I had a very close friend; his name is Jeremy. He is only twenty-six years old. His life is fading fast. He had a home, a family, a long time girlfriend and a four year old son. Jeremy’s mom, brothers, aunts and uncles are all losing touch with him. He had a great job with insurance, benefits and job security. He was fired a few months ago. He has sold his car, personal items, furniture and things you wouldn’t even imagine for fast cash. Jeremy begs and barrows money from what family and friends he has left to only end the relationship with them because he knows he will never pay them back. What has made his life this way? Hello my name is Erica Altier and I am going to inform you on the dangers of Oxycontin or Oxycodone Hydrochloride. Some people, most people call it “today’s heroin”. I believe it is only a matter of time before every one of us is dealing with a loved one or a close friend who is dealing with the addiction of Oxycontin.
What is all the negative hype on Oxycontin? For starters, Oxycontin is a prescribed Schedule Two drug under the controlled Substance Act because of its high tendency to cause dependence and abuse. Oxycontin was introduced by Perdue Pharma based out of Connecticut in 1996. It was designed to be a twelve hour time release form of narcotic to meet the needs of around the clock pain control. The bonding agent actually measures the level of Oxycodone in the blood, releasing more or less painkiller as needed. It was said to be a breakthrough, high potency pain reliever for chronic pain and cancer. Ironically, out of 6.5 million Oxycontin prescriptions in the United States during 2000, cancer specialists accounted for only three percent.
Oxycontin is a very addictive narcotic. The DEA says that no prescription drug in the last twenty years has been so widely abused after its introduction into the marketplace. The way an abuser takes Oxycontin is chewing, snorting or dissolving the tablets in water and injecting. By doing this the user will get a rapid release and absorption of Oxycodone, resulting in a warm, euphoric rush, intensifying until reaching a phase in which everything is relaxed. The user will be energetic and talkative, eventually becoming very relaxed and content. Some abusers will take large doses and have slightly slurred speech, impaired coordination, and in an even higher dose the user will nod in and out of consciousness. (Story of Columbus bar first time hanging out) A dose that is too high for an individual to abstain will result in severe respiratory depression that can lead to death. The amount of overdoses involving Oxycodone in America is rapidly becoming more and more. In 1996, the year it was released, there were 51 overdoses. The overdoses in 1999 were calculated to be 268. According to the DEA Office of Diversion Control, as of November 1, 2001, medical examiners in just 31 states have reported 1,096 overdoses.
Oxycontin tablets have a unique, trade specific logo “OC” on one side and a number 10, 20, 40, 80, or 160 on the other side. The “OC” obviously stands for Oxycontin and the numbers are the milligrams of Oxycodone that is in the pill. When legally sold a 10 milligram tablet will cost 1.25 dollars and an 80 milligram tablet will cost six dollars. When illegally sold, a tablet will cost one dollar per milligram. That means that a 10 milligram tablet is ten dollars and an 80 milligram tablet is eighty dollars.
The growing abuse of Oxycontin commonly known as Oxy’s, OC’s, Killers and Hillbilly Heroin, is leading to an increase in burglaries, thefts, and robberies or residences and pharmacies. The number one method of illegal source in Ohio is doctor shopping. Abusers and sellers go from physician offices to emergency rooms and attempt to obtain prescriptions for the drug. In most cases the abuser will travel to surrounding cities, counties and states to obtain prescriptions. Corrupt doctors around the state prescribe, for a set fee whatever drug the patient requests with little or no examination. Doctors’ offices, hospitals, pharmacies and pharmaceutical warehouses are all targets of theft. Some of these thefts are after hour break-ins; some are simply employees taking what they need to use or sell. Sometimes the actual people who have a prescription are robbed after they leave the pharmacies. If an abuser knows that you are prescribed Oxy’s they will break into your home just to take your pills and maybe cash to buy more elsewhere. Imagine your grandmother having cancer and she is in her final stages. She may be in pain that you and I will never know. Her doctor prescribed her Oxycontin to relieve the pain. Would you want someone to break into her home and steal her pain medication? This would leave her in chronic pain until the next month when she can get more. This is how abusers are affected by the narcotic. They will go to no end to receive this high.
In conclusion we have all learned the dangers of this narcotic. Oxycontin is a prescribed Schedule Two drug that is very addictive. If a large dose that the body can not digest is taken it will result in severe respiratory depression which can lead to death. Oxy is a leading cause of burglaries, thefts and robberies. Jeremy had never used hard drugs; alcohol and marijuana were they extent of his experimenting. Now he is addicted to the worst drug available. I hope that with this information you can also inform someone you know that is abusing Oxycontin the dangers is can withstand on someone’s life.