Not only is heroin an addictive drug, but some of its cousins – legal prescription drugs – are just as addictive, and they’re sometimes overprescribed, an addictions expert told members of the Illinois House. Speaking to a heroin task force at the Capitol, Dr. Kirk Moberg, medical director of the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery, said, “Addiction is a brain disease which has physical, mental, and spiritual manifestations.” He said it’s treatable but not curable.
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Oxycontin is a drug which can pose special problems. “The pharmaceutical company had to admit guilt to fraudulent branding,” Moberg said, “by telling physicians the drug did not have the addictive or danger potential that it truly did have.” Moberg says the penalties topped $600 million. The chairman of the task force, State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), told an anecdote about over-prescription: a friend suffering from pain was given 30 Vicodin pills when he needed only three.