Prescriptions for three addictive drugs linked to hundreds of overdose deaths dropped by a dramatic 45 percent in the Houston area during the first month that stricter state regulations took effect, says the Houston Chronicle. The first suspected “pill mill” shut down in Texas after the new law began Sept. 1 was in Houston.
Designed to stop the flow of black market prescriptions for these drugs, the new law requires pain management clinics that supply 50 percent of their patients with controlled substances to register with the Texas Medical Board and be more highly regulated. Houston was identified as one of three major U.S. hubs where a high quantity of fraudulent prescriptions were being written for the drug trio – hydrocodone (a narcotic), alprazolam (an anti-anxiety drug) and carisoprodol (a muscle relaxant). These drugs – known as the “Holy Trinity” or “Houston cocktail” – when taken together can produce a heroin high. More than 1,200 accidental pill deaths were recorded in Harris County since 2006, a Chronicle review found.