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With a Spotify collaborative playlist, you can team up with your friends to build a big list of your favorite songs. It’s simple to set up a Spotify collaborative playlist but the creator has limited control over who gets to access the playlist so make sure to follow our guide so that disagreements in song picks don’t turn sour.

A collaborative playlist on Spotify can be created on both desktop and the Spotify app so follow the instructions below, depending on what device you use. Make sure to show your friends this page too so that they have guidance on how to add their own songs.

Table of Contents

Spotify is the only streaming service to offer collaborative playlists, but they do have one benefit over the competition. Whilst the creation of Spotify collaborative playlists is exclusive to Spotify premium members, the great thing is that once a playlist has been created, you can share it with anybody and even free Spotify users can add songs and edit the playlist.

What Can You Do With a Spotify Collaborative Playlist?

Anybody that has the link for a Spotify collaborative playlist can add songs, change the order of songs in the playlist, and delete songs. Because of this, make sure you only share it with those you want to have access to the playlist. Only the owner of a Spotify collaborative playlist can delete the playlist or change the playlist description, image and title.

How To Create a Collaborative Playlist On Spotify Desktop

We are going to assume that you might not already have a playlist ready. If you do, you can skip the first two steps.

How To Create a Spotify Collaborative Playlist On Mobile Or Tablet

To create a collaborative playlist on the Spotify mobile app, follow the steps below. If you already have an existing playlist you’d like to switch to collaborative mode, you can skip the first three steps and simply tap on the playlist in your library.

First, tap your library at the bottom of the app.

Next, tap Create playlist on the playlist tab.

Give your playlist a name, and you’ll then be taken to the new playlist page.

On the page for your playlist, tap the three dots in the top right of the display and then tap Make Collaborative. 

To share the playlist, tap the three dots again, scroll down and tap share. You can then use any of the sharing options based on the apps you have installed, such as Instagram Stories or Twitter. 

Alternatively, tap Copy Link so that you can share it anywhere. Remember, anybody with the link can add, rearrange and delete songs so make sure to share it cautiously.

If you want to add songs to a Spotify collaborative playlist on mobile, make sure you add it to your library first if you’re not the owner. You can do this by tapping the follow button underneath the playlist name. To add any song to a collaborative playlist, tap the three dots on a song, then tap Add to Playlist, then choose the right playlist.

If you want to move the position of songs in your playlist, you can follow the steps below.

Tap your library and then tap the playlists tab.

Find the right playlist and tap it.

On the playlist page, tap the three dots at the top right.

Tap Edit playlist.

Tap and hold your finger on the three stacked lines next to any song you want to move.

Move your finger to move your songs to a new position.

Once finished, make sure to tap save at the top right.


We hope that this guide has shown everything you need to know about creating and using Spotify collaborative playlists.  

You're reading How To Make A Spotify Collaborative Playlist

How To Remove Duplicates From Your Spotify Playlist

Playlists are a big part of the Spotify experience. The service makes it so easy to create them that most of us often get caught up in making endless playlists. The trouble with doing this is that duplicate songs may slip in. They’ll keep coming up if you’re listening on shuffle, and they always seem to pop up at the worst possible moments. We’ve listed a couple of the fastest methods to remove them using your computer (or mobile). Read on to find out more.

Using Your Computer to Remove Duplicate Songs

Thanks to the hard work of some developers, there are a number of different programs online that will remove the duplicates from your device for free.

For example, Jose M. Perez – whose main focus is building apps that extend Spotify’s functionality – has created the Spotify Dedup: a website which easily lets you get rid of duplicates from your playlist. Here’s how to get started.

Input your account/email and password.

Allow the program to process your playlist information.

Depending on the number of playlists associated with your account, you may need to wait a few seconds.

The results will be listed for you.

If you have any issues with the program listed above, here’s a link to another that works well. The steps are quite similar to the ones described above. You simply have to log in with your Spotify account, then allow the site to process your data.

Once everything is done, you have the option to “Clean all” playlists or remove just certain songs.

It’s a quick and easy method, but you can always do it manually, with the optimal method to do so listed below.

Removing Spotify Duplicate Songs Manually

It may take a little longer, but you can easily delete the songs manually from your playlist on your computer. (Within reason – it will take forever if you have thousands of songs on your playlist.)

In Spotify’s desktop client, tap on the “Your Library” tab.

Select “Playlists” to bring up all your playlists.

Go through the list and delete any duplicates by tapping on the three dots next to the song and pressing on the “Remove from this playlist” option. It shouldn’t take that long and will give you more space for new songs.

Frequently Asked Questions 1. Can I remove Spotify playlist duplicates using my mobile device?

You can. Just keep in mind there are no dedicated apps to achieve this. You can, however, access one of the websites we linked above from your browser and proceed from there. Since you’re already logged in to your Spotify app, you won’t have to do so in a browser.

2. Does this apply to Blend playlists?

It doesn’t. Blend playlists are special playlists that mix together your tastes with that of a friend’s. You can’t add additional songs to these playlists, which means you don’t really need to worry about this issue.

3. How can I continue to enhance my playlist experience in Spotify?

There are many ways to expand your Spotify experience. Start by learning how to change a Spotify playlist picture on Android and transfer a Spotify playlist to Apple Music.

Spotify has revolutionized how we consume music, and it’s nice to know that there are a few easy ways to get rid of duplicate tracks on the same playlist. On the other hand, if you want to try something else, you might want to take a look at our list of the best Spotify alternatives. We also recommend reading all about creating Spotify codes to share songs with others.

Alexandra Arici

Alexandra is passionate about mobile tech and can be often found fiddling with a smartphone from some obscure company. She kick-started her career in tech journalism in 2013, after working a few years as a middle-school teacher. Constantly driven by curiosity, Alexandra likes to know how things work and to share that knowledge with everyone.

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How Administrators Can Make Professional Learning More Collaborative

The teachers in a school have expertise that should be the basis for professional learning focused on what the school needs.

In teaching, the fear of adding “another thing” is quite valid. We know that teaching is not a simple task, yet new initiatives, acronyms, and responsibilities often send the message of a quick fix while adding to teachers’ already stretched schedules. 

Teachers don’t need a savior, and they certainly don’t need to be told what to do from the newest and most exciting best-seller. In fact, teachers know what their students need, and it is the job of administrators, coaches, and instructional leaders to facilitate the collection of teachers’ expertise—already present in the school building—to guide staff as they take back the agency of their own professional learning. 

As an assistant principal, I’ve found that this approach strikes close to home. Recently, our administrative team prepared a schedule of professional learning opportunities with the intention of placing the power back into teachers’ hands.

Rather than decide what teachers needed, we wanted our teachers to tell us. Using the instructional rounds model, we adapted the process of classroom observations and created a model of peer learning that brought to light areas of instruction that needed improvement—an approach that I will share below.

A Three-Step Peer Learning Process

My school initiates a three-tiered peer learning process to facilitate professional growth: First, we ensure that classroom observations are not evaluative and instead position administrators as facilitators of professional learning days, tasked with organizing teaching coverage and running debrief activities with faculty. 

Next, we center problem-solving, not problem-finding. All of our teachers enter classrooms with our school’s current instructional focus in mind. When observing their peers, they look for evidence—in our case, of how feedback loops and competency-based grading impacts our students. They don’t look for a particular teacher’s area of weakness but instead look for evidence of areas in which our building as a whole can improve.

Finally, and most important, we position the observer as the learner, not the expert. Instruction is a deeply personal act for teachers, and many (correctly) see their instruction as an extension of themselves. What teachers give to their students is purposeful, meaningful, and personal, so to have visitors enter a classroom with a holier-than-thou mindset would be to dismantle the entire process of teacher-driven professional learning. Instead, an inquiry mindset invites us all to identify and learn from one another’s strengths.

A Guide to Implementation

After teachers observe three classrooms for 20 minutes each, they come to our debrief session the next morning with their notes. Our administrative team facilitates a reflective conversation that includes the grouping and regrouping of teachers as they discuss what they saw in their hour of classroom visits. In our building, this model allows us to synthesize a collective total of 36 hours of instructional observations.

Specifically, we ask teachers to identify in their observational notes specific pieces of evidence that are connected to our school’s focus. This year, that meant evidence of students collecting feedback, teachers grouping and regrouping students, and teachers mobilizing their grading practices to effectively communicate progress to students. 

Each teacher picks their six best pieces of evidence, writes each on a sticky note, and joins a small group to discuss what they saw. These groups determine patterns from the day of rounds and decide the types of professional learning that they feel the building needs to engage in next.

In all, the use of building-based instructional rounds has become the filter through which all of our professional learning opportunities flow. Before any moment of professional development, our team asks the question, “Does this work come directly from what our teachers are seeing during rounds?” 

As a result, we have found that the culture around professional learning in our building is shifting: Teachers are more collaborative, are discovering how their strengths often complement another’s weaknesses, and are engaged in and energized by professional learning.

Increasing Teacher Collaboration

After using the instructional rounds process, our teachers lean on each other in new ways; for example, one teacher borrowed a feedback loop that she saw during rounds, realizing that she could adapt a colleague’s approach to coding to fit her students’ work with factoring polynomials. 

When we debriefed from our first iteration of rounds in October, four teachers reported that they wanted to emulate the co-teaching model that they observed their colleagues implementing. During our next day of professional learning, teachers already using the method led a short session sharing how they collaboratively planned and executed lessons.

During our second iteration of peer observations in December, another teacher showcased a grouping strategy that put students into three distinct groups based on their performance on a formative task. When teachers saw this process, they decided that the whole building would benefit from professional learning regarding quick ways to collect data and use it to inform approaches to student grouping. 

Teachers, in this way, became in-house professional trainers, enhancing whole-school collaboration and uncovering the complementary nature of each other’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Engaging and Energizing Teachers

Like students, teachers yearn for authenticity. They want to know that what they are learning will help their students. 

Because instructional rounds allow us to actively determine our needs based on evidence that is collected and processed by our own teachers, we embrace that authenticity and share ownership of our growth. Teachers in our building care about how their colleagues’ lessons go because they observed them, worked alongside them during our professional learning days, and maybe even collaborated with them to experiment with a new instructional move. 

These days, there is a real energy in our building as teachers try out new ideas, ask each other to watch a lesson segment outside of organized instructional rounds, and consider the style and content of professional learning that they think will push their practice forward.

A Key Takeaway

When a collaborative approach like instructional rounds is used to organize the professional observation and debrief process, professional learning is deeply meaningful and rooted in the context of a learning community, and—we are finding—more engaging than something that comes from a professional outside of our school walls.

How To Make A Genius Bar Reservation

Do you have a problem or a question relating to your Apple products? Apple offers a variety of tech support options for its customers. Some of the support options include (a) phone (b) live chat (c) email support. However, you may need to get hands-on, personal support and help from an Apple expert, especially if you are having a hardware problem (like a cracked screen problem, water damage, etc). You may have to bring your device to your nearest Apple Store.

Apple offers tech support inside every Apple Retail Store. This support is offered by the Genius Bar stations. Employees of the Genius Bar, called Geniuses, specially trained to help customers with Apple hardware and software.

In order to visit the Genius Bars, you may need to make a reservation. You can schedule a reservation time online before coming in. This article explains how you can make an Apple Genius Bar appointment.

Apple has recently changed how genius bar appointments are made. Apple has made it a little bit difficult now. It seems that Apple wants to offer support mainly via online live chat or phone calls.

What is the Genius Bar

The Genius Bar employees, called Geniuses, are specially trained and certified Apple experts. The main jobs of the Geniuses are to help Apple users with hardware and software. They can answer your questions, provide personal supports, and offers repairs. Most of the services they provide are free. They can do repairs, but you have to pay for non-warranty services if your device is not covered by the Apple warranty, an AppleCare plan.

There are two ways to make a Genius Bar reservation at an Apple Store:

You can use the Apple Store app or,

You can make a reservation via the Apple support web site.

1. iOS device / Apple Support App and Genius Bar appointments (the easiest way)

Tap Get Support

Select your device. For the purpose of this article, we selected iPhone X and then Repairs & Physical Damage and “Buttons not working”. Note that some problems will only let you receive support via phone calls or live chat sessions. 

Tap Bring in for Repair and find a location and date and time and then tap Reserve. Then your reservation will be made. 

It will probably say “You don’t have any reservations”, since you are trying to make a reservation. To make a new reservation, tap Find a store 

2. Genius bar appointment via the web site

Without downloading and installing an app, you can also get an appointment via Apple’s support web site. Here is how:

Select the device or the service that you need help with. For the purpose of this article, we will select the iPhone option.

Select “Bring in for Repair”

You will be asked to enter your Apple ID and password

Select your location. You can search by city, zip code, or name. You can also browse all Apple retail stores. Find the closest Apple Store that you want to go to.

Select the date and time 

Then your reservation will be confirmed. 

Now you have your Genius Bar reservation. Apple will also send you a confirmation email. You can easily cancel or reschedule it if you want to. Make sure you back up your device before going.

How to prepare for your appointment

Before your appointment, you may want to prepare for your appointment. Do not forget to back up your data (you can use iCloud). Make sure to bring all of the hardware (that you are having issues with) with you. For example, if you are having issues with your Mac, bring all of the accessories such as your mouse, keyboard. You may also be asked for your sales receipt.

Make sure that you know your Apple ID password (you may have to turn off Find My).

And lastly, do not forget to bring your ID with you.

Your Genius Bar appointment may last about 15 minutes. If your device needs a hardware repair, the Genius will discuss with you regarding your repair options. This may include any applicable charges.

See also: How to Cancel Your iTunes (apps, iTunes Store, iBooks, etc) Purchases

How To Make A Logo Background Transparent In Photoshop

If you often work with logos for your business, you may at some point need to make a logo background transparent in Photoshop. Depending on the appearance of your logo’s background, you can do this a few different ways. 

Once you’ve removed the background from a logo, you can set the export settings so that it stays transparent and then add it to other projects or save it for future use.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to remove the background from your logo and export it properly, regardless of your logo’s background color.

Making A Solid-Colored Logo Background Transparent In Photoshop

Removing a solid-colored background from a logo is easy and only takes a few steps. After making the background transparent, you’ll learn a quick way to check that the edges of the logo are smooth and clean them up if need be.

Step 1: Select The Magic Wand Tool (W) Step 2: Set The Magic Wand Settings

Next, you’ll want to be sure the settings are set so that you’ll be able to select the entire solid-colored background area. 

Once you’ve selected the Magic Wand Tool, head to the Options Bar and change the following settings:

Check the Contiguous option

Set the Sample Area (3×3 works fine for selecting a background, but you may want to try higher options like 11×11)

Set the Tolerance between 10-40, depending on your image 

You can go back and edit these settings later to see how they affect the selection, particularly around the edges of your logo, as different settings here will result in slightly different selections. 

If you have parts of the background inside your logo – such as inside the center of a circle or letter – and you want to remove them, leave the Contiguous box unchecked, and the selection will be made around any pixels that match the background color. 

To keep those areas as part of your logo, ensure the Contiguous box is checked. The selection will only be made around pixels that match the background color and sit next to each other (like in the example below).

Step 3: Select The Background

Notice that the insides of the infinity sign in my logo are not selected because I have left the Contiguous box checked. Again, you can uncheck this if you’d like those areas selected as well.

Step 4: Add A Layer Mask

This will add the selection to a Layer Mask, which you’ll see beside the Image Layer in the Layers Panel.

You’ll see the Layer Mask has cut out the logo rather than the background on your document. 

You can easily invert the mask by pressing Control + I (Win) or Command + I (Mac), and the logo will reappear with the background removed.

Step 5: Clean Up The Selection

In the Options Bar, you can resize your Sample Size to Point Sample for the best possible accuracy.

Finally, with the Layer Mask selected in the Layers Panel, press Alt + Delete (Win) or Option + Delete (Mac) to remove these areas from your mask.

This will make those areas transparent, like the rest of your logo’s background. Deselect the areas by pressing Control + D (Win) or Command + D (Mac).

Step 6: Clean Up The Edges

Scroll through the tabs until you see Global Refinements. Here, you can adjust the Smooth, Contrast, and Shift Edge settings until the edges have a smooth rather than pixelated appearance. 

Each logo will require something different. I’ll increase the Contrast and Smooth settings for the logo I’m working with and decrease the Shift Edge setting. Subtle adjustments are usually enough.

The edges appear sharper after the adjustments than before.

Before After

Step 7: Save A Copy

In the Save As window, set the File Format to PNG.

Making A Multi-Colored Logo Background Transparent In Photoshop

When working with a logo with a multi-colored or patterned background, you won’t be able to simply use the Object Selection Tool or the Magic Wand Tool. Still, you can easily remove the logo from its background in a few simple steps using Channels.

Step 1: Select A Channel Step 2: Duplicate The Channel

You’ll see a copy of your chosen channel at the bottom of the list.

Step 3: Open Levels

Now you can open the Levels window using the shortcut Control + L (Win) or Command + L (Mac).

Drag the levels in so that the darkest parts of the image are 100% black and the lightest parts become 100% white. You don’t need to bring the levels to the center; if you do, the image becomes too contrasted, and the logo’s edges start to fray. You can leave them when the colors are 100% black and white.

Step 4: Select The Logo

This will create an active selection around the logo in the image.

Step 5: Add A Layer Mask

This will add a Layer Mask to the image, which you’ll see in the Layers Panel sitting to the right of the picture.

The document shows that the layer mask has cut out the logo.

You can invert the layer mask so that the logo, not the background, is visible by pressing Control + I (Win) or Command + I (Mac). You’ll see the logo in the document and the background transparent.

Step 6: Clean Up The Edges

There is one final step you can take to ensure that you’ve successfully removed all of the background from the logo.

Name the Color Fill Layer and press OK. The Color Picker window will appear. I’ll drag the toggle to white just to make sure the edges of the logo are neat and clean them up a bit if they are pixelated.

The new fill layer will appear in the Layers Panel and on the document on top of the logo. Drag the Color Fill Layer beneath the Logo layer, so the logo sits in front.

From here, scroll until you see the Global Refinements section.

The settings that will help fix the edges the most are the Smooth setting, which smooths out the pixelation, and the Contrast setting, which will increase the contrast along the edge. You can play around with these until you’re content with how the edges look.

Before After

Step 7: Save A Copy

Again, you can save a copy of your logo once you’ve finished working on it. This allows you to come back and continue working in Photoshop or use the logo in a future project.

Additional Export Options For Transparent Logos In Photoshop

In the Export As window, you can resize your logo by entering a new Width and Height in the Image Size section.

However, you can reduce the size as much as you’d like without compromising quality. This will allow you to save the logo and apply it to projects that require a smaller size, such as for the header of a website.

Finally, ensure the File Format is set to PNG and the Transparency box is checked.

Happy Editing!

How Do You Make A Painkiller Addiction

Old vs. New

The pre-2010 OxyContin pill crushes into grains (left) while the newer formula is more difficult to break up (right).

Those injectors and snorters have plenty of company. Prescription opioids—drugs that work similarly to opium, including OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet and others—are the number-one cause of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. That includes overdoses from illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. In 2010, prescription opioids accounted for 44 percent of all U.S. overdose deaths. It’s a huge problem and drug companies are turning to a solution they know very well: chemistry.

In 2010, Purdue quietly introduced a new formula that made OxyContin pills weirdly difficult to crush or dissolve in water, hoping to undercut the ways people had discovered they could get a super-sized opioid hit from long-acting OxyContin. Three years later, studies are just beginning to show that crush-resistant chemistry does seem to reduce OxyContin abuse. Whether it reduces drug abuse overall is another question. Preliminary findings suggest those who used to abuse OxyContin are simply replacing it with other prescriptions or with heroin.

Meanwhile, researchers are working on several other ways of making painkillers physically more difficult to abuse. Nothing else is on the market yet, but the experts I talked to said to expect companies to try. “It’s a booming industry,” Jamison says.

If drug abusers respond to new formulations the way they have for OxyContin, this may mean a reduction in prescription pill abuse, although not necessarily an overall reduction in drug abuse. Instead, pharmaceutical companies will simply, finally be able to shift some blame for abuse away from their own products.

For Purdue Pharma, at least, that blame has been costly. In 2007, the company settled with U.S. federal agencies in a criminal court, paying $634 million and pleading guilty to misleading the public about OxyContin’s potential for addiction.

* * *

The technology that goes into the new, crush-resistant, long-lasting OxyContin is called Intac, and it’s made by the German company Grünenthal. A pill made with Intac begins life a little differently than the standard tablet, says Alexander Kraus, vice president for product development at Grünenthal USA.

Most tablets start as a powder mixture that includes the active medicine and any other inactive ingredients that may, for example, help stabilize the active ingredients. Machinery presses the powder into a pill. Crushing the pill into snort-able or dissolve-able grains is just taking it back to its original form. “If you take that tablet and put it between two spoons, you typically would be able to crush it back into the powder component,” Kraus says.

OxyContin, on the other hand, starts as oxycodone, plus a plastic-like polymer material made of long-chain molecules. When heated, the polymer enters a molten phase, Kraus says. The manufacturing process forms tablets out of the hot, semi-liquid stuff and then cools them until they are solid, at which point the oxycodone is embedded in the solid polymer. The final pills have a “plasticky type of solid, monolithic form,” Kraus says.

“It’s not hard like a rock,” he says. “It has some plasticity, so if you bang on it, it will deform, but it will not shatter, and that’s the trick.”

Another cool trick? If you try to dissolve the new-formulation OxyContin in water or alcohol, it forms a thick, stringy goop that’s difficult to inject.

Injection Deterring

Drug abusers sometimes dissolved crushed older OxyContin into an injectable mixture (left), but the newer formula makes a stringy jelly when mixed with liquid (right).

Other chemical blocks in different stages of research include putting little packets of opioid antagonists—think of them as opioid antidotes—into pills. If an abuser crushes the pills, he or she opens the packets, releasing the antagonists, which prevent the opioid from working. The packets are supposed to stay sealed if taken by mouth, however, so that the pills continue to work for legitimate patients.

Some companies are working on molecules that require something in the digestive system, such as an enzyme, to activate the opioid. It’s as if both the painkiller and the euphoric effect of the medicine are locked up and there’s no way to unlock them without first putting them through your entire GI tract.

* * *

When Purdue first came out with the reformulated OxyContin, it wasn’t allowed to say the new pill was abuse-deterrent because there wasn’t yet evidence it made a difference to abusers. It sounded like it should work, but who’s to say? “Drug users can be very inventive and so your best efforts may not work very well in practice,” says Wilson Compton, director of epidemiology, services and prevention research at the U.S.’ National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Now, just enough time has passed for researchers to check the effects of having the new OxyContin on the market for a few years. This past April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an abuse deterrent claim on OxyContin’s label based on newly published scientific studies.

Nearly all of the studies were funded by Purdue. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re biased. It’s common practice for drug companies to bankroll the surveillance of their own products, and of course Purdue would like to know if Intac actually works. It helps that there have been several studies that ask slightly different questions about Intac’s effect on abuse and together, they point toward Intac working, Compton says.

“The effect is significant and appears to be clinically meaningful,” he says.

Studies based on the industry-funded Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance system found that since the introduction of Intac-enabled OxyContin, the amount of the drug diverted for abuse fell by up to 60 percent. The number of poison control calls about overdosing on OxyContin fell by 42 percent. The median street value of a new OxyContin pill is 63 cents a milligram, compared to $1 a milligram for the old pill.

New And Old OxyContin Pills

80-milligram tablets of the current OxyContin formula (left) and the previous OxyContin formula (right)

In one study of people treated at rehab centers, scientists from the research company Inflexxion and Purdue Pharma found that since the new OxyContin came onto the market, abuse fell by 41 percent.

One dissenting study comes from RTI International, which did not receive Purdue funding. In a nationally representative survey, the research nonprofit found OxyContin abuse rates didn’t change much after the new OxyContin appeared on pharmacy shelves. It appears un-crushable OxyContin does put off a small number of users, specifically those that seem to use crushed OxyContin and heroin interchangeably, says Scott Novak, a statistician who performed RTI International’s analysis. Take the effect to the overall population, however, and it’s not significant.

Why wouldn’t a plasticky pill put off OxyContin abusers? One possibility is that people have gotten around the Intac technology. Human ingenuity knows no bounds. Another is that not every abuser crushes his or her pills. It’s still possible to get a high, though perhaps not as big of a rush, by taking OxyContin orally. Although detailed numbers on how many people crush versus how many people swallow are difficult to come by, it’s widely acknowledged in the scientific literature that some abusers simply swallow the pills, and that they won’t be affected by the new formula.

As for those who are deterred, some preliminary numbers show that they’re replacing their pills with other drugs.

In a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis and Nova Southeastern University in Florida found that in telephone interviews, the number of drug abusers who said they primarily abused OxyContin fell by 64 percent. At the same time, those same abusers reported higher rates of using other prescription opioid drugs and heroin, which is an opioid, if not a prescription one.

Richard Dart, executive director of the Researched Abuse, Diversion and Addiction-Related Surveillance program, says he also has preliminary data showing that those other abuses rise. It will be another year before he’ll have the data fully analyzed. “I think it’s clear they do go to the other drugs,” he says. “I don’t think anybody ever thought—I mean, why would they stop abusing?”

* * *

All the researchers I talked to acknowledged abuse-deterrent OxyContin’s weaknesses in, well, actually deterring drug abuse. Yet most wanted to see chemical deterrents appear in more drugs. If it works, even a little, why not? seemed to be the attitude.

Why not indeed? Some experts have argued the new formulas may make painkillers more expensive, a cost legitimate, non-abusing patients will have to shoulder. Yet insurance companies may also find they prefer covering abuse deterrent pills because they know their money is going to legit patients, Novak argues. In reality, there’s no way to know yet how the market will react.

Researchers had hoped that when people ran into crush-resistant OxyContin, they would take the opportunity to get clean, Compton says. Instead, they sought their high in other ways, which he calls “not a particularly satisfying outcome.”

Ultimately, this is a problem that pharmaceutical chemistry can have only a small, if any, effect on. At best, drug companies working on abuse resistant formulas are covering their own liability.

“Fundamentally, I’d like to see core approaches, whether that’s treatment for the underlying addiction, or prevention to keep people from going that direction in begin with,” Compton says. “But anything that stops people from using this in a lethal way is helpful.”

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