Journey Healing Centers Raises Red Flags over New Super Painkiller Zohydro

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With approximately 7 million Americans admitting to the non-medical use of prescription painkillers during the past month (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), Journey Healing Centers (private drug and alcohol treatment centers) is raising red flags over the dangers of Zohydro, the newest super painkiller, said to be 10 times the strength of Vicodin and pending FDA approval. Painkillers are the second most-abused drugs after marijuana (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.), and big pharma is again seeking an increased share of the $10 billion a year prescription drug market.

Journey Healing Centers ( ), a leading substance abuse treatment provider, knows far too well the dangers of prescription pain killers. Every year, Journey Healing Centers treats hundreds of people whose lives have been taken over by drug addiction. With a keen interest in primary prevention, this private treatment center is leading efforts to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription pain killers. With the promise of a new super painkiller, Zohydro, in the pipeline, the time to act in the interest of preventing more addiction is now. If Zohydro is approved, which looks to be inevitable, it would represent the first pure hydrocodone formulation on the market (a painkiller like Vicodin, Lortab and Norco without Tylenol or Ibuprofen mixed in.)

Dr. Ravi Chandiramani, Journey Healing Centers Medical Director explains, “The number of people seeking treatment for prescription pain killer dependency at our treatment centers is growing every year and this epidemic does not appear to discriminate based on age, gender or socioeconomic status. We see everyone from high school kids that got mixed up with the wrong crowd to corporate executives who went from seeking pain relief from a flared tennis injury to taking enough pills in one day to kill most people. While the drug company behind Zohydro claims that it will be safer because less people will develop liver problems and prescribers cannot authorize refills like other hydrocodone-containing drugs, many experts recognize that Zohydro could be the next Oxycontin fiasco in the making."

In the past decade, emergency room visits related to hydrocodone abuse have increased almost 250% from 19,221 in 2000 to 86,258 in 2009, according to data compiled by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Oxycodone is now the most-abused medicine in the United States, with hydrocodone a close second, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration's annual count of drug seizures sent to police drug labs for analysis.

On top of addiction concerns, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says armed robberies at pharmacies rose 81 percent between 2006 and 2010, from 380 to 686. The number of pills stolen went from 706,000 to 1.3 million. Thieves are overwhelmingly taking Oxycodone painkillers like OxyContin or Roxicodone, or hydrocodone-based painkillers like Vicodin and Norco. Both narcotics are highly addictive.

Four companies have begun patient testing on a time-released formulation containing pure hydrocodone, and one of them — Zogenix of San Diego — plans to apply early next year to begin marketing Zohydro. This new super painkiller will be marketed to those seeking to manage moderate to severe pain, and advocates claim that this new formulation will give providers another tool in the fight against legitimate chronic pain. There are many different forms of painkillers currently on the market, and it’s time to start looking at alternate ways to reduce or assist in the healing of chronic pain.

Journey Healing Centers aniticipates an ongoing debate on the pros and cons of Zohydro. While there will be opposing opinions, with no additional prescriber training on the horizon and no word on additional regulations to prevent a similar fate as Purdue’s Oxycontin, Zohydro will undoubtedly be the cause of unnecessary pain to individuals whose lives will never be the same. Countless families will also suffer alongside loved ones, wishing Zohydro was never approved. Journey Healing Centers has been raising concerns this week in the media about this new super painkiller Zohydro though the media.

KSL / NBC 5 Salt Lake City
Super painkiller raising concerns among drug treatment community

AZ Family/ Channel 3 Phoenix
Prescription Drug Abuse Fears

ABC 4 Salt Lake City
Zohydro, A New Super Painkiller

Background :
Journey Healing Centers operates private alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in Arizona and Utah, and has been featured on MTV's Gone Too Far, PBS, ABC News 15 Phoenix, NBC 12 News, AZ Family/Channel 3, ABC 4 Salt Lake City, KSL NBC 5 Salt Lake City, KUTV CBS 2 Salt Lake City and in Addiction Pro and People Magazine. Journey Healing Centers has supported thousands of families dealing with addictions through Residential Programs, Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), Sober Living Homes, Aftercare and a 24-Hour Free Hotline with Addiction Specialists. Website:

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Liz Brown
Journey Healing Centers



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