Even before a single doctor in the United States had written a prescription for Zohydro, the controversial long-acting painkiller approved by the Food and Drug Administration last October, potential users were already dreaming up possible street names. “How many times will this be said in the future,” someone posted on Opiophile, an online forum for people who like to share their drug experiences and expertise. “Got any of dem Zoh’s?” There were other possibilities: Zs, Zodros, and Zorros.
Another voiced chimed in: “I like Zorros … Yeah, has a ring to it.” This was on October 26, 2013, less than 24 hours after the FDA announced its decision.
And in April, even before Nima Majlesi, an emergency-room physician at Staten Island University Hospital, had seen a single report of an overdose or death related to Zohydro in the borough, he and his fellow doctor Amit Gupta were searching websites for the first anecdotal, and decidedly unofficial, accounts of its recreational use. Majlesi logged on to another well-known drug-use site to see if anyone had posted an opening-night review.
Each year, the Drug Enforcement Administration, which tightly controls the amount of narcotic painkillers made in the U.S., sets the overall amount of opioid drugs that pharmaceutical manufacturers can churn out. In 2014, for example, the DEA total is 326,000 kilograms of opioids, including just under 100,000 kilos of hydrocodone. Put another way, that’s about 700,000 pounds of ersatz heroin usually doled out in 5 milligram or 10 milligram doses.
But let’s keep weed illegal!
Oh, and you better forget about maturing cheese on wooden slabs too! It’s bad for you!