LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - According to the CDC more than 40 people die a day from opioid overdoses.
That's why the Food and Drug Administration is placing a "black box" label warning on the painkillers, it's an attempt to help ease the drug abuse epidemic.
"Thousands of people have already died this year due to overdose or miss use," Brent Tanksley, a counselor at ADAC in Lufkin said.
It can be purchased at your local Walgreens, or even at your local CVS, opioid painkillers are sold at virtually every pharmacy location.
"Any doctor can prescribe opioids at any time, and any pharmacy will most likely fill that script," Tanksley said.
Thanks to the FDC these opioid painkillers will come with a "black box" label. Warning takers about the risk of abuse, addiction, overdose and death.
"It's highly addictive and it can cause a lot of damage to a person and a home," Tanksley said.
The "black box" warnings are the FDA's strongest. The new labeling states that the drugs should be reserved for pain severe enough to require opioid treatment, when other options just won't do.
"I would caution anyone to use it as their physician prescribes, that's usually what you're talking about as individuals that are misusing this medication," Tanksley said.
Tanksley said addiction sees no race or social class, and anyone can be prescribed an opioid painkiller.
"Medication for high blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, or anything else, we want to take these medications the way they were supposed to be taken," Tanksley said.
The FDA said the changes would mostly apply to immediate-release opioids, usually intended for use every four to six hours. Those types of drugs account for about 90% of all opioids prescriptions.