Tamper proof pills fight addiction

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Now new technology making these pills tamper proof may save more lives. (KFSN)

They are prescribed by doctors for pain. But every day in the United States people are dying due to opioid addiction. Now new technology making these pills tamper-proof may save more lives.

The nationwide epidemic of prescription drug addiction is so critical, Congress is taking up the issue.

In Saturday's HealthWatch are shown how a simple change for pill bottles could save lives.

Every day in cities and small towns across the country, the sounds of sirens.

"Nationwide last year, 33,000 deaths as a result of opioid overdoses," said David Scharf, Department of Community Programs, Broward Sheriff's Office.

Scott Kjelson knows what it is like to lose someone to an opioid addiction. His mom got hooked after she was prescribed pain pills.

"My mom was doctor shopping and she found doctors literally that would say here's 90 Percocets," Scott Kjelson, PharmD, CPh, explained.

Experts say prescription drug abuse has become an epidemic in this country.

David Mastropietro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Nova Southeastern University said, "It affects all people at all walks of life, from adolescents all the way up to the elderly and seniors."

Abusers usually crush the pills in order to snort or inject the drug to get high. That's why researchers at Nova Southeastern University have developed medications that deter this kind of abuse.

"So it's crush resistant, it's like a PVC pipe, it's very resistant, it's very hard, it's very difficult to crush it into fine powder for snorting." Hamid Omidian, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Nova Southeastern University explained.

And if abusers try to liquefy the pill, it turns into a solid gel.

Omidian continued, "It's going to be impossible for an abuser to draw that solution into a syringe and then inject it." (Read Full Interview)

But if taken orally as intended, the technology doesn't lessen the effectiveness of the medication.

Kjelson said, "If the physicians had a deterrent medication they would be alert to what to educate their patients on."

Scott wishes this type of technology was available when his mother was alive. Now he only has his memories.

"I hope I can prevent other families from going through what I went through," Kjelson explained.

Keeping hope alive in the battle against a dangerous addiction.

Related Topics:
healthhealth watchprescription drugsabuse
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