America’s Newest Disease: The OxyContin® and OPANA® Express to Heroin

iStock_000002932932SmallOxyContin® is a semi-synthetic brand name pharmceutical drug and commonly prescribed analgesic (pain reliever) that is made from the natural drug morphine. While this may come as a shock, users of OxyContin® can attest to its powerful effects on relieving all severities of pain. In addition to the painkiller characteristic, OxyContin® can affect ones mood. Many users report a euphoric state of mind, accompanied by reduced anxiety. This pill appeals to not only those in pain, but those who need a pick-me-up. Due to its effectiveness, there has been a rise in the number of patients being prescribed and requesting this drug.

In 2010 OxyContin® was the number one selling prescription opioid drug in the United States by far. The level of abuse was so high that the FDA provided strong warnings to medical care professionals about its use. The FDA warnings prompted the manufacturer of OxyContin®, Purdue Pharma, L.P., to reformulate the drug which made the recreational use less considerably less desirable. This move almost immediately increased the demand for other opioid drugs called OPANA® and ROXICODONE®.

Heroine is the cheaper alternative to OxyContin®, OPANA® and ROXICODONE®.

After a while, the injury is gone. 8 weeks after surgery and the back has healed. The prescriptions and refills have run out. Yet your body isn’t ready to let go of the feeling OxyContin® brings. A USA Today Article has uncovered that, “an 80 mg OxyContin® can cost $60 to $100 a pill. In contrast, heroin costs about $45 to $60 for a multiple-dose supply.” It’s not a shock then that some people are choosing heroin over OxyContin®. What was first viewed as the “cleaner” and “safer” drug has become cost prohibitive. Itching for the same high, users try heroin for the first time. The instant rush accompanied by the dose can remind the users of what they felt using OxyContin®. However, the user is now playing a dangerous game. Possession of OxyContin® is NOT illegal, if you have a valid prescription. In contrast, possession of heroin and heroin paraphernalia is illegal. As a Schedule I drug, the DEA and its related organizations have found a high level of dependence with no medical benefit from heroin. Why would users switch though? Is it solely money related?

Simlarities Between Heroine and OxyContin®, OPANA® and ROXICODONE®

OxyContin®, OPANA® and ROXICODONE® and heroin work have similar effects on the human body. They are all opioid analgesics which are derived from the opium plant. They are all semi-synthetic. they are a mixture of natural and man made (synthetic). The only fully natural occurring opioids are codeine and morphine. They all bind to the same opioid receptors in the human body and have the same or similar effects. Aside from the fact that they contain many of the same compounds, they both belong to the Opioid family. While it may seem like a large jump from OxyContin® to heroin, it’s simply a matter of chasing that high. This is the most troubling aspect of OxyContin® addiction. Homeless men and junkies are no longer the “picture” of heroin abuse. Upper-middle class families are struggling to understand how their 18 year old son has suddenly become addicted to hard narcotics. For most, it’s a situation they never thought they would have to deal with. Sadly, a large number have already lost the fight. An innocent pill has slowly led to mounting legal issues. Even worse, this “OxyContin® Expressway” leads to broken lives.

I have seen first-hand what OxyContin® addiction looks like. Even well-meaning individuals can fall victim to this disease. Recognize the symptoms of addiction. It is common for those addicted to find themselves charged with theft due to their exceedingly expensive drug habit. You need an attorney who will not only help you legally, but one that will help guide you through this process understanding your delicate situation.

June 30th, 2014|