What is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a synthetic analgesic drug prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a highly potent opiate and often goes by the nickname “oxy”. It was originally developed in Germany in the early 1900s, but found its way into the U.S. pharmaceutical market in 1996 by the pharmaceutical giant, Purdue Pharma. Since then, the need for OxyContin addiction treatment has skyrocketed.
Upon its release, Purdue Pharma highly understated its addictive potential and marketed it as a safe means of pain management. Doctors became very lenient with prescribing the drug to patients and its sales quickly skyrocketed. Over a decade later, pill mills, where morally-questionable doctors would recklessly prescribe the drug and make large profits off of its high demand, became a large problem and painkiller prescriptions and overdose deaths both rose 400 percent.
Due to the disturbing rise in OxyContin addiction, the makers released a reformulation of the drug in 2010. This new formula came in a gel form and was much harder for users to abuse. As a result of the already high demand for opiates, many users switched over to using heroin and overall heroin use has since tripled. Since these people didn’t seek out OxyContin addiction treatment, they ended up with even more dangerous addictions.