we need to be mindful of the potential, unintended consequences of these recommendations. We must find ways to make the opiate detox process more comfortable, accessible and affordable. In the case of opiate dependency, this is the very essence of preventative care.”

According to the New York Times, about 131 million prescriptions for hydrocodone-containing medications were written for about 47 million patients, according to government estimates. That amounts to about five billion pills.

The FDA’s recommendations include reducing the number of refills available to patients before going back to see a doctor, and requiring patients to take their prescription to a pharmacy rather than having a doctor call it in. In addition, the new regulations would reduce by half, to 90 days, the supply of the drug a patient could obtain without a new prescription.

If these recommendations are approved by the DEA, the new regulations to go into effect in 2014.

George Catlin is the founder of Withdrawal Ease, a nutritional supplement designed to help ease the pain of withdrawal. Since 2009, Catlin has helped thousands of people ease their dependency to painkillers. The Withdrawal Ease System includes two custom formulations — daytime and nighttime, and comes in capsule form. Most Withdrawal Ease customers have reported a significant decrease in the intensity and duration of their withdrawal symptoms after taking the supplement and following the suggestions in the free Survival Guide included. Also available is Recovery Ease for those experiencing persistent Post Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS). Find out more at

The Swizzle Collective is an advertising and marketing (and sometimes PR) concern in Austin, TX, with clients in a wide variety of industries, including health, wellness, finance, technology and hospitality. For more information, visit

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