Oxycodone, the opioid that OxyContin is derived from, was developed in Germany in 1916. It was designed to be a better medication than other opioids, such as heroin, codeine, and even morphine. In the years just before it was created, people were becoming addicted to heroin or experiencing serious side effects from abuse. At that time, no one thought that this new drug would become one of the most widely used and abused prescription drugs of all time.
Oxycodone first came to the U.S. in 1939, but it wasn’t until Purdue Pharma began manufacturing OxyContin in the United States in 1996 that it became widely used. OxyContin has had its ups and downs in the market of prescription drugs, and by 2001 it was the best selling narcotic pain reliever in the country. Also around this time is when OxyContin began to be abused by those wanting a way to get high. Because the drug was so widely available, those with extra pills from a prescription found they could sell the drug for a big profit. This was the beginning of the prescription drug abuse that is such a problem today.
2007 brought changes in the public’s view of OxyContin. Instead of being just a hard working pain reliever, it also became known for its potential for abuse. Several lawsuits brought this drug and its manufacturers into the public eye, as Purdue Pharma was ordered to pay fines as a result of those lawsuits. In May 2007, the fines were because of aggressive marketing practices. The company was promoting the drug everywhere it could, including beach hats and pedometers, and it was also encouraging people to take the drug more frequently than the recommended twice a day. Later that same month, Purdue again faced charges that they misbranded the drug in order to convince doctors and users that it didn’t have as much potential for abuse or addiction.
When used properly, Oxycodone, or OxyContin, provides relief to those suffering from serious pain or injury. It can be taken orally, intranasally, and through injection. Oxycodone has been found to be a little less effective than morphine, but often has less adverse reactions. Some critics of the drug say that the only reason OxyContin is so popular still today is because of the ruthless marketing practices of the manufacturer to get this drug into people’s hands, despite the problems it has caused.
OxyContin is one of the most widely abused prescription drugs of all time. OxyContin is bought and sold on the black market with such names as “Hillbilly Heroin”, “Killers”, “OC”, and “Oxycotton”. For those that have used this drug for extended periods of time, withdrawal can be serious. Anxiety, nausea, muscle weakness, and fever are some of the symptoms.
Today OxyContin has a largely negative connotation because of its abuse through the years. This is the drug that kids sell to each other at school, stay at home moms abuse, and people break into pharmacies to steal. It does not discriminate against age, race, or social status. For many people dealing with OxyContin addiction, treatment from a professional is a necessity.
This article was written by Bethany Winkel
Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.