Tag: oxycodone

Why Was a Toyota Executive Arrested for Importing Oxys?

Drug Importer or Chronic Pain Sufferer?

Toyota’s Chief of Corporate Communications, American born Julie Hamp, was arrested recently for importing oxycodone from America to Japan. Despite the headline catching nature of her arrest, she wasn’t caught with millions of pills. It remains unclear whether she was smuggling in prescription drugs or simply fell victim to international medication laws.

importing pills to japan

Ms. Hamp, appointed as a senior executive in April, was arrested by Tokyo police for violating the Narcotics Control Act, which bans foreigners from bringing in medication. Lawyers for both Toyota and Hamp deny that she was smuggling drugs.

The circumstances surrounding her arrest tell a different story. An international package containing approximately sixty oxycodone pills was delivered to Japanese customs officers in June. The package was listed as containing necklaces, but was found to contain Oxys hidden in many smaller boxes.

Japanese officials haven’t released details about much else. The type of oxycodone is still unknown, as is the strength of the pills. Police have, however, raided Toyota headquarters and its offices in Tokyo.

This type of raid is common after an arrest, especially a high profile arrest featuring an American citizen.

The largest painkiller bust in US history…

What Do We Know So Far?

While the details on Ms. Hamp’s arrest and trial are still being kept closely under wraps, there is some information we do know. As mentioned above, we know the pills were hidden and mislabeled.

In a public response, the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, apologized that someone from his company had caused such controversy. He also came to Hamp’s defense, stating she’s an “indispensable” part of the company and expressing regret that they hadn’t helped her transition to a new country better.

Mr. Toyoda also went on record as saying, “Through the investigation, I believe that we will learn she had no intent to violate the law” (CNN).

We know Japanese law as well. Oxycodone is a legal prescription drug in Japan. In fact, it’s controlled and distributed in a similar manner to how it is in the US. Japan’s laws are incredibly strict when it comes to importing all prescription medication however.

To import just about any medication, from oxycodone to Advair, you need to obtain permission from the government ahead of time. More on this below.

We also know the criminal sentencing guidelines for those found guilty of importing oxycodone and other narcotic pills. They range in severity depending on the individual case, but importing controlled narcotics carries with it a prison sentence of between one and ten years.

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A History of Importing Prescription Meds

This isn’t the first time an American has gotten into trouble for bringing prescription medication into Japan. This isn’t even the first case of it this year!

In early 2015, Carrie Russell, a twenty-six year old teacher, was arrested and detained for over two weeks. Her crime? Receiving a package of Adderall from her mother.

Ms. Russell’s mother, a doctor in Oregon, sent her the pills for her ADD. Still, she was held for an extended period of time and only released after a number of American politicians and diplomats intervened.

Officials don’t know why these people are overdosing…

So What?

That’s a natural question to ask about Julie Hamp’s arrest. So what? Why should we care that someone was arrested for bringing powerful painkillers into a foreign country? If anything, doesn’t it make sense?

It certainly does. No one should be above the law of any country. Still, Ms. Hamp’s arrest, and Ms. Russell’s before, reveal an interesting trend. They show the scope of America’s prescription medication addiction on an international scale.

Let me be clear, when I say “America’s prescription medication addiction,” I’m not suggesting that either Hamp or Russell are addicted to pills. Indeed, both appear to have legitimate reasons for needing prescription meds. Russell suffers from ADD and Hamp has a history of chronic knee pain.

american arrested in japan

What I do mean is that Americans love prescription medication. Our country writes more prescriptions, and for stronger, more dangerous drugs, than any other country. Why do you think we’re in the midst of the opioid epidemic?

It’s interesting to see this play out on a global scale. I’m sure Hamp and Russell aren’t the first Americans to be arrested for bringing controlled drugs into foreign countries. I’m also sure they won’t be the last.

So what can we do? How can we curb the arrest of US citizens on foreign soil?

Simple – we can break our dependence on prescription drugs. Those suffering from chronic pain can try alternative methods of pain relief. Guess what? Not only will this eliminate any possible arrests, but it will also eliminate the potential for opioid addiction. Not to mention that practices like acupuncture and physical therapy have been shown to be effective pain relief methods.

This type of shift, from narcotic painkillers to various “lifestyle treatments,” may sound radical. It isn’t. It’s intensely practical and has far-reaching and positive impacts. Bring it on!

Why Are More & More Pregnant Women Taking Painkillers?

Pregnancy + Pain Pills = Disaster

The prevalence of women taking opioid painkillers during pregnancy is on the rise. In fact, the number of women who take short-acting opioids, think Vicodin or Percocet, while pregnant has doubled over the past fifteen years.

painkillers and pregnancy

Using painkillers during pregnancy brings with it a number of potentially harmful implications for the unborn child. Women on drugs like OxyContin or Roxicodone are more likely to give birth prematurely, have an underweight baby, or have a child born with developmental issues and neonatal abstinence syndrome (physical withdrawals). Smoking while pregnant, a somewhat common trait among addicts, only increases these risks.

As if that wasn’t scary enough, there’s more alarming news coming from a recent Tennessee study of expecting mothers. Dr. Stephen Patrick, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and the study’s lead author, found that almost 30% of pregnant women used opioids.

Dr. Patrick went on to say,

“I was surprised by the number of women prescribed opioid pain relievers in pregnancy…I was also surprised by how commonly women smoked in pregnancy, and how much that increased the risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome among those who also used opioid pain relievers in pregnancy” (Science Times).

So what exactly is going on? Why are more and more women taking opioids during pregnancy? More importantly, what can we do to reverse this alarming trend?

Did you know a quarter of all painkiller prescriptions are abused?

New Statistics on Pregnant Women & Pills

Dr. Patrick’s team analyzed over 100,000 pregnant women’s Tennessee Medicaid medical records from the years 2009 to 2011. Their findings? Approximately 28% of pregnant women filled a painkiller prescription.

This comes at a time when opioids are being routinely overprescribed. Consider that in a nine-year period, 2000 to 2009, painkiller prescriptions quadrupled. Consider that during these nine-years the number of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome tripled. There’s a clear correlation between the two.

Sounds pretty bad, right? Well it gets worse. Remember how Dr. Patrick warned against smoking while pregnant? Well, his study also found that 42% of women taking opioids while pregnant smoked. 42%! That’s almost half of all the women taking painkillers while pregnant! Something needs to be done and now.

It also appears that, according to researchers, the more cigarettes these women smoke, the more likely their baby is to experience neonatal abstinence syndrome.

There is, however, some light in an otherwise bleak situation. Dr. Patrick had the following to say about situations where it may be acceptable, even preferable, to take opioids during pregnancy,

“For women with opioid dependency, we know that use of maintenance opioids like methadone decrease rates of preterm birth compared to heroin. For these women, neonatal abstinence syndrome may occur in their infants, but it is much better than the alternative, which is preterm birth” (Science Times).

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What Can We Do to Help?

There are two things to remember about this latest study before tackling any type of solution. First, the study was only conducted in Tennessee. Second, it only examined pregnant women receiving Medicaid. Both of these limit the potential reach of the study, as well as the data uncovered.

Okay, removing those from the picture, there’s still a serious problem going on! There are ever increasing numbers of women taking dangerous drugs while pregnant. What can you and I do to help stem this tide?

Well, first we need to change this culture of euphoria. What exactly do I mean? Simple – the current state of the American psyche is that of pleasure seeking. People abuse drugs and alcohol because they like how these chemicals make them feel. To quote a famous book, “Men and women drink essentially because they like the effects produced by alcohol” (Alcoholics Anonymous).

taking drugs while pregnant

So, before anything else can be changed, we need to address this culture of pleasure seeking. Then, we need to address another rampant problem. I’m talking, of course, about the over-prescription of medication, narcotic and otherwise, in America.

To fix this, we need to start looking beyond the ingrained idea that a pill or syrup can fix our problems. We need to start looking for the long-term solution to aches and pains, rather than the quick fix.

In fact, I believe our current culture of euphoria and quick fix medical attitude are tied together. Think about it, American’s love prescription meds and there are none they love more than opioids. There’s a reason we consume 99% of the world’s supply of hydrocodone (Vicodin’s chemical name).

To put it another way, we only need to change one thing to start seeing a decline in the number of pregnant women taking painkillers. What’s that one thing, you ask? Everything.

This may sound overwhelming, but it’s easier than we think. After all, conversations like the one we’re having right now are the first step. A critical examination of how and why so many pregnant women are taking painkillers is the first step to effecting real and lasting change.

A new study claims that painkillers DON’T treat chronic pain…

Oxycodone Addiction: The Truth Behind Facts and Statistics About the Deadliest Painkiller

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics

oxycodone addiction facts

Oxycodone addiction is nothing new. The drug was first synthesized in 1916 and abused for its euphoric effects not long after. However, today we’re in the midst of an oxycodone abuse epidemic, the likes of which haven’t been seen before.

Can we trust the media’s portray of oxycodone? Are their oxycodone addiction facts true? Is it really the most dangerous drug? What about their oxycodone addiction statistics? Are adolescents everywhere really popping and sniffing oxy’s?

Learn accurate oxycodone addiction facts and statics with Lighthouse Recovery Institute.

The difference between pain pills and heroin may be less than you think

Oxycodone Addiction Facts

Find six oxycodone addiction facts below:

• Popular oxycodone products include: OxyContin (time release oxycodone), Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen), Roxicodone (pure oxycodone), Endocet (generic oxycodone and OTC analgesic mixtures), and Percodan (oxycodone and Aspirin).

• All oxycodone products are classified as Schedule II narcotics by the DEA. This means they have a high potential for abuse.

• In 2012, upwards of seven million oxycodone prescriptions were written.

• The Department of Justice reported that over ten million people have abused oxycodone at least once in their lives.

• Although oxycodone abuse is nothing new, it was the release of OxyContin in 1996 which sparked the current oxycodone epidemic.

• Starting in 2010, “abuse-proof” versions of popular oxycodone pills became available.

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Oxycodone Addiction Statistics

Find six oxycodone addiction statistics below:

• In 2004, over three million people abused oxycodone for the first time.

• According to the New York Times, oxycodone prescriptions in New York State rose 82% between 2007 and 2010.

• In 2007, the U.S. consumed over 80% of the world’s oxycodone.

• In 2006, oxycodone pills sent over 64,000 people to the ER.

• By 2010, this number rose to over 182,000 people.

• Also in 2010, 2% of eighth graders, 4.6% of high school sophomores, and 5.1% of high school seniors admitted to engaging in oxycodone abuse.

Why are some people saying there’s new hope in America’s opioid overdose epidemic?

What Do These Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about oxycodone addiction are troubling! They show we’re in the midst of an explosive oxycodone epidemic. They show that oxycodone is an incredibly dangerous drug.

The above facts about oxycodone addiction show that something needs to be done. There are strict government regulations over the prescribing and dispensing of oxycodone, yet the drug is still illegally available. There are abuse-proof forms of oxycodone pills, yet people are still abusing them. What can we do?

The answer lies not in strict regulations or safer pills, though those are certainly necessary. The answer lies in you and me, in our friends and loved ones, in talking about the problem honestly.

See, once we address the negative impact oxycodone is having across America, we can begin to come up with a solution. Will this happen tomorrow? Probably not. However, what these facts about oxycodone addiction make incredibly clear is that we need to start the process. After all, if nothing changes, then nothing is going to change!

Painkiller Addiction: Real Facts and Statistics Behind the Prescription Drug Epidemic

Written By: Fiona Stockard

Painkiller Addiction Facts and Statistics

painkiller addiction facts

Painkiller addiction is nothing new. Ancient cultures all over the world used opium, both to treat pain and to catch a buzz. During the Civil War, morphine addiction was called the soldier’s disease, due to its prevalence among fighting troops. During the early 20th century, heroin was sold legally in Sear’s catalog!

However, the recent rise of prescription painkiller abuse and addiction are unprecedented. Never has there been a time when people were using opioid drugs with such frequency or in such numbers. Because of this massive intake of painkillers, there’s a lot of false information out there. People think they know painkiller addiction facts simply because they’ve taken painkillers. People think because they’ve taken Vicodin, they’re medical experts.

So, what’s the truth about painkiller addiction facts? Which painkiller addiction statistics are real? Which are skewed?

Learn accurate facts about painkiller addiction with Lighthouse Recovery Institute!

What’s the truth about a controversial new “abuse-proof” painkiller?

Painkiller Addiction Facts

Find six painkiller addiction facts below:

• The most common prescription painkillers are hydrocodone products (Vicodin, Norco, Lortab, etc.) and oxycodone products (OxyContin, Roxicodone, Percocet, etc.). Morphine products, although the first type of painkiller, have fallen out of popularity.

• In fact, hydrocodone products are the most prescribed drugs in the United States. They’re also the most diverted and abused prescription drug, painkiller or otherwise, in the country.

• The U.S. consumes 99% of the world’s hydrocodone and over 80% of the world’s oxycodone.

• Even when used as prescribed, painkillers are addicting. Physical dependence can develop in as little as two weeks of taking the prescribed amount.

• Prescription painkillers account for three out of four prescription drug overdose. In fact, as of 2009, prescription drugs caused more deaths than automobile accidents.

• Painkillers kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined.

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Painkiller Addiction Statistics

Find seven painkiller addiction statistics below:

• 10% of high school seniors admits to engaging in painkiller abuse.

• In 2009, painkillers sent over 475,000 people to the ER.

• In 2010, over twelve million people admitted to nonmedical use of prescription painkillers.

• In 2012, just over two million people met the criteria for painkiller addiction.

• In 2012, almost two million people abused painkillers for the first time. Of these, over 370,000 abused OxyContin.

• In 2012, 2.2% of adolescents (ages twelve to seventeen) engaged in nonmedical painkiller use.

• In 2012, approximately 973,000 people were admitted to treatment centers for painkiller abuse.

Do methadone and Suboxone really work?

What Do These Painkiller Addiction Facts and Statistics Mean For You?

These statistics and facts about painkiller addiction mean only one thing – we’ve got a major problem on our hands! The U.S. is prescribing, consuming, abusing, and becoming addicted to painkillers like never before.

Why is this? That’s a complicated question with no easy answer. However, there is good news! With more people taking painkillers, comes more people seeking treatment. In 2002, 360,000 people were admitted to treatment centers for painkiller abuse. That number rose to 973,000 people in 2012.

There’s help out there. If you think you may have a problem with painkillers, reach out! It’s important to remember that you’re not alone!

Is there new hope to end the painkiller overdose epidemic?

Are you or a loved one suffering from a painkiller addiction? At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we’ve been there.

In fact, many of our staff are in long-term recovery. We know what it’s like to be unable to stop binge drinking or compulsively using drugs. Let us show you another way, a sober way.

Call Lighthouse today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015. You’ll be connected to a caring and expert outreach and admission coordinator who can help start the process of recovery.

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