New Lorcet Restrictions and the Dangers of Abuse
In October of 2014, there was a new change in regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This alteration has resulted in a decreased degree of access to most opiate pain-killers. One of the main medications that is experiencing this is Lorcet. This medication is one of over 200 variations on a mixture of chemicals in conjunction with hydrocodone, a powerful opiate. Any medications that incorporate this substance are now experiencing a reclassification of drug scheduling that now require more standards regading the refilling of prescriptions. Though, many may ask: Why it is being restricted? How does this restriction actually work to reduce levels of abuse?
What is Lorcet?
Before one can make definitive estimate on the neccessity, one must understand what comprises the substance, as well as it’s uses in the medical field. Lorcet itself is generally a mixture of acetaminophen and hydrocodone. Hydrocodone is a chemical agent that is primarily responsible for the relief of pain, as well as the more infamous states of euphoria that often precede caces of addiction. While the acetaminophen is not addictive (as it is a weaker pain reliever), it increases the overal potency of the hydrocodone itself. As the characteristics of both ingredients suggest, the main medical purpose is that of pain relief. However, the addictive nature of the drug has demonstrated that reduction of discomfort through Lorcet can have a serious price. The addictive qualities that accompany the excessive use of Lorcet further reinforces patterns of repeated use, which can cripple nearly all facets of the individual’s life.
The Dangers of Abuse
In addition to the addictive nature of Lorcet, there are also numerous health risks that are associated with the misuse of Lorcet and other opiate medications. Many common side effects that stem from Lorcet use may manifest as slowed or supressed breathing, issues with urination, digestive complications, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), impaired vision, dizziness, seizures, coma and death. In addition, the risk of these symptoms are tremendously increase when the individual is utilizing this subatcne in conjunction with alcohol. From a statistical perspective, a large majority of individuals who abuse prescription medications also have been reported to be drinking moderately or heavily as well. This correlation indicates that a large number of individuals who are misusing Lorcet may be experiencing health risks that are greater than the consequences of solely abusing prescription medications.
Federal Regulations on Lorcet
In response to the substantial risk from the misuse of Lorcet, the Food and Drug Administration commenced a re-classification of opiate-based prescription medications (like Vicodin, Lortab and Lorcet) from a Schedule 3 to a Schedule 2. Ordinarily, Schedule 3 substances can generally have their prescriptions refilled over the telephone, rather than needing additional documentation or authorization. However, Schedule 2 substances do not allow for telephone-ordered refills for prescriptions, and require a physical signature from the supervising physician in order the medication to be used. This additional step would involve an increased involvement in the account of the medical professionals, ensuring a closer examination of the client’s wellbeing regarding his/her medication. With this newer restriction, experts are hopeful that levels of Lorcet abuse would eventually decrease.