Substance Abuse

Annual Drug Report Names Painkiller Abuse a Top Drug Threat in Iowa

An annual report from the governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy disclosed painkiller medication abuse as the biggest drug threat for Iowans, killing more than sixty last year due to overdoses.

An article on cited the drug report’s key findings, one of them stating that sixty-two Iowans died last year from overdoses of prescription pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone. The figure showed a 59 percent increase from the previous year and an almost eight-fold increase from a decade ago. Some physicians were accused of prescribing large amounts of narcotic painkillers to patients who were abusing the drugs.

The report also identified the rising abuse in heroin by Iowa residents. In 2011, the state recorded 10 heroin overdose deaths, making it the highest in Iowa’s recent history. Additionally, marijuana manufacturing and distribution had significantly increased, with the number of busted marijuana plants reaching 5,813 for this fiscal year.

State officials suspect that one reason for the increase is more marijuana shipments from states such as Colorado, where it’s legal to grow marijuana for medical reasons. Another potential factor is in-state manufacturing by foreigners. In September, investigators nabbed a man after they pulled 550 marijuana plants out of a house in Johnston that featured sophisticated lighting, ventilation and watering systems.

“One of the concerns with the increased frequency of the grows is that it isn’t just Iowans necessarily growing, especially with these large-scale operations,” said Steven Lukan, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy.

Among teenagers in treatment, two-thirds said marijuana was their drug of choice and more than one-fourth of Iowans who underwent drug tests or admitted for treatment last year named marijuana their primary drug.

Tags: dangers of prescription drug abuse, heroin abuse, Iowa's prescription drug abuse problem, marijuana abuse, prescription drug overdose death toll


  1. Malcolm Kyle

    In addition to the many societal costs of prohibition, it has a long history of driving the spread of harder or more dangerous drugs.

    Marijuana to dangerous synthetic concoctions —such as AM-2201, spice, or bath salts.
    Poppies to morphine, to heroine, to krokodil.
    Coca to cocaine, to crack, to Paco/Kete/Bazuco/Pitillo.
    Ephedra to ephedrine, to speed, to methamphetamine.
    Mushrooms to ecstasy (MDMA), to PMMA, to 2CB/designers.

    At every step the reasons for the rise in popularity of the new form of the drug are one or more of the following:

    * It may be easier to smuggle.
    * It may be more addictive, thus compelling the buyer to return more frequently.
    * It may be cheaper to produce, therefore yielding more profit.
    * Like a game of "whack a mole" a shutdown of producers in one area will mean business opportunities for another set of producers with a similar product.

    Prohibition's distortion of the immutable laws of 'supply and demand' subsidizes organized crime, foreign terrorists, corrupt cops, and unconscionable politicians, while feeding the prejudices of self-appointed culture warriors everywhere. So called Tough-On-Drugs politicians have happily built careers on confusing prohibition's horrendous collateral damage with the substances that they claim to be fighting while the big losers in this battle are everybody else, especially we the taxpayers.

    So how come so many of us have been deluded into believing that big government is the appropriate response to non-traditional consensual vices?

    Imagine if we were to chop down every single tree on the planet as a response to our failure to prevent tree-climbing accidents. That's what our misguided drug policy looks like.
    Isn't it time we all stood up and told the government, we're tired of being beaten and jailed so that pharmaceutical companies can poison and kill us for obscene profits?

    Prohibition prevents regulation: Legalize, regulate and tax!

  2. Malcolm Kyle

    Reports that show Prohibition has failed:

    The Global Commission on Drug Policy:

    Reports that show alternative approaches of decriminalization and regulation are working:

    What we can learn from The Portuguese Decriminalization of All Illicit Drugs:

    General report on drug law reform in practice:

    Prohibition by Numbers:

    Final Report of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy – "Break the Silence and Open A Debate":

    Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies:

    Transform's outstanding (free) book titled, "After The War On Drugs : Blueprints for Regulation" – provides specific proposals on how various drugs can be regulated in the real world:

  3. Malcolm Kyle

    Ryan Donaghy, Chairman of the Board Donaghy Sales, LLC Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Ron Fowler, Immediate Past Chairman Liquid Investments, LLC Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Tom Reyes, Vice Chairman Crest Beverage, LLC; Gate City Beverage Distributors-San Bernardino; Harbor Distributing, LLC-Anaheim, Gardena, Santa Ana Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    David “Duke” Reyes, Chief Financial Officer Crest Beverage, LLC; Gate City Beverage Distributors-San Bernardino; Harbor Distributing, LLC-Anaheim, Gardena, Santa Ana Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Peter Heimark, Secretary Heimark Distributing Co. Triangle Distributing Co. Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Terence Fox, NBWA CA Director M.E. Fox and Co. Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Travis Markstein, NBWA CA Director Markstein Beverage Co. Sacramento; Markstein Beverage Co. San Marcos Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Cherisse Alford, CBBD PAC Chair Alford Distributing, Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    Jeff Jordano, Management Committee Member Pacific Beverage Co. Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.

    T.J. Louderback, Management Committee Member Anheuser-Busch In Bev Sales Inc. of Pomona and Antelope Valley, Alcoholic beverage distributer, steadily funds anti-marijuana efforts.
    etc. etc. etc.

  4. Malcolm Kyle

    No person of any age, in all of recorded history, has ever died from marijuana, marijuana is nontoxic. Many have died from marijuana prohibition and tens of millions have been caged or otherwise seriously harmed. The US arrests someone on marijuana charge every 38 seconds. In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana, making a calculated total of 853,839. Would you rather have your kid locked up with killers and child molesters or would you prefer to do your own proper parenting?

    The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Policies—according to the world's leading substance abuse researchers, the US has the highest rates of marijuana and cocaine use.

    Cannabis Reduces Infant Mortality: The "cannabis" infants have a mortality rate almost half of what the "No drugs" infants have!

    Mothers who use cannabis during pregnancy have healthier smarter kids:

    Here's a documentary about marijuana curing cancer. There are 7 parts:

    If you still doubt that marijuana is good medicine then kindly check out Granny Storm Crow's Amazing MMJ Reference List:’s more like a library than a list!


    Marijuana promotes brain cell growth by 40% and protects it from damage:

    Marijuana promotes healthy lungs:

    Marijuana when used by HIV patients Inhibits virus replication:


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