<H1>THE REAL OC</H1>
<H2>OxyContin was hailed as a miracle pain reliever upon its release.Some addicts find it works a little too well.</H2>
<H3>by Jamie Gadette</H3>
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The first time Eric tried OxyContin, he knew he was screwed. It wasn't like the other drugs he'd popped, snorted or injected after graduating from a public high school in an affluent area.
As a teenager, Eric-who wishes to remain anonymous-managed to juggle weekend kegs with athletic and academic achievements. While his recreational use eventually expanded to include Ecstasy, cocaine and weed, partying was just a way to let loose-not a way of life. Nothing prepared him for Oxy's sucker-punch effect. In fact, the powerful prescription painkiller made all the other narcotics seem about as addictive as Fruit Loops.
"I remember thinking, `Holy cow, it would be great if I felt like this all day, every day, for the rest of my life," he says. Even now, his excitement is palpable.
Today, he looks back on Oxy as a hot romance turned sour, but he'll never forget how it felt to fall-fast and hard.
It started on weekends, at parties, in a bedroom with four or five others. For a while, he'd split up one OC 20, or 20 mg of pure oxycodone, take half and save the rest for later. But his tolerance went through the roof. He needed more and more, and it was getting expensive. His group of friends started snagging OC 80 at $60 a hit. He tried stopping, but couldn't handle the withdrawals. Chills, fever, vomiting and stomach cramps wracked his body.
He worked as a garbageman, driving trucks around town, high as a kite, reflexes down. Dad and Grandma kept loaning him money, but sooner or later the gig was up. His family intervened, sent him to a pricey treatment center and called it good. Six months later, Eric quit going to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, stopped calling his sponsor and relapsed. He later tried his hand as a mail carrier, trucking through the Avenues either doped up or jonesing for drugs he no longer could easily afford. His parents cut him off. He pawned prized possessions, committed petty theft and even sold Oxy for a while. But the taste was too sweet. He wanted it all for himself. Giving Oxy up was easier once heroin stepped in. It didn't take long, however, before he had to choose between getting clean and quitting life.
That was three years ago. Today, he's eight months sober. He keeps a steady, blue-collar job, hangs out with his girlfriend and attends NA meetings every day. His drugs of choice are coffee and cigarettes. This morning, he sips a 24-ounce French roast, straight up. His shoulders are wide, cheeks full, dark hair tousled from a good night's sleep. And while his tough, football-player frame has softened, the clear-headed 25-year-old is stronger than ever. He just can't help but wonder how strong he might be today had he never tried Oxy.
Eric isn't unique. Neither is OxyContin. Problem is that few experts agree on how widely it's abused. Drug counselors, law-enforcement agencies, former addicts, parents and clergy members all have a different take on the drug's societal impact. Some blame the pharmaceutical industry for marketing the drug so well. Others blame physicians too eager to prescribe it. Still others argue for an outright ban on the drug. Maybe we just need to relax, pop a pill and move on.
There's no question prescription-medication abuse is on the rise. In fact, prescribed opiate narcot
I live in Utah. My brother OD'd and diedon a cocktail of controlled's including Oxy last December, and I have just discovered that another brother (who has been in treatment for Oxy abuse), is crushing and snorting again. Intervention time. It's so common here that I found out about the abuseby casual conversation; I know a guy who know's a guy etc. My brother lives more than 90 miles away from me.
I have old friends who are literally sick because they are not getting their high since they're broke. Who know's what they're resorting to in order to get it.
It seems rampant and I un-avoidably hear conversations aboutCotin. Can anyone figure why it's so bad in here in Utah?