Many are applauding Purdue Pharma, the company that makes, for discontinuing the manufacturing of the drug. OxyContin is called “Hillbilly heroin”, and is sold on the street for its Heroin like high. Thousands of addicts die from digesting this drug each year. Abuse of the drug has been rampant, both as a street drug and abused prescription drug. Overprescribing and abuse of opioids — OxyContin in particular — is a problem in Ontario, as well as other provinces.
In Ontario, come the end of the month OxyContin will cease to be manufactured and will be replaced by and new drug called OxyNEO. OxyNEO contains a chemical called Remoxy, which renders the medication resinous believed to make it difficult for addicts to crush. This is believed to make it more difficult for an addict to snort or inject. When exposed to moisture or dissolved in water, the new pills gum up into a thick, unusable gel making snorting or injecting difficult.
OxyNEO has the same active ingredients as the OxyContin with exception of the Remoxy.
Several things have happened since the US stopped selling OxyContin. The across border trade, smuggling Canadian OxyContin across the border has become a big money making industry. In one case the Globe and Mail reports some thieves stealing from a pharmacy stopped in mid robbery when they found out OxyContin wasn’t available, but only OxyNEO was.
Ontario, Saskatchewan and the Atlantic provinces will no longer pay for the drug, except in cases of cancer or palliative care. Health Canada is doing the same, covering the medication only for First Nations and Inuit patients who currently have prescriptions, and reviewing new requests on a case-by-case basis. Alberta is not delisting OxyNEO or OxyContin. Some of the other provinces I have found no report either way on.
Let’s take a look of the ramifications here. Many people involved with drug addictions are really concerned with a massive drug withdrawal expected at the end of the month and the provinces are not setup with sufficient help for those going through withdrawals. If Alberta and other provinces that don’t delist the drugs, then there will be requests and smuggling from these provinces to the delisting provinces.
If the addicts cannot get their OxyContin, being desperate they will try to get the same high from other drugs, be it heroin or other opiates available or perhaps a cocktail of drugs. I suspect that the high will not be the same and these addicts would increase the amounts taken. People will die of overdoses. That will be a statistic to watch in the future.
Although the OxyNEO contains Remoxy, I think that the provinces involved and the drug company underestimates the determination of a drug addict to get the high they are addicted to. Someone will find a good chemist buddy to help out with that and find a way to counteract the Remoxy.
Who said that necessity was the mother of invention?
If you have a friend or relative that has an addiction to OxyContin, Something can be done about it! I invite you to check out the Narconon website to find out more about their drug rehabilitation program, and how they deal with OxyContin addictions.