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Oxycontin Addiction and Detox
After a Decade of Complaints, Controversy and Law Suits, Florida OxyContin Addiction Still a Pervasive Social Problem
Ten years ago, state lawmakers in Virginia responded to public pressure and launched a massive (for the time) $5.2 billion class action suit against Purdue Pharma, maker of the prescription narcotic painkiller, OxyContin.
Fed up with escalating OxyContin addiction, overdose deaths and ruined lives, Virginia
alleged that Purdue improperly marketed OxyContin by downplaying its risks and promoting it for inappropriate pain — i.e., anything less than severe pain, such as terminal cancer, the only pain level for which it was FDA-approved.
Encouraged by the Virginia lawsuit, West Virginia followed later that year by launching its own substantial class action suit against Purdue Pharma.
Meanwhile, Kentucky was also hip-deep in a horrendous and costly OxyContin addiction epidemic, and sent its police forces on raids on shady “pill mills” — phony medical pain clinics — mostly in Eastern Kentucky. Like Florida’s pill mills, these are a major source of “hillbilly heroin”, the nickname for OxyContin in the Appalachian region. The raids appeared to be working for a time, and supplies of easily-obtained prescription narcotics such as OxyContin began to dry up.
Over in South Carolina, the OxyContin addiction and abuse story was much the same. Lawmakers there enacted restrictions on OxyContin prescriptions for Medicaid patients, requiring lengthy individual approvals of every single OxyContin prescription. Regulators were reacting to their own massive increases in OxyContin addiction, drug crimes, and widespread social devastation. And some patients were falling victim to OxyContin addiction just taking their prescription as directed. Many doctors just switched to other painkillers to avoid the time-consuming approval process.
OxyContin is Purdue Pharma’s patented brand of time-released oxycodone, an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium. Oxycodone is itself highly addictive, and almost indistinguishable from heroin. In fact it is a popular alternative among heroin addicts.
OxyContin, however, is far more dangerous than other addictive narcotic painkillers, including single-dose oxycodone painkillers. This is because OxyContin abusers crush the pills to defeat the time-release mechanism, and then snort, or shoot up, the whole dose all at once. The resulting heroin-like high carries an increased risk of OxyContin addiction, but also an enormously increased threat of overdose and sudden death. Tens of thousands of people already have died because of OxyContin addiction and abuse.
OxyContin addiction led to largest settlement in history
Ten or more years ago, with all the complaints about OxyContin addiction, recreational OxyContin abuse and crime, and OxyContin overdose deaths pouring in from all over the country, things began heating up.
More states began to take action. Soon the feds were in on it. The states and the feds joined forces. Purdue was embroiled in massive investigations. Internal memos and papers were subpoenaed. Official charges were brought against the Purdue Pharma, and three of its top executives.
Finally, in May 2007, Purdue and the three executives pleaded guilty, in a federal court in Virginia, to misbranding OxyContin. They represented it as having “less euphoric effect and less abuse potential” than it actually had; and they claimed that people taking the drug at low doses could stop taking it suddenly without withdrawal symptoms. The FDA had not approved these claims. And they were bald-faced, knowing lies, dreamed up by marketers and sanctioned by senior executives.
The settlement for $634 million, for felony and misdemeanor misbranding, was the largest single settlement in history. (Settlements with other Big Pharma companies, for similar offenses, have since far exceeded the Purdue settlement.)
Thousands of families whose lives had been negatively impacted by OxyContin addiction and abuse sighed with relief at the news. The only regret, it seemed, was that the Purdue execs didn’t get jail time.
Now here we are, four years since Purdue had its knuckles rapped, and 10 years since the OxyContin addiction grass-roots rebellion began.
What has been accomplished? Has the epidemic of OxyContin addiction and overdose deaths been eliminated?
In fact, things haven’t changed all that much. In Florida, some state lawmakers are still campaigning for more resources and action to combat the OxyContin addiction epidemic. But we have come a little ways.
Doctors are said to be more careful how they prescribe OxyContin these days, and that is sort of a good thing. Of course, in the thousands of homes where OxyContin addiction ruined a life or ended one, it’s a despised drug. For these victims, no OxyContin at all is the preferred outcome.
OxyContin detox remains the only hope for OxyContin addiction
The feds and numerous state governments made some money out of the lawsuits, and this may have had some trickle-down for the public good. Several states were calling for some of that cash to go for OxyContin detox and rehab for victims. A comprehensive accounting for that has yet to be seen, but OxyContin detox remains the only hope for OxyContin addiction.
News reports tell us that DEA agents and narcotic cops in cities across America say that OxyContin addicts and abusers are still finding plenty of OxyContin, or “legal heroin”, to support their dangerous habits. Some statistics show a slight decrease in OxyContin addiction, but the numbers are not terribly significant. In other words, tens of thousands of people are still OxyContin addicts, and new ones, say the cops, appear every day.
Bottom line, after a tumultuous and deadly decade, is that the OxyContin addiction epidemic continues unabated.
Medical OxyContin detox effectively stops OxyContin addiction
A Florida medical OxyContin detox program at Novus Medical Detox Center delivers a faster, more comfortable and more effective end to the cravings for OxyContin.
Novus achieves its superior OxyContin detox results through an advanced set of protocols:
- A Novus medical OxyContin detox program is individually tailored for each patient, not one-size-fits-all.
- Each patient’s individual health requirements are taken into account.
- Novus medical OxyContin detox means medical supervision 24 hours a day, by a caring and highly experienced staff.
- Novus OxyContin detox includes the use of assistive medicines to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and speed healing, along with nutritional IVs, vitamins, amino acids and mineral supplements.
- And Novus provides delicious and nutritious meals, prepared to your taste.
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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