OxyContin Abuse and Addiction -- A Brave Stand Against

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The OxyContin Abuse Epidemic

A Brave Congresswoman’s Stand Against the OxyContin Epidemic


We know this about Big Pharma:

  • They have a philosophy that they make very clear—“if you want to receive our money then you better not do anything that interferes with our making money”.
  • They spend millions of dollars a year trying to ensure that their legislative agenda is protected.
  • In this year alone, lobbying records show that they have contributed over $7.5 million to Members of Congress.
  • They don’t care how many are killed or injured as long as they make profits.


OxyContin is oxycodone, legal heroin, that is coated and, if swallowed whole, will release the oxycodone over a six to ten hour period. However, if it is chewed or crushed, then all of the oxycodone is immediately available.

Many of our patients who come to Novus Medical Detox Center to withdraw from heroin started their path to addiction by taking OxyContin and switched to heroin because it was cheaper and the same type of high.


Since OxyContin’s release, Purdue has known:

  • OxyContin could easily be converted to oxycodone.
  • OxyContin was being abused and was causing addictions and deaths.
  • OxyContin was largely responsible for creating a new opium epidemic.
  • OxyContin being abused just meant more OxyContin sales.
  • OxyContin sales, even if to addicts, just meant more profits.


Purdue is surprised, but people are actually starting to get upset about the abuse of OxyContin. Purdue has proposed to the FDA a new formulation that they say is not as easy to abuse.

Typical of Purdue, they “neglected” to see what would happen if you simply put their new OxyContin on a cookie sheet and baked it in the oven for a time. Would it become easily abused oxycodone?

When confronted at the FDA hearing with this allegation by Larry Golbom of Prescription Addiction Radio, Purdue was forced to notify the FDA that they had “forgotten” to test this way of defeating their new formulation.


In 1998, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack was first elected to serve the people of California’s 45th District through a special election held to fill the seat left vacant by her late husband, Congressman Sonny Bono. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack is now married to U.S. Congressman Connie Mack.

There is hope for a new life.Call to speak to one of our experienced & caring detox advisors today!


Congresswoman Bono Mack has seen the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction among Americans young and old and has been vitally interested in how she can help.

Despite the wrath that she knows she will get from Big Pharma, when she learned that the FDA might approve the flawed formulation of OxyContin, on December 26, 2009, she sent the following letter to the FDA:

As a Member serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I have closely monitored the disturbing trend of prescription drug abuse and how it is taking hold of American’s lives. I write with concern regarding the opioid analgesic oxycodone, and specifically the proposed reformulation of OxyContin.

In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made public documents relating to a proposal by Purdue Pharma, L.P. and their goal of reformulating the drug so that those who would seek to abuse the drug would no longer be able to alter the nature of the substance in order to render its time-release attributes ineffective. This stands as an overdue and extremely important effort, as currently people both young and old across our country have become addicted to the intense reaction they get from snorting or injecting OxyContin, as they seek its heroin-like high.

The most disturbing trends we’re seeing in prescription drug abuse are the increasing rates of abuse and death among our nation’s youth. In fact, just last week, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released their annual “Monitoring the Future Survey” which details ongoing drug use and related trends by 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students. It is extremely troubling to note that 1 in 20 high school seniors reported non-medical use of OxyContin. Given the sheer strength of this drug and its power to addict our children, our work to oversee any new formulation of this drug is crucial.

Your Agency’s website notes a public meeting that was held on September 24, 2009 that had, as part of its agenda, public discussion of the new drug application (NDA) 22-272 OXYCONTIN Tablets, Purdue Pharma, L.P. The Advisory Committee conducting this effort noted the meeting was in part due to new data. Can you please provide me with any information possible related to that new data gleaned after May 5, 2008?

More importantly, a portion of the discussion the morning of September 24, 2009 was not open to the public and centered on the nature of internal steps the FDA takes in evaluating the new formulation of drugs like OxyContin.

As you know, the imperative is to produce a version of OxyContin that is not easily abused by non-medical users. To that end, please also provide me an explanation of the information you have or was provided to the FDA by Purdue Pharma, L.P. that displays the improvements sought. In particular, has the FDA already put the proposed new drug formulation through significant heat-resistance tests? If so, please explain how extensive and of what nature the tests were that have been conducted by the FDA. It has been reported that the stated goal of the new drug formulation is to decrease the potential for abuse with a new polymer, that, when heated, will create a substance not unlike plastic. The current formulation, when mixed with water, is said to also be impossible to inject.

The last thing our children and the addicts currently struggling with an addiction need is a highly-touted, heavily marketed “new” formulation that in reality delivers little new for those patients who are legitimately prescribed OxyContin. Are the chemical and structural attributes of this proposed formulation such that if an addict were to try to heat them with a lighter, that they couldn’t break it down to inject? Does the same heat testing hold true for a microwave or conventional oven? Dosage levels are also important to this process; is your Agency being asked to also approve this coating for both 60 and 80 milligram doses of OxyContin?

The tragic reality of what we face is that prescription drug addicts will seek out nearly any solution to try to make OxyContin an immediate release product so that they can abuse the drug in its strongest form. I know that you recognize the challenges faced with approving any new drug application, but this new submission deserves to meet a clear standard that won’t end up in the hands of drug dealers bent on making a quick dollar at the risk of contributing to the death of the hundreds who die from OxyContin overdoses each year in our country.

I care deeply about finding reasonable ways to tackle the problems of prescription drug abuse in our country and because of this urge you to carefully examine (NDA) 22-272, the new version of OxyContin being proposed. I also appreciate your prompt attention to these concerns and look forward to your responses in the coming days. Should you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Chris Foster, my Legislative Director, at (202) 225-5330.


The FDA ignores the people whose loved ones died from this terrible drug. They ignore the people who explain how OxyContin is a gateway drug to heroin.

Congresswoman Bono Mack is bravely speaking in a voice that will be hard to ignore. Please contact her office and let her know how much you appreciate her courage.

NOTE: This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine, health care diagnosis or treatment, or (iii) the creation of a physician patient or clinical relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or that this information may be useful to you or others, please consult with your health care provider before applying any information from our articles to your personal situation or to the personal situation of others.

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