Tussionex is a generic combination of hydrocodone and Chlorpheniramine. Chlorpheniramine reduces chemical histamine in the body that is usually responsible for symptoms such as itchy skin, sneezing, running nose and watery eyes. Its complement (Hydrocodone) is an opioid or a narcotic that alleviates pains associated with coughs, sore throats and chest infection. When used in conjunction, the two compounds are effective in treating a stuffy nose and common cold. This is the bright side of the Tussionex statistics. On the bleak side, surveys reveal prevalence in abuse as users deem it a desired drug particularly due to its hypnotic properties.
Similar to Tussionex is a codeine cough syrup that was popularized by prosperous rap musicians (DJ Moe, Pimp C and DJ Screw) in the year 2000. The syrup trade street name was 'purple drank' that inspired the pop culture of that time. The concoction contained promethazine - an antihistamine, and codeine - a narcotic. The influence of this syrup by famous users assured the viral spread of its effects and in 2004 about 8.3% of junior high school students in Texas had abused it. Later, these musicians died from prescription-related causes; Big Moe died of a heart attack, Pimp C died from breathing problem while asleep and DJ Screw died after overdosing the syrup. Tussionex syrup is also on the verge of being popularized with songs like "Sippin on Syrup" by Three 6 Mafia based on the extended nature of Tussionex's hydrocodone release.
In fact, Tussionex statistics on abuse show that the drug is more preferable than any other stronger opiates like Dilaudid, Fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone or any form of hydrocodone pills, thus underpins its abuse. Users report that they ploy doctors in order to get the prescription since it works faster for the cold and creates a warm feeling with no itchiness as compared to other cough syrups. Abusers further agree that they lure doctors on the rationale of allergies just to get a share of Tussionex. This syrup is also thought to be longer lasting than pills. Users who overdose it confess that it never seems to sedate them but provides them with the right elation for longer. The concoction also gives users an easy time taking it since it has a pleasant taste and an appealing scent.
Such reports show that a greater number of people are involuntarily addicted to the syrup because its characteristics are above suspicion. On the other end, the addiction rates are devastating; prescription users are now taking the drug for recreational purposes and are having grave withdrawal symptoms. Many describe sleepless nights, shivering, instability, pain in the legs, neck and chest, nausea and trouble urinating.
Tussionex statistics in first-time abuse cases are surging and extending to younger age groups. There has been an observed trend exposing people with non-chronic illness who are heavily taking hydrocodone-type painkillers. The increasing rate surpasses that of illicit drugs like heroin and other hard narcotics; mainly because hydrocodone are readily available. Demographic data suggests that the majority of abusers are in the 20 to 40-year age group mostly white females due to emotionally instability. These subsets of people are found to have physical and psychological dependence on the drug, high tolerance level, and suicidal tendencies. However, the reported deaths sprawl to every age grouping.
Over the year, there has been an increase in large scale sale of Tussionex to the streets. In 1994 an estimated 7 million dosage units were diverted to the wrong hands and in 1997 these Tussionex statistics escalated to 11 million. Since the 90's, the average consumption of hydrocodone related drugs has soared by 300% and consequently there has been a 500% increase in ER visits (approx 19,221 cases in 2000 alone). Recently, the DEA seized more than 1.3 million hydrocodone tablets and this initiated the enforcement of petitions for review of control status for all products containing hydrocodone.
Furthermore, research suggests higher chances of child birth complications when pregnant women overuse Tussionex syrup. Tussionex statistics gathered by Center for Disease control (CDC) showed that 2-3% of mothers that took opioid analgesics were likely to have babies with hypoplastic heart syndrome unlike women who did not. Heart defect accounts for up to 40,000 infants in the US, many of whom must make occasional and prolonged hospital visits and others die within a year. However, the risk from taking Tussionex and other painkillers as prescribed has negligible effects on the baby and mother.