Saturday May 30, 2020
SNc Channels:



Jan-03-2011 01:14printcomments

OxyContin Crisis in Ohio, Maine and Vermont

Maine and Vermont top on Painkiller Addiction List in the Country!

Courtesy: Seaway News

(MYRTLE BEACH S.C.) - A new federal study says Maine and Vermont top the national list for treatment rates for painkiller addiction.

Marianne Skolek

A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says Vermont ranks behind only Maine in terms of admission rates per capita for those seeking help kicking addictions to prescription opiates such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. Oxycodone is known by the brand name OxyContin.

Citing figures from the report, the "Rutland, Vermont Herald" says treatment for painkiller addictions has increased nationwide. But it says the highest rates of growth were in the New England states. The study analyzed treatment center admissions between 1998 and 2008.

In early 2001, Jay McCloskey, former U.S. Attorney for Maine, sounded the alarm in the U.S. after witnessing the devastation of OxyContin addiction and death in his state.

I wrote about the former U.S. Attorney in December 2009 and his allegiance to the citizens of Maine and the OxyContin crisis to his -- abandoning the people of his state dying and becoming addicted to OxyContin -- and becoming a paid consultant for Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin -- after they marketed the drug as less likely to be addictive.

In recent years, former U.S. Attorney McCloskey was quoted as saying "The drug diversion problem was not caused by OxyContin and it will not be solved by going after OxyContin as a whipping boy." "Purdue Pharma was a responsible company," he said. "But they became the poster child of prescription drug abuse."

This was after Purdue Pharma and its top executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges in federal court and were fined $632 million for marketing OxyContin to physicians and patients as less likely to be addictive or abused -- as well as a settlement to his state of Maine in the amount of $719,000.

McCloskey was quoted in his defense of Purdue Pharma as saying "I have never heard any suggestion made by a Purdue Pharma executive, or any other Purdue Pharma employee for that matter, that OxyContin was less addictive, less subject to diversion and abuse, or less likely to cause tolerance or withdrawal than other opiates."

So let me ask you Mr. McCloskey -- since your state of Maine has the distinction of being the leader in OxyContin addiction in the country -- and you became "the poster child" in defense of the criminally convicted Purdue Pharma both morally and ethically -- to quote Sarah Palin "How's that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?" Financially I imagine quite well.

Ohio Declares a State of Emergency in OxyContin Addictions and Deaths!

Nearly one in 10 babies were born addicted to drugs last year in southern Ohio's Scioto County. Admissions to drug rehab programs for prescription painkiller addictions were five times the national average.  In an unprecedented step, the health commissioner declared a public health emergency, something usually reserved for disease outbreaks.

In the Huffington Post, Andrew Welsh-Huggins writes that the blame for this national problem is not being placed on people abusing the painkillers, officials say. They blame at least eight area "pill mills" -- clinics or doctors that pass out prescription medications like OxyContin with little regard or conscience. At least two health care providers are facing criminal charges.

"I would describe it as if a pharmaceutical atomic bomb went off," said Lisa Roberts, a nurse for the health department in Portsmouth, an Ohio River city of about 20,000 with falling population and high unemployment.

Thanks to a thriving drug culture that breeds crime and intravenous use, Scioto County's per capita rates of murder, fatal overdoses and hepatitis C infections have in recent years been outranked only by Ohio's biggest urban areas. The DEA considers the county one of the worst places in the country for prescription painkiller abuse, with more people abusing per capita than almost anywhere else.

Health Commissioner Aaron Adam's public health emergency declaration nearly a year ago was a largely symbolic gesture but did allow the county to set up a military-style chain of command and could allow staffers from other health department divisions to work solely on the problem.

Portsmouth, the county seat and center of a region that also includes parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, has stopped issuing permits for new drugs-on-demand "pill mills."

Ohio Governor John Kasich, who recently visited Portsmouth, said achievable victories were the only way to address a situation he called a "tsunami" overwhelming local residents.

"If you look for a silver bullet you're not going to find it, and you're going to spend your time spinning your wheels," Kasich told The Associated Press. "That's my fear."

Last week, federal prosecutors charged the owner and two employees of alleged pill mills in Columbus with illegally distributing painkiller prescriptions. Many of the customers at the pain management clinics came from Kentucky, West Virginia and other parts of Ohio, according to the government.

Next week, I will be writing about a pill mill doctor trial beginning in March -- Paul Volkman, who had his medical license suspended and is accused of being responsible for the deaths of at least 12 former patients. 

Unlike the Schneider trial I wrote about in Kansas during this past summer, Volkman won't be made into a "folk hero for pain patients" by the Pain Relief Network (PRN).  They have closed down -- citing Department of Justice harassment against them and violation of their constitutional rights as the cause of their demise.

Maybe big pharma realized the liability of this organization being a spokesperson for pain patients and ended their funding -- or maybe, just maybe big pharma realized that high profile, pill mill doctor trials call attention to the "over-marketing" and over production of drugs such as OxyContin and "loose cannons" supporting these pill mill doctors make them look like the drug lords in 3-piece suits they actually are.

"Feeling safe in our communities is something we cannot accept any compromise on. This includes policing in all its forms, the court system, prosecutors and corrections. If the legislature passed a death penalty law, I would sign it." Sarah Palin


Extreme Pill Addiction Problem In Ohio: 1 In 10 Babies Born Addicted To Drugs ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS - Hufffington Post

State Estimates of Past Year Methamphetamine Use = The NSDUH Report

Ohio county fights extreme pill addiction problem By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS-Associated Press


______________________________________ Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's who pled guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 7-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.

Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.
You can send Marianne an email at:

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anonymous January 3, 2011 4:13 am (Pacific time)

By the way..I forgot to mention, that Ibogaine, is a herb from Africa. Its not a pharmaceutical drug. The pharma industry cannot patent a herb. It has a higher success rate than any treatment, very few complications, none life threatening. Pharma drugs kill hundreds of thousands a year. Ibogaine has not killed anyone, but its illegal.

stephen January 3, 2011 4:10 am (Pacific time)

This aint the half of it. I work in helping people with addictions. Among teens in Oregon, they start off by experimenting with oxycotin. They get addicted. Since oxycotin is rather expensive, they usually resort to heroin, which is plentiful, cheap and potent, thanks to the pentagon's agenda in Afghanistan. Before the U.S. invasion, the Taliban had eradicated opium fields (believe it or not, its against their religion), now Afghanistan provides 85% of the worlds heroin. Mainstream news has shown the marines guarding the opium fields, and several countries (including Russia)have complained to the United Nations, because heroin is flowing into their countries also. These countries claim NATO and the U.S. are in control of all drug trafficking in Afghanistan. Most "in the know" already knew this, now its become out in the open. Also, there is a cure for heroin addiction, I have seen its remarkable success rate. And guess what. Yep, its illegal in the U.S. Go figure. I suppose the power lobbies of the pharma industry are making too much money selling other addictive alternatives such as methadone, oxycotin, and suboxin, and dont want a cure. People of America..Wake up!

[Return to Top]
©2020 All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of

Articles for January 2, 2011 | Articles for January 3, 2011 | Articles for January 4, 2011

Annual Hemp Festival & Event Calendar

Tribute to Palestine and to the incredible courage, determination and struggle of the Palestinian People. ~Dom Martin

Your customers are looking: Advertise on!

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.