Georgia now tracking drugs to address abuse |


Georgia now tracking drugs to address abuse |

Sylvia Dunham starts to list the painkillers she once took to combat the pain in her feet, then stops.

“You name it, I’ve been on it,” she said. At one point, she was downing 20 to 30 pills a day. “It was just like eating candy.”

Eventually, she was referred to the Au­gusta Pain Center and found an alternative treatment in a spinal cord stimulator whose constant pulses block the pain signals and offer her drugless relief.

“That is one thing I never liked to do, is take pills,” Dunham said.

For thousands of other women, the drugs lead to a darker end. Prescription drug abuse is a “huge” problem that Georgia is only now implementing a system to monitor and curb, the second-to-last state to do so, an official said.

The U.S. is awash in painkillers – in 2010, enough opioid painkillers were sold to drug every adult every four hours for a month, said a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sales of those painkillers increased 300 percent during the past 11 years, and with that has come a dramatic increase in the rate of prescription drug deaths, particularly for women, the CDC found.

via Georgia now tracking drugs to address abuse |

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