OxyContin's pain relief
ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
After years of near crippling and chronic back pain, a Norton man found relief when a doctor prescribed OxyContin.
OxyContin contains oxycodone, a narcotic that has been abused in various medications for 30 years.
(Craig Murray/The Enterprise)
"It was the only thing that worked," he said.
But then, after five years, his doctor stopped the prescription, fearing the man was becoming addicted.
It was already too late.
Today, the 45-year-old man, who once ran his own painting business and didn't want his name used, is on methadone to overcome his addiction to the heroin he turned to when the OxyContin was gone.
"The number one thing for me was getting rid of the pain," he said.
While teens and young adults are experimenting with - and getting addicted to - OxyContin bought illegally or swiped from medicine cabinets, there is another group of addicts who had been prescribed the drug by a doctor.
It wasn't what OxyContin was supposed to be.
When Purdue Pharma put OxyContin on the market in 1996, the drug was hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of severe and chronic pain.
It was called a "miracle drug" by patients with chronic pain and
offered relief to those with cancer.
Then users discovered that crushing the time-release tablet and snorting or injecting the powder produced a heroin-like high.
OxyContin contains oxycodone, a narcotic that has been abused in various medications for 30 years, according to the Office of Drug Control Policy. The drug produces opiate-like euphoric effects. and those who keep taking it can develop a tolerance.
According to the 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 3 million people aged 12 or older had used OxyContin non-medically at least once in their lifetime - up from 2.8 million in 2003.
Maureen Boyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.