A nationwide survey of opioid drug abusers in rehab indicates that because of the high it produces, the prescription painkiller oxycodone is the most popular drug of choice. Hydrocodone, also prescribed to treat pain, is next in line. In all, some 75 percent of those surveyed rated one of these drugs as their favorite.
A change in the formula of a frequently abused prescription painkiller has many abusers switching to a drug that is potentially more dangerous, according to School of Medicine researchers. Since the formula change makes inhaling or injecting the opioid drug OxyContin more difficult, many users are switching to heroin.