The Waismann Method®, a world-renowned opiate dependency treatment, today released findings of its Opiate Dependency Survey, which reported that one-quarter of patients surveyed who sought treatment for prescription painkiller dependencies utilized the Internet to help them acquire their drugs. The survey also found that Vicodin is the opiate painkiller that Waismann Method® patients most often purchased over the Internet, at over 41 percent. Findings are based on a survey conducted of patients receiving treatment for dependency to opiates such as painkillers OxyContin ®, Vicodin ® and Lortab ®, and the illegal narcotic heroin.
“The number of Internet pharmacies continues to grow, providing an easy way for people who cannot physically stop taking their drug to feed their dependencies,” said Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein, medical director for The Waismann Method®. “Our patients often say that they were able to acquire drugs like OxyContin ®, Percocet ® or Norco ® with no prescription or examination of any kind. Companies that provide unrestricted availability to prescription painkillers cause great harm and function not unlike online drug dealers who don’t care about the health of their customers.”
Part of the reason for the growing trend in buying drugs online can be attributed to the fact that many Web sites are based in foreign countries, making them difficult to control. Oftentimes, email invitations from these companies evade spam-blocking software by using misspelled words or jargon, giving patients easy access to a number of Web sites where they can purchase painkillers, according to Michael H. Lowenstein, M.D.
“It is common to see patients with dependencies to prescription painkillers go to great lengths to acquire their drugs,” added Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein . “When a physical dependence on painkillers occurs, the person often needs to continue taking opiates just to function. Withdrawal symptoms caused by the body’s physical reliance, including nausea, vomiting, headaches and cramping, can cause people to resort to illegal means of maintaining the dependency.
”Dr. Michael H. Lowenstein said that many doctors are being more restrictive when it comes to prescribing painkillers than they were a few years ago, due to a heightened understanding of the potential dangers. Patients who have developed dependencies are forced to seek out other means of acquiring drugs, and the Internet has become a popular, albeit illegal method.
“It is simple to buy opiates over the Internet,” said Danielle Jones, who underwent the Waismann Method for her Vicodin dependency. “Once you purchase opiates over the Internet, you start receiving email offers from all of the online pharmacies tempting you to purchase more.