Oxycontin© is the brand name for the opioid oxycodone hydrochloride. It is manufactured by Purdue Pharma and is a long-acting preparation of oxycodone, a drug commonly prescribed to treat pain. The current process for manufacturing the drug includes binding agents which are intended to deter abuse. This is because the drug is extremely addictive and has a well-documented role in America's drug epidemic, which still rages today.
People abuse Oxycontin because of the effects which it produces that are similar to heroin. These include euphoria and sensations of pleasure, relaxation, and sedation. The drug was reformulated in 2010 because, along with the drug's unprecedented use in society, drug users had easily discovered how to thwart its wax binding agents.
This made it as simple as crushing and heating the substance, allowing the user tp to extract the entirety of the active ingredient, oxycodone. Intended to be delivered slowly over 12 hours, the sudden release from snorting, smoking, or injecting the crushed pill gives the user an intense "high" that earned it the nickname "Hillbilly Heroin."
The History of Oxycontin
Oxycodone was first synthesized in Germany in 1916. The first documented use of the drug was in 1917, a year later. The drug eventually became popular in America, where it was used in a preparation primarily intended for battlefield surgeries. It was perhaps the first successful anesthesia administered in an emergency setting that was profoundly effective in inducing deep analgesia and euphoria. Oxycodone was first introduced into the United States market in 1939. In the early 1970s, oxycodone was listed as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
The drug would go on to be utilized moderately as one of several prescription pain medications used to treat moderate to severe acute pain. But sadly, things would not remain this way.
In the 1990s, Purdue Pharma began a campaign to introduce its newest drug, Oxycontin, into the US market.
The prevailing treatment for chronic pain in terminally ill patients was a morphine preparation known as MS Contin. Several other manufacturers were competing with Purdue for sales of its leading painkiller. Oxycontin was intended to be the company's crown jewel and an opportunity to create a virtual monopoly in the painkiller market.
Exposed internal documents have been made public, confirming the Purdue Pharma's intention to flood the market with the drug, placing incentives on sales and prescribing. The company downplayed the addictive potential of the drug and pushed for the most potent formulations possible. Its plan to corner the market was accomplished by expanding outside of the prescribing limitations of cancer patients only. They urged providers to use Oxycontin to treat chronic pain in non-cancer patients, touting its unique safety for such applications by presenting figures of addiction rates less than 1% for the drug.
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