With abuse-deterrent OxyContin having been on the market for an approximate five years, the assumption would be that addicts have held back on abusing the drug. However, there still remains 2.1 million people in the nation suffering from an addiction to opioid drugs, as found by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).
Addicts Find Ways Around Abuse-Deterrent OxyContin
The mission from the makers of the abuse-deterrent OxyContin was to provide a non-abusable, but still effective, version of their powerful brand name pain-relieving OxyContin medication. The abuse-deterrent pill works by releasing a gel-like substance when crushed that makes it nearly impossible to snort and/or use intravenously. In spite of this, addicts are reportedly still finding ways to maneuver around the system to get high.
Science Codex reported how 45% of addicted individuals went into a treatment facility in 2010 for their addictions and claimed they used the abuse-deterrent OxyContin within 30 days before arriving at the center. Two years later, this nearly split in half to 26% who claimed to have abused the drug.
This year, studies by officials from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, discovered that a quarter of drug abusers in treatment facilities claimed they were abusing the abuse-deterrent OxyContin.
Abusing Heroin Instead
An increasingly significant problem since the manufacturing of the abuse-deterrent OxyContin is instead of addicts abusing the drug, they wind up seeking/using other opioid drugs in its place.. Opioid drugs include morphine, methadone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and heroin. Among the most abused currently is heroin.
“Many people switched to heroin, and that’s a major concern,” claimed Theodore J. Cicero, a professor of neuropharmacology as well as vice chairman for research in the Department of Psychiatry. “A few years ago when we did interviews with people in treatment, many would tell us that although they were addicts, at least they weren’t using heroin.”
His statement captures the progression of drug addiction and where an addict can be taken when they are further in their disease. According to another report from Science Codex, Cicero claimed that obtaining heroin isn’t as scary as it might have been in previous times, and now it can be found in more well-off locations where society would least expect it. In fact, the stereotype of a heroin addict has changed with over 90% of heroin users being of white race within the past 10 years, and above 75% of them residing out of an urban setting, according to CBS News.
What Does this Say About Addiction?
Addiction rests not just in the action of the individuals abusing substances, but in the fact that this is an actual disease that manifests in the brain. When an individual is addicted, they become ensnared in a vicious cycle, and capable of committing any action to continue on with their behaviors.
Substances become their master and they are willing to do just about anything to continue with their way of living because it is all they know. They will lie, cheat, manipulate, and scheme because they have functioned like this for so long. Even when the addict faces a challenge like an abuse-deterrent drug, they will resort to finding a way to abuse the drug or find a new type of alternative drug because their addiction lies is unrelenting in the drive to get high. The solution isn’t just about trying to make drugs safer, it’s also about treating those who are already addicted, too.Tags: disease of addiction, drug addiction, oxycontin treatment