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Oxycodone Addiction In Canada

Oxycontin© is a controlled substance under Schedule I of the CDSA (Controlled Drugs and Substances Act). Everyone who seeks or gets from a doctor either the substance or a prescription to obtain OxyContin© must inform that practitioner of all controlled substances and authorizations they obtained from any other doctors for the last 30 days; otherwise, the person may be found "guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years." Anyone possessing the substance with the intention of trafficking "is guilty of an indictable offense and liable to imprisonment for life." OxyContin© is used and abused by a lot of people thus the importance of Oxycontin detox centers in Canada.

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Most drug rehab centers will have to put the person through a medical detox in order to successfully come off of Oxycontin©. It can be very dangerous if the detoxification is not done properly as the body will develop a very high tolerance to the drug, making the withdrawal symptoms quite severe for the user. Because this is a synthetically produced opiate, it will cause the OxyContin© withdrawal symptoms to last for a while. The addict can expect to experience the initial symptoms within hours after use, and will normally hit a peak period within 24 to 48 hours after the intake. The symptoms can typically last for seven days, sometimes longer, depending on the user and the amount taken.

OxyContin© is the name of a brand of oxycodone. OxyContin© was introduced in the United States market in 1995. It is now also very prominent in the Canada provinces. It is available in different formats and different dosages. It is usually sold in tablets which the person can take but unfortunately also abuse. OxyContin© has an analgesic effect and so will relieve pain. It is often taken to help with numerous conditions, which are known to be painful to the individual. However, it is very addictive, which is why it is necessary to find an OxyContin detox if one wants to quit that drug.

Oxycontin Information

Drug: oxycodone HCI controlled-release

Oxycontin Street name: Oxy.

Oxycontin Effects: The cravings for oxycontin are the results of its impact on the individual's memory of feelings of pleasantness and euphoria which the individual has come to associate with the use of oxycontin. The subconscious memory then motivates the individual to seek this drug because of its false positive initial impressions.

Oxycontin Description: Oxycontin contains oxycodone, a very strong narcotic pain reliever similar to morphine. Oxycontin is designed so that the oxycodone is slowly released over time.

Oxycontin Street Use: Snorted, taken orally, injected

Oxycontin Dependency: Oxycontin addiction is a physical dependence that is unavoidable when an individual is exposed to high doses of the drug for an extended period of time. The body then adapts and develops a tolerance for oxycontin. The addiction is so powerful that it produces cravings.

Oxycontin Withdrawal Symptoms: Oxycontin withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Perpetually being tired
  • Hot/cold sweats
  • Heart palpitations
  • Joints and muscles in constant pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Uncontrollable coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Watery eyes
  • Excessive yawning
  • Depression

Oxycontin Legal Status: Illegal without prescription

What is Oxycodone Addiction?

Oxycodone is a drug that is very often prescribed in Canada, especially in the province of Ontario. The fact that in 2003 alone, there were 2.8 million prescriptions, most of them happening in Ontario, means that many have an oxycodone addiction which can become a serious problem for the individual. OxyContin is the major brand of oxycodone sold in Canada.

And just to show how many people are affected by oxcycodone addiction, in Ontario, there were more than 100 people who died that had oxycodone in their body, at the time of death, in 2003 alone. That statistic is ten times what it was ten years ago. In Toronto, an opioid addiction treatment center noticed that they were admitting a lot more people for OxyContin addiction treatment. They said that the rate of OxyContin dependent patients they had went from around 4% to over 55%.

Over in Newfoundland and Labrador, they are spending millions of dollars every year to treat OxyContin addicts and help them get over it. The OxyContin addiction is a significant problem in all of Canada. Oxycodone is essentially a painkiller that can bring about a strong psychological and physical addiction. While it doesn’t bring about mood swings like other drugs, it does give the person a sense of euphoria. Oxycodone addiction can bring about lightheaded, nausea, and impotence where males are concerned. Also, too much oxycodone can bring about respiratory problems, low blood pressure, and sometimes can even be fatal. Recreational use of Oxycodone is dangerous.

Oxycontin Treatment

In Canada and the U.S, it is an offense to abuse OxyContin more than necessary. So you are under obligation to tell the doctor who gives you a prescription, any and all other controlled substances you were prescribed by someone else in the last thirty days. If you don’t and are caught getting more prescriptions than necessary, you could go to jail for up to seven years. It is absolutely illegal to OxyContin trafficking and that could get you a lifelong jail sentence. This is an incentive for a lot of people to go a drug rehab and get their addiction handled so as to not hit rock bottom.

OxyContin is a brand name for a pharmaceutical drug that is a pain reliever. It is available under various forms of pills and various dosage per pill. It is a time-release drug and it usually takes an hour after ingestion for the drug to be in full effect. There are several way to take OxyContin and other such drugs, through the mouth, through the nose, by intravenous injection, or rectally.

There are certain adverse side-effects that one should be aware of when taking OxyContin, a few are named below:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Constipation

But when a person stops taking OxyContin very drastically, several symptoms can occur and the people will go through a withdrawal type period. Some of the symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Sleeping troubles
  • Muscle aches

Oxycontin side effects are somewhat similar to all drugs that fall in the opioid category, such as Morphine, Methadone, Opium and Heroin. These include as previously stated nausea, vomiting, nervousness, etc. However, Oxycontin can specifically create nervous system depression, thus bringing dramatic effects such as coma, dependency and abuse, hypotension and cardiovascular collapse, seizures, apnea and dermatological problems. These are some of the more dramatic effects of Oxycontin addiction and although they are not as common as those previously listed, they are still effects that should be taken in consideration.

With all these symptoms and withdrawal symptoms, it is really obvious why people would need to get the care given in a drug rehab center in order to go through and get over the OxyContin addiction and withdrawal. There are some drug treatments that offer extensive care to make sure the person gets through withdrawal safely.


According to a survey of coroners and medical examiners, Oxycontin has caused or been associated with at least 92 deaths during 2001 in the eight county Philadelphia areas, up from 2000.

In South Jersey, fatalities rose from 15 in 2000, to 24 in 2001 across Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties. The supply of Oxycontin is skyrocketing. First marketed in 1996, its sales hit $1.2 billion last year.

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration publicated in April that Oxycontin may have played a role in 464 fatalities across the Country in 2000 to 2001.

According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) Drug Abuse Warning Network, emergency room mentions of Oxycodone rose 89% between 1993 and 1999. Lately, we have seen an augmentation of 68% with 10,825 emergency room mentions in 2000.

The illicit use of Oxycontin, as well as other prescription drugs, has increased recently. The 1999 NHSDA (National Survey on Drug Use and Health) showed that around 9% of the U.S. population (19.9 million people), have used pain relievers illegally in their lifetime. An approximated 1.6 million Americans have consumed prescription type pain relievers non-medically for the first time in 1998. This represents an important rise since the 1980's. Indicators used to produce the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) study indicate that the abuse of Oxycodone, the active ingredient in the pain medication Oxycontin has risen greatly in recent years. The amount of Oxycodone emergency department mentions rose from 3,369 in the first half of 1999 to 5,261 in the first half of 2000. The total number of emergency department admissions from oxycodone in 1999 (6,429) was up from 3,190 mentions in 1996.

The DAWN study also measures reports of substance related fatalities from 139 medical examiners in 40 metropolitan areas. In 1999, there were 262 mentions of oxycodone related fatalities, up from 49 mentions in 1996. Law enforcement authorities have reported an augmentation in the diversion of Oxycontin and other medication containing oxycodone. This increase in illicit use has been specifically apparent on the East Coast. The rise in the abuse of Oxycontin has lead to an increased amount of pharmacy robberies and health care fraud incidents.

Recreational Use

The introduction of Oxycontin in 1995 resulted in rising patterns of abuse. In opposition to Percocet, whose potential for abuse is limited by the presence of paracetamol, Oxycontin contains only oxycodone and inert filler. Users simply crush the tablets, then either ingest the resulting powder orally, intranasally, via intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous injection (by dissolving the powder), or rectally to achieve quick absorption into the bloodstream. Injection of Oxycontin is especially hazardous since it contains binders which enable the time release of the drug. Frequently mistaken as the time release, the outside coating of the pill is merely used as a color code for different dosage quantities. Most of Oxycontin-related fatalities are attributed to ingesting substantial quantities of oxycodone in combination with another depressant Definition of the word depressant of the central nervous system Definition of the word central nervous system such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. While high quantities of oxycodone can be deadly to an opiate-naïve individual in and of itself, lethal overdoses of only oxycodone rarely occur. It was once believed that opioids would be less subject to recreational use when one or more additional analgesics are added, since, for instance, the amount of paracetamol present in higher doses of Percocet causes stomach upset and liver damage. Nonetheless, it has been proven that abusers seeking the euphoric "high" are not deterred by these potential side effects or toxicities. Abusers soon found out that extremely simple ways to separate the ingredients exist, especially due to the widely disparate solubility of the alkaloid Definition of the word alkaloid and analgesics in water ("cold water extraction").

Oxycodone has similar effects to morphine and heroin, and appeals to the same abuse community. Armed robberies of drug stores where the robber demanded only Oxyontin, not cash, have happened. In some regions, especially the eastern U.S., Oxycontin has been the substance of greatest concern to enforcement authorities, although trustworthy data on the actual incidence of "oxy abuse" have been difficult to establish.

Because oxycodone is highly controlled, when acquired illicitly it is quite expensive. Black market prices in Washington, DC, and Portland, Maine, for instance, have been reported to reach upwards of one dollar per milligram, though it is more usual to pay $50 for an 80-milligram tablet on the streets of Washington. In parts of Kentucky, especially in Appalachia, the cost is almost $1.25/mg. Legitimately acquired Oxycontin is nonetheless rather expensive, costing as much as 400 US dollars for a usual month supply. Still, in mid-2006, brand-name or similar-quality generic Definition of the word generic (e.g., Watson, Purdue) eighty-milligram tablets sold for about nine dollars apiece whereas low-end generics (e.g., Teva, referred to in slang as "footballs" after their shape) scarcely pushed five dollars. In Australia, oxyContin is covered by the PBS, and an individual might get up to sixty tablets for as little as $4.90AUD in total. This has led to Federal enforcement of restrictions from May 2006. The 20mg tablet can cost up to $30AUD-$50AUD on the Gold Coast black market. As such there are professional "doctor shoppers" making a tidy weekly profit from Oxycontin.

Like other opioids, oxycodone can be lethal at high doses or when combined with depressants like alcohol. Numerous documented deaths from Oxycontin abuse have been made public; however, these have done little to deter the combined use of the drug with other CNS depressants.

In early 2006, on the U.S. East Coast there were several anecdotal reports of "fake" Oxycontin 80mg tablets, particularly in Philadelphia and New York City. These fake Oxycontin consisted principally of sugar and were of poor quality, with a distinct green color which differs from commercially made tablets.

There have also been numerous reports of fake Oxycontin 80mg tablets that contained Fentanyl.

Illicit distribution of Oxycontin happens through pharmacy diversion, physicians, "doctor shopping," faked prescriptions, and robbery--all of which divert the pharmaceutical onto the illegal market. The rise of this situation coincides with the increase in the illegal use of this substance. The oxycodone contained in Oxycontin produces usual opioid effects, and is considered a "reasonable substitute" for heroin, so much so that Oxycontin is frequently referred to as "hillbilly heroin". The most widely diverted dosages are the 40mg and 80mg strengths.

Works Cited: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/


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Marcel Gemme

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.

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