My Essay on Oxycontin. Please Read?


OxyContin… A miracle drug or an addict’s worst nightmare? A drug that has severe and sometimes fatal consequences when abused. Originally manufactured for terminally ill cancer patients facing the end stages of life, OxyContin has become widely over prescribed, thus creating an epidemic of abusers. So many times we go to the doctors with aches and pains and expect that the Doctor will remedy our problems in a safe manner. Often we don’t seek the truth behind medications. We don’t research the effects certain medicines can have on our bodies. When patients start to have a hard time coming off of medications such as OxyContin, only then do they think about the research, and by then, it often can be too late. Unknowingly and unintentionally patients using this drug become addicted through no fault of their own.

In 1995 a pharmaceutical company by the name of Perdue Pharma Company introduced this opioid analgesic pain medication used for chronic moderate to severe pain due to illnesses such as cancer. As originally approved, OxyContin was supposed to be for end stage cancer patients and others with escalating pain. In the beginning of OxyContin’s existence studies showed that the medications addiction rates were so great that it should only be used as a last resort pain killer. According to Stephen F. Lynch (congressman) the makers of OxyContin started marketing the drug to physicians as a “virtually” non addicting medication, making way for the explosion of prescriptions written by primary care doctors for injuries such as back aches, headaches, and broken bones. Nearly 56 percent of all OxyContin addictions have occurred in patients for which the drug was legally prescribed. (Salerian, MD)

Some patients become dependent on pain medications after a surgery or broken bones. The odds become even more escalated when OxyContin is prescribed. It is the Doctors responsibility as a caregiver to properly wean a patient from powerful pain medications and to investigate potential abuse factors. With this specific drug the patient is more likely to become addicted and begin using the medication in an abusive way, thus making coming off the drug even worse. The patient most likely then begins to seek the drug on the streets after the Doctor has stopped prescribing the medication. Street abuse can lead to crushing the pill and snorting it, to breaking it down into liquid and injecting it into the body, somewhat like heroin. When crushed and snorted, the time release is broken on the pill and the high is somewhat of a “super-power” feeling. Now the probability of addiction becomes even higher because the brain has been taken over by the rush of dopamine, creating intense feelings of pleasure. At this point, the body has become accustomed to the drug and with sudden loss of the medication the body begins to peril in withdrawal both physically and mentally.

The side effects of Oxycontin withdrawal are similar to those you would find when coming off of heroin. Some withdrawal symptoms include increased agitation, anxiety, tremor like shakes, which I would describe as Parkinson’s disease. The legs begin to cramp and ache, creating a Parkinson’s disease effect. Also noted is extremely painful stomach aches followed by vomiting. Diarrhea and increased blood pressure are also common. Some would describe these feelings as “flu like symptoms times ten”. Intense feelings of hopelessness may accompany all of the other symptoms mentioned above. Life threatening symptoms include respiratory depression in which breathing in an individual decreases or ceases all together. It may also lead to Hypotension, which is low blood pressure or the sudden drop of blood pressure, causing the body to go into shock, and slowing the heart rate until oxygen is no longer circulating to the heart.

With so many consequences to the effect this drug can have in your life, don’t you think it would be wise to do research on any prescription your doctor may give you? In case you didn’t know, many doctors are given lofty incentives to prescribe a certain drug for the manufacturer. Some manufactures represent their products in misleading manners that almost trick doctors into thinking that the drug their prescribing is safe; when studies would show that they are not. In fact, several letters were sent to the makers of OxyContin on its misleading advertisements and the omittance of potential abuse among consumers. Since we are all human, including our doctors, it is safe to say that you need to do your research on prescriptions before you start taking them, it could mean saving your life and in some cases your family.
Written by S.L. Iddi Massillon OH

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