been reading about a new drug in the newspapers called Oxycontin
®. What is this?
is a pain medication prescribed for intense, chronic pain.
It's a great medication when used as directed by those who
need it. Unfortunately, the reason that it's so good, is also
the reason that it is a target for abuse.
In most pain medications,
there is a small amount (perhaps 5 mg.) of the active ingredient
(in this case, oxycodone). Oxycontin contains between 10 and
160 mg. of oxycodone in a timed-release tablet. The time-release
function allows the legitimate patient to take just one or
two tablets a day.
that most patients who receive opioids for pain, even long-term,
do not become addicted to these drugs.
The problem occurs
when abusers obtain the tablets and crush them in order to
ingest, snort or inject the substance. In doing so, they feel
the powerful effects of the opioid in a short time rather
than over a 12-hour span.
There is a huge
profit margin in re-selling prescribed Oxycontin. A 40 mg.
pill costs approximately $4 by prescription and can bring
up to $40 on the street.
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