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State Ranks Top in Heroin Abuse but not high in Pain Pill Abuse

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Researchers were shocked to discover that residents are among the least likely to abuse pain pills although Illinois has a high rate of Heroin abuse. About 0.3 percent of Illinois residents abuse Heroin -- the eighth-highest rate among states. Like heroin, many prescription pain pills are opioids, a class of drug. But only 3.7 percent of Illinois residents abuse pain medications, making Illinois the ninth-lowest state for the abuse. Illinois' rate was lower than the rates in every bordering state except Iowa. "We're not really sure why," said Mario Moric, a statistician in the anesthesiology department of Rush University Medical Center. Moric and colleagues reported their findings at a recent meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.  Follow-up research is needed on factors that might explain the rates, such as how Drug laws are enforced and how prescribing patterns are monitored in different states, Moric said.


Prescription pain meds such as codeine, OxyContin and Vicodin "are incredibly necessary in maintaining quality of life," Moric said.  Abuse occurs when a patient continues to use the Drug despite negative effects on work, school and health.  Rush pain specialist Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran employs strict controls. He limits prescriptions to 30 days and requires patients to sign contracts promising to follow his guidelines, and not get early refills or go to a second doctor or pharmacy. Abusing rates of Pain pills ranged from 2.7 percent in Iowa to 7 percent in Kentucky.
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