New painkiller worries addiction specialist

By WEEK Producer

March 3, 2014 Updated Mar 3, 2014 at 11:27 PM CDT

A new prescription painkiller could help many people suffering from long-term, severe pain but it has addiction specialists worried. They feel there is a huge potential for abuse.

The painkiller is called Zohydro Extended Release and it is now on the market.

Critics warn it is extremely potent.

"It has 5 to 10 times more Hydrocodone in a pure form that can be easily crushed, snorted or chewed," said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, Phoenix House Chief Medical Officer.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Zohydro last fall saying the benefits outweighed the risks.

The drug maker is working on a form of the pill that will not as easily crushed but that could take years.

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