Pain Killers: Getting off is hard to do...

New Oxycontin Is Harder to Abuse

Michael had been snorting OxyContin for five years when a new version of the drug, intended to deter such abuse, hit the market last summer. The reformulated pills are harder to crush, turning instead into a gummy substance that cannot be easily snorted, injected or chewed.

James, 28, of Revere, Mass., at a treatment center in East Boston. He said he started using heroin when OxyContin changed its formula.

Uncrushable Oxycontin

Uncrushable Oxycontin

A blow with a hammer deforms, but won’t crush, the new OxyContin. The original formula could be turned into powder easily.

Instructed by his dealer, Mr. Capece, 21, tried microwaving one of the new pills, then sniffing up the burnt remains. Other addicts have tried to defeat the new formula by freezing, baking or soaking the pills in solvents ranging from soda to acetone. Many are ending up frustrated.

“It’s too much work,” said Mr. Capece who entered a rehab program here last month. “It wasn’t anything I enjoyed.”

A powerful narcotic meant for cancer patients and others with searing pain, OxyContin is designed to slowly release its active ingredient, oxycodone, over 12 hours. But after it was introduced in 1996, drug abusers quickly discovered that chewing an OxyContin tablet — or crushing one and snorting the powder, or injecting it with a needle — produced an instant high as powerful as heroin. It has been blamed for waves of addiction that have ravaged certain regions of the country, and has been a factor in many overdose deaths.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, may have succeeded for now in reducing illicit demand for its reformulated drug. But in several dozen interviews over the last few months, drug abuse experts, law enforcement officials and addicts said the reformulation had only driven up interest for other narcotics.

Demand appears especially high for pure oxycodone pills that come in a 30-milligram dose, often called “Perc 30s” or “Roxies” on the street. Opana, a time-release painkiller similar to OxyContin that has been on the market for five years, is showing up increasingly in police reports and has been blamed for a rash of overdose deaths. And heroin use has jumped sharply in many regions, according to rehab centers and the police.

“It’s just a matter of switching,” said John Burke, commander of the drug task force in Warren County, Ohio, and president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators. “If I’m an addict, I’m going to find a drug that works.”

Mr. Burke said abuse of other oxycodone drugs was already growing before OxyContin was reformulated last August, partly because the other drugs are cheaper and because OxyContin had become harder to find on the street. Many doctors had stopped prescribing it because of its stigma and switched to other oxycodone drugs, Mr. Burke said.

Raymond V. Tamasi, president and chief executive of Gosnold on Cape Cod, a treatment center, said he had noticed that addicts switch initially to the Perc 30s.

“But eventually people make that progression from the pills to what appears to be a more economical high, which is heroin,” Mr. Tamasi said.

Prices vary, but 30-milligram oxycodone tablets generally sell on the street for $20 to $30 each, according to addicts and law enforcement officials. The old OxyContin sold for as much as $80 per 80-milligram pill. Several recovering addicts in Massachusetts said an 80-milligram tablet of the reformulated version, called OxyContin OP, costs about $40.

“You don’t make any money selling the OPs,” said James Moore, 28, who said he stopped selling and snorting OxyContin and moved on to heroin after the new version came out last year.

Mr. Moore, who said he used to snort as many as 10 OxyContin pills daily, was arrested in November for selling heroin and now lives at a halfway house in East Boston. Addicts can still get high from swallowing the new OxyContin pills, he said, but most prefer the immediate rush delivered by snorting or injecting the powder.

Outside of OxyContin, which comes in doses as high as 80 milligrams, the 30-milligram dose is the highest available for oxycodone, which is why addicts covet it.

Some addicts are reporting an even more powerful high from Opana, a time-release opiate painkiller whose active ingredient is oxymorphone. In Louisville, Ky., there have been at least 14 deaths this year involving Opana, according to the Jefferson County coroner’s office.

Purdue Pharma should have reformulated OxyContin sooner, said Steven Tolman, a state senator in Massachusetts who led a commission that investigated OxyContin abuse. The company asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve the new version for sale in November 2007; it won the approval in April 2010. It is the first painkiller reformulated to deter abuse, according to the F.D.A., which is now studying several proposed reformulations of other opiate drugs.

“It should not clear their conscience,” Mr. Tolman said of the change. “These people are scientists. Why didn’t they do this years ago?”

Not everyone is convinced that the days of abusing OxyContin are over. The F.D.A. is requiring Purdue Pharma to conduct clinical trials before it can claim that the new version is less abuse-prone. Though many addicts appear frustrated by the reformulation, Dr. Mark Publicker, an addiction medicine specialist at Mercy Recovery Center in Westbrook, Me., said he was “absolutely certain” that people would figure out how to abuse the new OxyContin.

“I like to think of them as drug addict scientists in white lab coats,” he said, pointing to Web sites where drug abusers debate various ways of trying to defeat the new formulation.

Libby Holman, a Purdue Pharma spokeswoman, said that based on initial data and reports, the company is “cautiously optimistic” that the reformulation will eventually prove less susceptible to abuse. But long-term studies will be necessary, she said in an e-mail, adding, “It is still too early to make any conclusions about the product’s impact on abuse and misuse in real-world settings.”

The company has initiated eight epidemiological studies and will report updates to the F.D.A., which approved their design, Ms. Holman said. Meanwhile, the new OxyContin pills have won some unflattering nicknames, said Dr. Ronald Bugaoan, director of psychiatric services at the High Point Treatment Center in Brockton.

“They call them gummies because when you chew them up they get stuck between your teeth,” he said. “They call them jellynoses because when you try to snort it up they get stuck. They cake in the nose.”

Mr. Moore, the recovering addict in East Boston, said that it was possible to snort the new OxyContin but that it took about an hour to break it down.

“It’s like doing a science project,” he said, “sitting there with a scraper, a knife, a razor blade, like it’s a frog or something.”

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Painkillers Bring Ohio County To It’s Knees

In Portsmouth Ohio, coal used to be king, now it’s Oxycontin and Oxycodone. The fifth-most-prescribed pain medication in the world, “oxy,” or “OC,” is a favorite of addicts, who crush and snort it or dilute it with water and inject it for a heroin-like rush. The drug and its cousin oxycodone are the cause of a prescription-drug-fueled epidemic that has brought Scioto County to its knees.

The county has seen a 360 percent increase in accidental drug-overdose deaths and has the highest hepatitis C rate in Ohio, a rate that has nearly quadrupled in the past five years, thanks to junkies who are shooting up.

Sixty-four Scioto County babies born in 2009 came into the world with drugs in their system — that’s nearly one in 10 births. And swamped drug treatment centers say they are turning away thousands of locals who need help for prescription-drug addiction.

This story is really sad, but you can read the rest of it HERE.

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August Busch’s girlfriend caused by overdose on oxycodone

The girlfriend of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV died at his home after accidentally overdosing on the painkiller oxycodone, the St. Louis County medical examiner said Wednesday.

Adrienne Martin, 27, of St. Charles, was found dead on the morning of Dec. 19 at Busch’s sprawling estate in suburban St. Louis after spending the night at his home. He has said he woke up around 11 a.m. and tried to awaken Martin, but couldn’t.

Oxycodone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain, according to the National Institutes of Health. It is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics and works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain. It is commonly known by its brand name, OxyContin.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says abuse of Oxycodone has increased markedly in recent years.

To read the rest of this story Click HERE

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Addicted to OxyContin, Today’s Heroin for Today’s Youth

I was at a recovery center the other day doing some IT work for the counselors there, all of whom are friends of mine in recovery. I was talking to some of them and was told that today’s huge problem was Oxycontin. Today’s youth are getting more and more addicted to Oxycontin because they think if it’s a legal drug, as opposed to heroin, they won’t get addicted.

The fact of the matter is that Oxycontin is addictive and the youth are finding out that it is addictive when they try to stop, or they can’t get anymore. The unfortunate truth with running out and not being able to get anymore is they go into a painful opiate withdrawal.

Anyone who hasn’t been through an opiate withdrawal, and doesn’t know what to expect, is in for a very unpleasant and  unexpected surprise. Withdrawal from Oxycontin is very painful, and can be literally debilitating. It’s not uncommon to hear from teenagers who are going through opiate withdrawal for the first time, to say they feel like they are dying or that it’s killing them.

Yes, it’s that bad.

Here’s a list for anyone who doesn’t know what it’s like:

The signs of withdrawal:

Early Signs

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose/Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Advanced signs:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • curling up in a fetal position

Many of the youth are finding out all too late that Oxycontin is a very addictive drug and find themselves addicted to Oxycontin when it’s just a little too late.

Oxycontin is also known as HillBilly Heroin, Cotton, Kicker, Oxy, 40, 40-Bar and Oxy cotton.

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How do I get off pain pills at home?

I saw a question from someone in a forum I belong to, asking “how do I get off pain pills at home?”. This is what the outpatient program is all about, doing it at home and not in a long term inpatient treatment facility.

This is why I put this report together for people to be able to get clean at home, and not have to miss work or school. It also saves people the embarrassment of having people find out that you have a drug problem, by being able to treat this at home.

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Addicted to Oxycontin

I find it funny that they call it hillbilly heroin, but it’s a problem in America. I added another sales page for my report here:

I am very happy with the success of this report and how much it’s gotten out there because it means that people are finding their way off of the crap.

I was talking to someone earlier this week, who was having trouble getting off the crap and found my report. She was able to get to a doctor the very next day, and entered the outpatient program and had her Suboxone within 2 hours. She emailed me later that day to tell me how much of a miracle drug it was for her too.

She was in her 2nd-3rd day of withdrawal and right after taking her first dose, the pain was gone, the anxiety and depression was gone, her attitude did a 180 degree turn around. She also said for the first time in several years she felt as if there was hope for her. That she would be able to do this thing called getting clean.She hasn’t taken any pain killers since and is on her way to recovery.

It really makes me happy to hear these things from people who email me. This is what I felt too when I got on the program with Suboxone, I felt like I had hope and was able to get off that shit. Man, I can’t tell you how happy I am to be off of that stuff. It controlled every aspect of my life. It was not cool.

Anyway I am going to go enjoy the rest of the day and take my daughter for a walk to the park and push her in the swings. That was something I couldn’t do before without making sure I had some painkillers with me on the walk. Freedom from active addiction is such a wonderful feeling. 🙂

I hope everyone else has a great day!!!

Larry C.

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How I got addicted to Pain Meds…

I basically had a back injury that I went to the doctor to treat. usually I would go to a chiropractor, but for whatever reason that didn’t get rid of the pain this time. This would be the first time I went to a regular doctor for a back issue. I had an x-ray, an MRI and physical therapy, which really didn’t do anything, but the pain pills I was given helped a lot. So I took them, and kept taking them until I found myself addicted. Once addicted I just couldn’t function without them. I also found that I just could function WITH them either, funny how that works. After several times of trying to get off of them, and failing I just gave in to the thought that I would probably have to live the rest of my life with them.

And that my friends, is how I got addicted to pain killers.

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