This morning, our friends at The Partnership at DrugFree.Org posted a fascinating article on innovative methods being used by drug companies to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs. According to the post, Nora Volkow – Director of The National Institute on Drug Abuse – made a statement at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit that scientists in the pharmaceutical industry are experimenting with ways to alter the form of the drugs themselves, in order to make them more resistant to abuse. One drug that has already been released in an abuse-resistant form is a version of OxyContin that is “resistant to crushing and cutting, common ways in which the drug was tampered with to enhance its effect,” making it much more difficult to snort or shoot the drug.
Other ways scientists are attempting to make drugs abuse-resistant include:
- Adding a substance to pills that turns them into a gel when cut or crushed, making it difficult or impossible to snort or shoot.
- Creating pills that create “intense nasal irritation” when snorted
- Developing ways to limit the amount of an active ingredient a person can extract from a drug
- Producing pills that are the “consistency of gummy bears” – making them too soft to crush
- Experimenting with methods to create drugs that won’t activate until they interact with stomach enzymes – rendering them useless for intravenous or nasal consumption.