Tuesday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Vivitrol, as a new treatment for patients with an opioid dependence to prevent a relapse after undergoing detoxification treatment. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), in continuing her effort to combat illicit and prescription drug abuse, voices her concern that more needs to be done to stop drug use and addiction before it even begins. The Congresswoman released the following statement:
"I applaud the research and development in addiction treatments like Vivitrol, to treat patients with opioid dependence and prevent the relapses of drug addiction, but more needs to be done on the front end to prevent drug use and addiction from first taking place. Prescription drug abuse can be addictive, deadly and can also be a gateway to illicit drugs like heroin. Marijuana stands as the number one abused illicit drug, while prescription drug abuse is our fastest growing drug problem. We need to fight these disturbing trends. I believe a better job needs to be done at FDA to prevent prescription drug abuse, not just treat it. With the high and rapidly growing percentages of opioid painkillers that are abused, we know the supply doesn't match the legitimate demand.
"Far too many Americans have the misconception that prescription drugs are "safer' because they're prescribed by a doctor, but the fact is that prescription drugs, when abused, can be just as addictive and as deadly as street drugs. More has to be done to control the amount of prescription drugs to legitimate users. The legislation I introduced, Stop Oxy Abuse, would allow OxyContin to only be available for severe pain--like its original intended use--not moderate to severe pain. By implementing this measure, we would help cut down on the supply to possible abusers."