Pubdate: Mon, 02 Apr 2007
Source: New York Post (NY)
Copyright: 2007 N.Y.P. Holdings, Inc.
Author: Carl Campanile
Bookmark: (Chronic Pain)
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


Pill-popping addicts could get dope through NYU Medical Center and 
Bellevue Hospital - just like heroin junkies receive methadone - to 
wean them off the prescription pain killers that have bedeviled 
celebrities such as Anna Nicole Smith and Rush Limbaugh, The Post has learned.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is launching its first large 
scale Prescription Opiate Addiction Treatment Study at 12 sites 
across the country, including the NYU/Bellevue primary-care clinic. 
The drug trials will test the effectiveness of buprenorphone/naloxone 
tablets - marketed as Suboxone - to break patients' addictions to 
painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin. The tablets will be 
accompanied by different levels of drug-abuse counseling, a key 
aspect of the study.

While methadone must be administered through a licensed clinic, 
Suboxone can be prescribed in a doctor's office for home use.

Health experts said addiction to prescription pills has mushroomed 
into an epidemic. A 2005 federal study found 2.2 million Americans 
aged 12 and older became "non-medical" users of pain relievers that 
year - surpassing new marijuana users.

The trial seeks to enroll 648 patients at 12 sites - including 55 at 
the NYU/Bellevue site - over an 18 month period.
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