More on the OxyContinuum from Steve Bruno

The below is reprinted from Interventionist Steven Bruno’s newsletter.  He can be contacted by calling 800-880-0330 or visiting

Why is it that almost all of my interventions these days seem to have to do with the pain-killer OxyContin? It didn’t used to be like this.

Take “Sandra” for example, (not her real name): she is 22 years old, from Washington state, and, until two years ago, was an honor student with bright blue eyes, shimmeringoxy hair framing rosy cheeks and a broad smile.  I got her into treatment this past week so hopefully that smile will return. But it’s gone now. Over the course of two short years she became depressed and isolated; a shadow that her own family barely recognized.  She dyed her hair black and smeared on heavy mascara and thick make-up to cover her acne scars. When the family hired me to do the intervention, “Sandra” was living with a drug dealer, working in a strip club, shooting and smoking OxyContin and was completely alienated from her family.

As of last Wednesday, however, after a successful intervention, she is on the road to recovery. My first thought was: “That’s good.”  My second thought, however, sent chills through me:  the next three interventions I have lined up to do are also for OxyContin and I realized that it’s been like this for a long time.

Suddenly, I felt empty. A single question roared through my mind:

Why is a drug like this – one originally designed for highly specialized and restricted use – now so prevalent on the street, in every corner of every city?

Oxycontin sales reached $2,500,000,000.00 worldwide in 2008.  Think about that:  Two and a half billion dollars in sales for a highly restricted drug of (supposedly) limited use. While Purdue Pharmaceuticals and the FDA deny risk of widespread addiction, every treatment center I work with has vast numbers of their rooms filled by Oxycontin addicts.

Abuse of OxyContin is an epidemic. I’m out there where it’s happening and I see it everyday.  What is everyone else seeing? What are you seeing, in your community, in your neighborhood, or in your own family? How many people do you know who have been affected by this highly addictive (and extremely lucrative on the street) drug?

I used to deal drugs too.  I know what it’s like, making money off of other people’s physical and emotional dependency, knowing that your clients will return because they have to come back in order to fulfill their intense craving. The product you sell leaves your customers little choice.  But is it the pharmaceutical industry’s business that they are destroying their lives with it? Is it their business that they’re lying or stealing to get it?

Is it our business that the manufacturer of the drug is also profiting from sales on “the street?” The “street” of course is not the asphalt and cement; the “street” in this context consists of our sons and our daughters, members of our families.
… to be continued.

“Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window,
except that the birds might eat them.”
~ Dr. Martin Henry Fischer, American scientist