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Zohydro: Raising Awareness

Highlights from a new slide presentation raising awareness about a powerful new opioid painkiller known as Zohydro.

Zohydro ER is the first painkiller made up entirely of hydrocodone. It has been on the market since earlier this month.

Zohydro is controversial. A low-dose Zohydro delivers twice the amount of hydrocodone found in a Vicodin pill. A high-dose Zohydro is equivalent to 10 Vicodins. Critics say there's no need for another high-strength painkiller. Officials from 28 states have asked the FDA to rethink Zohydro's approval.

People are afraid Zohydro will be abused. Some are saying Zohydro may be the next OxyContin.

Zohydro pills are crushable, so it's likely drug abusers will bypass the time-release coating, as they did with OxyContin. The large amount of hydrocodone in Zohydro is intended to be released into the body over many hours, not all at once. When crushed, the Zohydro pill releases the entire dose at once. Opiate addicts want this, since they need large doses to maintain their addiction.

Most opioids and opiates should never be combined with alcohol, yet a high percentage of people in addiction treatment abuse both alcohol and drugs. According to the FDA-approved datasheet for Zohydro, the combination of alcohol and Zohydro can be deadly.

The controversy is likely to continue, as awareness increases.

by Certified Counselor on March 13, 2014, 10:40 a.m. archive