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What is OxyContin?
OxyContin was first synthesized in 1916, but it didn’t make its way to America until 1939, where variants of it would show their addictive potential in decades to come. By 1970, the Controlled Substances Act was passed and included OxyContin as a Schedule II drug.
Since then, it has been popular among both prescribing physicians and those suffering from substance use disorder. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there were 58.8 million prescriptions filled for oxycodone in 2013.
OxyContin is the long-acting version of a prescription opioid pain medicine called oxycodone.
This opioid is used for the treatment of moderate to severe, chronic pain. Unlike some other prescription painkillers, OxyContin is not intended for as-needed pain relief. OxyContin is a time-released version of oxycodone, and it can be used to relieve pain resulting from surgery, injuries, cancer and sometimes arthritis.
Similar to morphine, oxycodone is in other prescription pain medicines, including Percocet, which is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen.
This time-released formula provides up to 12 hours of relief for people who suffer from chronic pain. This around-the-clock pain treatment is one of the things that sets OxyContin apart from other opioid pain relievers. As compared to OxyContin, short-acting painkillers tend to last only from three to six hours. Unfortunately, even though opioids like OxyContin are effective at treating pain, they are frequently abused.
OxyContin abuse is incredibly common. The DEA says the drug’s popularity has been a problem for more than 30 years, but it has significantly worsened in recent years. There is also a high level of concern about OxyContin abuse and OxyContin addiction among teens and young adults.