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Ivonne Sanchez
9 November 2014
HLTH 1050
OxyContin
The company that created this downer was Purdue Pharma. This is a private
pharmaceutical company that is located in Connecticut. This drug came out in the year 1995.
Also, OxyContin is an opioid, like how we learned in class. What I found interesting about this
drug is that a bottle of 100 pills is worth 400 dollars at a pharmacy. With the help of an
insurance, this drug can cost around fifty cents for each pill. Though the street value is around
eighty dollars for each pill. The books starts out with the history of OxyContin and where it was
created. It was called a miracle drug when it was released. OxyContin had positive feedback and
that it would help with extreme pain. This books goes on to explain that this pill soon became
abused of. This book also has stories about two people of a different age and gender that used
this medication. They started out fine until they started to depend on the drug. Besides stories
about users, there were stories about pushers. The pushers mentioned were doctors and
physicians. The end of the book was talking about how to control the harmful use of this drug
(Lockwood 2006).
OxyContin is called hillbilly heroin because of where it originated. This drug was
created in the East. To get more specific, this drug came from Connecticut as mentioned earlier.
This prescription drug is a problem is some counties and account for about eighty percent of
crime that is committed in some areas. There have been reported cases of robberies at
pharmacies for this drug. The robber does not want money, he/she simply wants the drug. The
effects that are associated with abuse of this pain killer are: respiratory depression, vomiting,

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nausea, constipation, addiction, coma, and even death. There was a testimonial from a person
that said that she overdosed on the drug. After this incident she had to spend twelve weeks in a
clinic to conquer her addiction (Drug-Free World 2006).
An article was about the illegal making of the well-known opioid drug called OxyContin.
This incident occurred in September, so it is not old. What happened was that there were two
males in their twenties that were reported dead within a few days of each other. The cause is said
to be that both males took OxyContin that was counterfeited. The OxyContin that both of these
males took was made illegally. There must have been substances in the pills that are lethal. They
did not say what these ingredients were, but it did kill the males. The pills that the males took
were described as looking blue/green with a circular shape and had stamped on them (CBC
News 2014). Also, to tie in with counterfeited OxyContin, I remember in one of my high school
classes learning about drugs. In a video that I watched there was talk about the counterfeit of a
drug (I cannot recall if it was about heroin or methamphetamine pills. These pills had well
known logos stamped on them so that children will be lured to buy them and/or use them.
OxyContin is described as one of the most abused opioid prescription drug that is on the
market. When a new product is released, it is normal for it to be advertised. OxyContin was
advertised when it was release because it seemed to be very promising. The places that had the
most exposure to the advertisement and more availability, had the most abuse. Purdue Pharma
(pharmaceutical company that created this medicine) spent around six to ten times more on
promoting this medicine than their other drug called MS Contin. They were criticized highly for
this decision. What I understood from this article was that the advertising that was made on this
drug could have been more monitored, especially by the FDA (VanZee 2009).

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One story that comes from the state of Oregon is about a man that was arrested for the
possession of over 4,000 OxyContin pills and some marijuana. The suspect is 40 year old Leslie
Dunbar. He was pulled over in Oregon for a traffic violation. In the vehicle he has his wife and
two young children. While the police looked up his record, they found out that he had a warrant
for his arrest in California. A drug detection dog inspected the vehicle and found the pills along
with some marijuana. The street value of the pills is estimated to around $140,000. He was
arrested with several charges pressed on him. Dunbars wife was not arrested and was left to
leave with the children (KATU Staff 2012).
The research that had been done with OxyContin has shown some surprising results. The
people that were surveyed for this article were taking OxyContin as their primary drug. What
was being discovered was that the use of OxyContin was declining. The people that were being
surveyed were switching to opioid based drugs that were more easily available, cheaper and
easier to use, such as heroin. There was also the mention that there are older version of
OxyContin. Some of the users stopped taking OxyContin because they liked the old version
better. This was interesting because I did not know that there was different versions of this drug.
What was interesting about this article is that the researchers thought it was interesting seeing the
decrease of OxyContin use, but they were not expecting to see why that was (Cicero et al. 2007).
Another thing that is being done was to make to lower the abuse of OxyContin is to make it into
a gummy form using the drug Remoxy. Though the problem with this was that people were still
able to heat it and turn this medication into a liquid form. (Levinthal 2014)
One article was also about the use of OxyContin and users that are entering rehabilitation.
The subjects that were surveyed for this article mainly got there drugs from illicit sources like
their family members. So basically they did not have a prescription to get this drug. What is

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interesting from this article is the fact that abusers that suffer from dependence to this opioid,
also share characteristics to users that are dependent to other drugs. The use of rehabilitation is a
key factor to help abusers. From the result that the investigators got, they found out that more
that eighty percent of the users used OxyContin to get high.
OxyContin is considered a gateway drug. Research has shown that the use of OxyContin
can lead to the use of other opioid base drugs such as heroin. This leads to the theory that the use
of OxyContin has gone done because users are using others opioids (Cicero et al. 2012). Though,
the main point is how to find solutions. So far it is hard to keep track of pharmacies and their
distribution of the drug. The same goes to the doctors that prescribe this medication. It can be
hard to tell which doctors are prescribing OxyContin on purpose to drug addicts and which are
not. Sometimes addicts wills switch doctors to get as many prescriptions as they can which is
referred to as doctor shopping. To beat an addiction to this drug, the best solution is support and
rehab. (Lockwood 2006).

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Works Cited
Carise, Deni, et al. "Prescription OxyContin abuse among patients entering addiction
treatment." American Journal of Psychiatry 164.11 (2007): 1750-1756.
Cicero, Theodore J., Matthew S. Ellis, and Hilary L. Surratt. "Effect of abuse-deterrent
formulation of OxyContin." New England Journal of Medicine 367.2 (2012): 187-189.
"Fake OxyContin May Have Led to OD Deaths of 2 in Saskatoon." CBC News. CBC Radio
Canada, 22 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
KATU Staff. "Man Wanted in Calif. Busted with 4,800 Oxycontin Pills in Oregon." Bakersfield
Now. Sinclair Interactive Media, 12 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.
Levinthal, Charles. Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Society. Eighth ed. Pearson Education, 2014.
454. Print.
Lockwood, Brad. Oxycontin: From Pain Relief to Addiction. Rosen Group, Incorporated, 2006,
2006. 64. Print
"OxyContin The Hillbilly Heroin." Painkillers. Foundation for a Drug-Free World, 1 Jan.
2006. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
Van Zee, Art. "The promotion and marketing of oxycontin: commercial triumph, public health
tragedy." American Journal of Public Health 99.2 (2009): 221.

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http://www.drugs.com/sfx/oxycontin-side-effects.html
http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Man-4800-Oxycontin-pills-found-during-routinetraffic-stop-147223105.html