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OxyContin Abuse Statistics

OxyContin is an opiate drug prescribed for pain relief. It is a powerful and effective, and it can be beneficial if used correctly. The difference between OxyContin and other opiate pain management tools is the way it delivers the medicine into the body as well as the strength of the medication.

According to an article published by ABC News, drugs like Tylox – another opiate pain medication – contain approximately 5 mg of oxycodone, the active pain relief ingredient which is similar to morphine. Lortab is available in doses ranging from 2.5 mg to 10 mg as described in literature from the manufacturer. OxyContin, on the other hand, generally contains between 40 and 160 mg of the powerful pain relief ingredient. OxyContin is a time-release medication; the higher dose of pain reliever is designed to be released into the body over the course of 12 hours, eliminating the need to ingest a pill every few hours as required with other pain relievers.

Abuse of OxyContin occurs when an individual obtains the drugs for purposes other than pain management, or they ingest the pills by crushing them and either inhaling the powder or mixing it with water to inject using a syringe. This process takes away the safeguard of the time-release mechanism and can result in a sudden euphoric high, coma or even death according to the manufacturer.

Tips to Reduce the Risk of OxyContin Abuse and Addiction

If you are, or a member of your family is, prescribed OxyContin for pain management, it is a good idea to safeguard your prescription from those who might abuse it. It is also important that you take steps to ensure you are not caught up in the abuse cycle as well.

  • Always take your medications according to your prescribed directions. If adjustments are needed, contact your doctor before making any changes.
  • Keep your OxyContin and other narcotic medications in a locked container rather than in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Individuals who are suffering from addiction often search the cabinets of friends and family members for the drugs they prefer.
  • Educate your children on the dangers of taking prescription medications. Because OxyContin is legally prescribed, it is possible that your children’s friends may obtain the drugs from their homes or the homes of relatives. Even if your home does not contain any of these types of drugs, your children may still be exposed to them at school.

How Common Is OxyContin Abuse?

OxyContin is a relatively new drug of abuse. According to a report from the US National Library of Medicine, it was created in 1995 to prevent abuse of opiates, because of the time-release nature of the product. Since then, however, abuse has skyrocketed. OxyContin and its non-time-released cousin, hydrocodone, are the most abused prescription drugs available today.

Other statistics of note are:

  • The New York Times reported that New York has experienced an 82-percent rise in prescriptions for oxycodone between 2007 and 2010.
  • A network of privately owned pain management clinics in Florida was reported by prosecutors to have sold $40 million dollars worth of oxycodone pills over the course of two years, as reported by Business Week.
  • In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration reported that 182,748 visits to emergency rooms across the United States were the result of use or misuse of oxycodone products, including OxyContin.
  • The Monitoring the Future Survey reports that 70 percent of high school seniors who reported abusing prescription drugs received them for free from a friend or relative, while 21 percent admitted to stealing them from friends and family.
  • Overall, Monitoring the Future reports that 21.7 percent of high school seniors have abused prescription drugs in their lifetimes.

If you, or someone you love, have developed dependence or an addiction to OxyContin, there is help available. You can overcome the challenges of addiction with the right kind of treatment. Call us today to find out the best exclusive residential treatment program which may be right for you.