Friday, June 16, 2006
Painkiller patch abuse blamed for deaths
ST. LOUIS - Justin Knox bit down on the bitter-tasting patch, instantly releasing three days' worth of a drug more powerful than morphine. He was dead before he even got to the hospital. At least seven deaths in Indiana and four in South Carolina since 2005 have been blamed on abuse of the fentanyl patch, along with more than 100 deaths in Florida in 2004. About a week after Knox's death in Farmington, Mo., in March, a second man in the same county was prescribed the patch legally and died after injecting himself with the gel that he had scraped from it.