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Abuse of OxyContin and Other Prescription Painkillers

The Drug enforcement Administration has targeted as a top priority the illegal use of the prescription painkiller OxyContin in the wake of what the agency says is a dramatic and dangerous increase in the drug's availability. Simply crushing the tablet can negate the controlled-release effect of the drug, enabling abusers to swallow or snort the drug for a powerful morphinelike high. The tablet can also be crushed, mixed with water and injected. In this paper I discuss the abuse of OxyContin and other prescription painkillers. The synthetic Opioid OxyContin has become a drug of abuse, following in the steps of other prescription drugs that contain Oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin. The level of abuse and the number of people who have died because of OxyContin abuse are growing. At first many pain specialist initially believed that the controlled-release oxycondone had a low potential for abuse, boy were they wrong. In recent years, this drug has exploded to the streets. The latest report from the DeA, the Drug enforcement Agency, states that Oxycontins have played a role in over 282 people since the beginning of 2002. (1) The DeA says that it is only a matter of time before every community in this country is confronted with the problem of Oxycontin abuse. No prescription drug in the last twenty years has been so widely abused after it's release. Oxycontin was pain reliever meant to do good, not bad. Oxycontin is prescribed to patients, who are chronic pain, patients who are dying of cancer, recovering from major surgery and or suffering from unbearable headaches. This pain reliever is known for its significant improvement over all other pain relieving medications. The time-release mechanisms allow the right amount of the medication to be released to keep sustained relief for people in severe pain for up to 12 hours. (McHugh) Not only street users become addicts, patients also become very addicted to their own medicine. Many patients go threw heavy withdrawal symptoms when their prescriptions have ended. No longer will insurance pay or doctors write prescriptions. So they too must turn to the black market to fulfill their addiction. In the worst cases some patients turn to heroin because Oxycontins to expensive. Before a person is prescribed this pill, the patient is supposed to undergo a complete physical examination, the patients record should be contained with detailed documentation of the nature and intensity of the pain, current and past treatment, other illnesses, and their history of drug and alcohol use. Then the risks, type, dosage, and quantity of the pain medication must be explained to the patient. Prescriptions will only be filed out during office hours, lost prescription slips will not be rewritten or otherwise replaced, lost or stolen medications will not be replaced. If asked by the doctor, the patient can be submitted to drug testing and urine screening to ensure that the patient is taking a controlled release of the oxycodone. All of these steps must be taken before the prescription can even be written out by the doctor. The Connecticut Company, Purdue Pharma, first introduced Oxycontins in December of 1995. Since then the popularity of this pain pill has grossed to over 1 billion dollars in U.S. retail Sales last year with of 5.5 million prescriptions written. (1) Street users are attracted to the drugs euphoric high. The time- release is licked or peeled off of the pill. It is then crushed with a hard object broken up to a white powder, then it is broken up into very small lines and snorted or mixed into a dilute and injected into their veins. The drug then provides a high very similar to heroin, like heroin, it becomes highly addictive. OxyContin is a narcotic drug. Narcotic drugs cause not only a physical addiction but also a psychological dependence. Narcotics are drugs that produce a change in response to sensations. Sounds appetizing doesn't it. ...



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