Substance Abuse Trends in Texas: June 2014

Click to access texas2014a.pdf

Trends in Texas center on illicit pain clinics, pharmacies, and physicians. The most desired pharmaceuticals continued to be the three that constitute the “Houston Cocktail:” hydrocodone, carisoprodol (Soma®), and alprazolam (Xanax®). The DEA reported prescriptions from Houston pain management clinics were filled in pharmacies as far north as Oklahoma, as far east as Alabama, and as far west as El Paso. Large numbers of patients from Louisiana and other States continued to travel to the Houston area for the purpose of prescription fraud. Furthermore, pill crews continued to recruit “patients” to fraudulently obtain multiple prescriptions from pain clinics that were subsequently filled at local area pharmacies and then given to the pill crew leader for illicit distribution. At the same time, Houston area physicians were found to be mailing prescriptions for Schedule II and Schedule III pharmaceuticals to patients in other States (primarily Louisiana and Mississippi), who then sent these medical practitioners money orders…

The most popular DXM products are Robitussin-DM®, Tussin®, and Coricidin Cough and Cold Tablets HBP®, which can be purchased as over-the-counter drugs and can produce hallucinogenic effects if taken in large quantities. Coricidin HBP® pills are known as “Triple C” or “Skittles.” The Texas Poison Center Network reported the number of abuse and misuse cases involving DXM increased from 99 in 1998 to 637 in 2013…

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