Is OxyContin Still King?

There are growing signs around the country that the abuse of OxyContin is diminishing. The drug is being bypassed during pharmacy robberies in favor of Opana, methadone and other narcotic drugs, and some hospital emergency rooms are reporting a decrease in OxyContin overdoses.

According to Forbes, the Journal of Pain and other publications, the introduction of a new tamper-resistant form of OxyContin in 2010 seems to be responsible for a decrease in abuse of the drug. Drug addicts previously crushed OxyContin pills to circumvent the drugs time-release mechanism and experience the full impact of the drug in one rush. Instead of allowing drug abusers to crush the pill for snorting or injection, the new OxyContin turns into a gummy mush when tampered with.

Unfortunately, the reformulation of OxyContin does not appear to be leading to an overall drop in drug

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Southern California OxyContin Abusers Switching to Heroin

Drug treatment officials in San Diego County recently reported that the use of heroin by young adults has more than tripled since 2006.  According to Susan Bower, director of San Diego County Alcohol and Drug Services, the increase in heroin use is “scary.”  Admissions for heroin addiction now account for nearly one in five of all treatment admissions at facilities operated by the county.

Many of the addicts seeking treatment have been identified as young men who are switching to heroin as a cheaper alternative to OxyContin.  The black market demand for OxyContin has caused the price to rise to as much as $80 for an 80mg tablet, making heroin an cheaper alternative for addicts despite its deadly reputation. This is the first time in several decades that heroin abuse and addiction has become an issue in San Diego…
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“Gateway to Heroin” Documents the Link between OxyContin and Heroin

In 2009, Current TV correspondent Mariana von Zeller traveled to South Florida to report on the prescription drug pipeline that stretches from the beaches of Miami to the hills of Appalachia.  Her documentary, “The OxyContin Express,” won a Peabody Award for its depiction of the impact of Florida’s prescription drug epidemic on addicts, law enforcement officials and prisoners.  Now von Zeller has produced a new documentary called “Gateway to Heroin” that exposes how prescription opiate addicts are turning to heroin for a cheaper high.

For “Gateway to Heroin,” von Zeller focused on the situation in Massachusetts, where prescription pills have become the most popular street drugs.  Many drug dealers travel to Florida (referred to by von Zeller as the “Colombia of prescription drugs”) to obtain prescription drugs illegally, bringing them back to Massachusetts to sell on the street.  In an …

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Black Market OxyContin Worth Millions

 

Black Market OxyContin Worth Millions

Prescription drug abuse has created a growing black market demand for pain killers like OxyContin as well as for drugs used to treat depression and anxiety.  Using data from federal law enforcement agencies, CNN recently published a comparison of street versus legal prescription drug prices:

  • OxyContin: up to $80 on the street compared to $6 with a prescription.
  • Hydrocodone and/or Vicodin: up to $25 compared to $1.50.
  • Percocet: up to $15 compared to $6.

The high price of black market OxyContin and other illegal prescription drugs is driven by a growing demand.  Even after the release of OxyContin’s new formulation the drug is the primary target of opiate addicted abusers. The DEA reports that 7 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2009, up 13% from 2008.  The agency expects there to …

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Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon Part III

Read Part I of Glen Alexander’s Story

Read Part II of Glen Alexander’s Story

“When I Found Him”

It was about 6:30 AM.  I was so glad Glen had stopped moaning and hoped he was feeling better.  I picked up his glass and mug that he had kicked over and brought them to the kitchen.  I went back in his room to check on him.  I noticed he had removed all his clothing and was now laying sideways, on his stomach, across his bed.  When I came in this time, I looked at his back and realized he was not breathing.  I stood there paralyzed thinking, Oh God please no, please no!  Please say it isn’t true.  I finally reached out and touch him and he was already cold and hard to the touch.  I flipped out and ran to …

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Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon Part II

Read Part I of the story here.

On October 25, 2008 Glen received a settlement from the insurance company.  He put $50,000 in the bank to use for a down payment on a house.  He could not buy a house until his Social Security Disability was approved.  He had to show some kind of income and was unable to work.

On August 3, 2009: Glen filled out a “Pain Questionnaire” for Social Security.  He states:  His pain is located in his right leg, ankle, and foot.  It feels like it is broken.  His leg hurts and makes him suddenly depressed.   It hurts 24/7.  The pain never goes away.  It last forever.  Rest relieves his pain overnight.  He smokes medical marijuana daily to help mostly with the anxiety.  He stops activities all the time because of pain.  He can no longer …

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Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon Part I

Glen Tyson Alexander

February 17, 1987 ~ July 2, 2010

Glen always said, He didn’t have a purpose in life.  He did.  He does.

Glen was born in Whittier, CA on February 17, 1987.  He was the youngest of six children (2 brothers and 3 sisters).   He wanted to be born feet first, but instead they did an emergency c-section.  He was the third one of my children to be diagnosed as extremely ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and was started on medication in second grade.  By eighth grade he didn’t want to take meds anymore.  He told me, “I know they make me behave better, but I don’t like the way they make me feel”.  He always dealt with anxiety and depression and was diagnosed bipolar as a young adult.

Whatever his problems were, they didn’t keep his family …

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