OxyContin Facts and Statistics
OxyContin is an opioid analgesic that is available by prescription. It is a legal drug when it is prescribed by a physician for the treatment of pain. Unfortunately, it is also an extremely addictive drug that is often obtained by illegal means. Because it is such a powerful drug, it has become a popular choice for abuse. OxyContin facts can help give you a better understanding of why the drug is a problem for so many people. If you are already a victim of OxyContin addiction, facts may help you better understand the need for treatment in a facility that offers a range of addiction recovery services.
One of the most basic OxyContin facts that people should know is that its active ingredient is oxycodone. This is a type of semi-synthetic opiate that is synthesized from an alkaloid of the opium poppy called thebaine. OxyContin was first introduced in 1996. When it was released, it was touted as less addictive than regular oxycodone, as the tablet has a time-release coating. People who abuse or are addicted to OxyContin tamper with this coating by crushing, chewing, or dissolving the tablet for a rush of euphoria or a "high" that comes from the high amount of oxycodone that is released. Its side effects are similar in nature to the side effects that come from taking drugs such as heroin and morphine. OxyContin often goes by the street name "hillbilly heroin," as the drug is highly abused in Appalachian communities and is responsible for many crimes in this region.
Statistics are illuminated when reviewing OxyContin addiction facts, as studies have shown how widespread illegal OxyContin use has become. Back in 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted that more than half a million people 12 years old and up were abusing the drug. The consumption of oxycodone in America in 2014 was at almost 195 mg per capita. In 2015, 3.3 percent of 12th-graders were abusing OxyContin. Prescription opioids such as OxyContin cause roughly 1,000 people a day to visit an emergency room for misuse. When it comes to overdose deaths caused by prescription drugs, it is one of the top culprits.
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