Zohydro is a new FDA approved prescription painkiller that is made up of pure and undiluted hydrocodone which is a semi-synthetic opioid. Before Zohydro, other opium based pain pills like Vicodin were diluted with acetaminophen.
Zohydro reached the market and became available to consumers in March 2014. Controversy surrounding the safety of the substance continues to rise and many states are seeking to implement state wide bans on the substance. The FDA states that the approval of Zohydro is based on the need for a substance that can effectively treat patients who have not responded well to any of the currently available substances.
The FDA approved the substance despite its production agencies advisory panel coming to a majority decision against the approval of the substance. There are groups of doctors collaborating for the FDA to reconsider their approval of Zohydro because of the danger that the substance poses.
Some of the dangers and reasons for the controversy surrounding the release of Zohydro include the following:
- Zohydro is up to 10 times more potent than its nearest equal, Vicodin
- It has the potential to cause an exponential increase in addiction, emergency room visits and accidental overdose deaths
- Zohydro has the potential to cause a fatal overdose by taking only two capsules for adults and only one capsule for children who mistakenly get their hands on it
- Opioids are already the leading cause of addiction due to over-prescription so another more potent opioid can cause significant damage
- The capsule does not include any of the newly designed anti-abuse mechanisms thus making it easier for abusers to crush the pill in order to snort or inject it
- Due to the lack of safeguards and the high potency in the new pill, it has the potential to immediately become the new go to drug of abuse
According to the International Narcotics Control Board, America already consumes more than 99 percent of the world’s supply of hydrocodone. Overdose deaths in the US have also significantly increased over the last decade from around 4,000 to over 17,000 according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The data suggests that the release of Zohydro among the US population has the potential to cause massive increases in accidental overdose deaths, emergency room visits and addiction. The abuse of opioid painkillers is already so prevalent in America that releasing a new, more potent and easier to abuse substance like Zohydro is dangerous.