BALTIMORE, Sept. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameritox, the nation's leader in pain medication monitoring, announced new research today showing a correlation between misuse of prescription amphetamines and positive tests for cocaine, marijuana and non-prescribed medications among chronic pain medication users. Ameritox's research was presented yesterday at PAINWeek in Las Vegas.
Ameritox studied nearly 1.5 million urine samples from a nationwide pool of chronic pain patients on prescription opioid therapy. Of those, more than 30,000 samples were from people also prescribed amphetamines such as Adderall, Dexedrine, ProCentra and Vyvanse. The study considered a person an amphetamine misuser if: the patient was prescribed an amphetamine but his urine drug test did not detect one; or the patient did not have an amphetamine prescription but the urine drug test detected one. Patients who were not misusers of amphetamines had marijuana present 10 percent of the time. The rate of marijuana use nearly doubled among misusers to 18.5 percent.
The most at-risk age group for misuse of amphetamines were those of "college age": More than 50 percent of samples collected from patients between the ages of 18 and 25 did not contain the amphetamine that the doctor prescribed, based on urine drug monitoring results. Among all patients prescribed an amphetamine, the prescribed stimulant was not found 35.4 percent of the time.
"Our research has shown that there is a clear correlation between misuse of prescription amphetamines and illicit drug use," said Kathryn Bronstein, Ameritox Vice President of Medical Affairs. "Past studies have also concluded that positive marijuana tests and higher rates of prescription drug non-adherence go hand in hand."
A report released last month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration demonstrated the danger of non-medical use of central nervous system stimulants, such as those medications in the Ameritox study. Emergency room visits related to these stimulants increased 300 percent between 2005 and 2011, SAMHSA reported.
"A lot of these stimulants are getting into the wrong hands," Bronstein said. "This reinforces the value of medication monitoring, to help clinicians determine if the patients being prescribed these drugs are actually taking them and to help keep these drugs away from recreational users."
Additional information on the methods, design and results of the research are available at Ameritox.com/research.
Ameritox is the nation's leader in Pain Medication Monitoring SolutionsSM, offering specialized laboratory testing and reporting services. Ameritox's expertise and innovative science provide physicians with the information and support they need to enhance and optimize the care of chronic pain patients. Monitoring through prescription drug testing can help physicians make more informed clinical decisions while also helping to reduce the possible risk of misuse, abuse or diversion of powerful medications. Ameritox is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. with laboratory facilities in Midland, Texas and Greensboro, N.C. Ameritox can be found online at www.ameritox.com, on Twitter @Ameritox, on Facebook at facebook.com/ameritox, and on YouTube at www.youtube.com/ameritox.
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