Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

November 5, 2013

Prescription pill abuse a growing problem

In January, on his first day in office, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence called for a moratorium on state regulations, saying less government rules would help spur job creation across the Hoosier state.

State Sen. Ron Grooms, a conservative Republican from Jeffersonville, applauded the general notion of “less government intrusion” but decided the health of Hoosiers trumped ideology. During the 2013 session, he authored legislation to impose sweeping new regulations on the providers of prescription painkillers. His intent: To turn back the wave of misuse, abuse, and addiction associated with the most frequently prescribed drugs in the U.S.

How did Grooms come to that decision? Through his personal experience as a pharmacist in Floyd County, where he’d witnessed the rise of suspicious pain management clinics, better known as “pill mills.”

In a recent interview, Grooms recalled how he could track the rise in prescriptions for drugs containing hydrocodone – the chemical derivative of opium – just by tracking his orders.

In the early 1990s, as those drugs were hitting the market, Grooms needed only one bottle of 100 pills each week to fill the hydrocodone prescriptions that came into his pharmacy. By the mid-1990s, he needed to buy one bottle of 500 pills a week to keep up with the demand. By 2006, when he retired, he was ordering 20 bottles of 500 pills each week.

What he saw in his drug store was happening across the nation. The number of prescriptions for hydrocodone-containing medications like Lortab, Vicodin and their generic equivalents – all marketed as safe, cheap, and effective – was skyrocketing. In 2011, according to federal government estimates, about 131 million prescriptions for hydrocodone-containing medications were written for about 47 million patients. That comes out to about five billion pills.

“We’d become a society where everything is supposed to be easy and uncomplicated,” Grooms said. And pain treatment was no different: “Treating pain is uncomplicated. You just write a prescription.”

Text Only
News
  • County clerk says she will officiate weddings Greensburg — Newly appointed Decatur County Clerk Adina Roberts will perform marriage ceremonies at the courthouse weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.Those interested in being married by Roberts can contact the clerk’s office at 663-8223 or 663-8642.Most

    August 19, 2014

  • Ladies invited to mammogram program fundraiser GREENSBURG – The Hospital Foundation of Decatur County invites area women to be a part of the first “Tee Off ‘Fore’ Ta-Tas” all-female “Goofy” Golf Tournament, to be held at North Branch Golf Course from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19. This unique even

    August 19, 2014

  • nws-gb081914 domestic battery photo Man threatened, beat and choked wife GREENSBURG — A Greensburg man has been charged with three felonies related to a domestic battery in which police suspect he choked his wife and threatened to kill her and her son.Justin Embree, 38, of 227 ½ N. Monfort, has been charged with strangula

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman shares story of abusive marriage GREENSBURG – Domestic violence is an ever-growing problem that causes permanent emotional damage and takes many lives each year; one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.Many people believe such problems don’t exist in their c

    August 19, 2014

  • Gov. sends National Guard to Ferguson FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to Ferguson early Monday, hours after police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets following a week of demonstrations against the fatal police shooting of a black Mis

    August 19, 2014

  • Locally Grown Art Show in Hope HOPE – Just like beefsteak tomatoes, art is at its best when it is local.The newly opened Haw Creek Heritage Center in Hope is seeking entries for Locally Grown, an art exhibition and competition for Hoosier artists to be held this fall. This new ven

    August 19, 2014

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at news@greensburgdailynews.com or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240.Aug. 197 a.m. – DCMH Planning Com

    August 19, 2014

  • nws-gb081614 meth dealer follow photo Police arrest suspected dealer with ties to Mexican cartel INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly a dozen law enforcement officers, including humans and a dog from Greensburg Police Department, had donned their vests and drawn their weapons. On the northeast side of Indianapolis, they approached, from the front and the rear,

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb081614 criminal confinement photo Police: Man beat and confined his girlfriend GREENSBURG — A 26-year-old Greensburg man beat and confined his girlfriend in an apartment in northern Greensburg as she screamed for help, police said.Joseph W. Balser, of 2360 N. Broadway St., was arrested on charges of domestic battery, a Class A

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at news@greensburgdailynews.com or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. Aug. 16Greensburg Power of the P

    August 16, 2014