OxyContin—A Serious Prescription Drug: Off The Shelves In Canada

Off the Shelves

OxyContin, or Oxy, just came off the shelves—in Canada that is. So, it must be serious, right? In efforts to fight problems with increasing addiction, some provinces in Canada no longer publically fund OxyContin. Some of the provinces even chose not to fund the new replacement (put into U.S. pharmacy cabinet in 2010) that is harder to abuse.

Treatment? Switch Addiction? Or Suffer?

Canada hopes that this action will encourage addicts to seek treatment, although others believe that the addict will turn to other drugs like heroin. Many fear this sudden removal from the market will leave many addicts suffering painful withdrawal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. People are also concerned about how patients who really need the drug will be able to cope with agonizing pain. However, these patients will still be able to get the drug through stricter regulations.

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin contains a large quantity of oxycodone that is slowly released. For this reason, chronic pain patients do not have to take the drug as often. Even though OxyContin is the strongest painkiller available, it is also one of the most addictive opiates after heroin.

For this reason, some people tamper with the pill by crushing and snorting it, or by dissolving and injecting it in order to get a larger quantity of oxycodone all at once. It’s highly abused in rural Appalachia, giving it the nickname “hillbilly heroin.” According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2006 about 4 million people, ages 12 and older, used OxyContin for nonmedical uses at least once in their lifetime.

New Formula Still Addictive

The new formulation is harder to crush, and it forms a thick gel when added to liquid so it cannot be injected, decreasing the opportunities for abuse. However, this still does not make OxyContin addiction-proof.

America has had the new formulation now for roughly a year and a half. The new formulation may curb some abuse, but OxyContin is still a serious problem since a person can simply pop more pills than prescribed. Like any other drug, it is a serious threat to ruining a person’s life. 

Who’s to Blame?

Thus, Canada’s efforts to curb addiction to this prescription drug seem logical. OxyContin is a problem, so remove the problem.

Perhaps you are thinking, why did Canada stop just with OxyContin? Why not get rid of other problem drugs too? Okay, that might be wishful thinking. But is OxyContin really the problem, or is it the disease of addiction?

I think we know the answer. How do we treat the disease? And change addictive behaviors? Certainly not by blaming pharmacies and doctors. Even though some doctors are guilty of overprescribing, that is in the past and all that matters now is your future of recovery.

Are you ready to start your journey of recovery? Call someone at Duffy’s today (888-717-9724).

“Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery.” -NA Book

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