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Hayden Schenck
Life Society and Drugs
Research Paper


When you first hear the word oxycontin you think prescription drug but you
dont think one of the most dangerous abused prescription drugs. I was very
interested about this because I have always heard that oxycontin is really bad but I
never knew why. Its crazy to think that a simple prescription drug can cause so
much effect on the body enough effect to ruin peoples lives. Not just ruin their lives
but potentially end up killing them. People over dose all the time when it comes to
this drug, and after this paper you will know why people do.
In the research that I have done we will be talking about oxycontin, the
prescription drug. We will describe what it does to our bodies, some minor and
major effects, why people get addicted and every situation that this drug can put
people in. Its crazy to think that one drug can ruin your life and you will now know
why. We will also discuss why this drug is a gateway drug to heroin, why its getting
harder and harder to get because people in our society keep abusing it. We will then
go over the positives that this drug has, because it really can help people. I have seen
the effects of oxycontin for the good and for the bad and I will be able to show you
different scenarios and what they can do to improve and ruin peoples lives.

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Oxycontin was introduced in 1995 ,it was promoted initially as being
relatively safe from the potential abuse and more acceptable to the general public
because it lacked the social stigma associated with morphine. (Drugs, Behavior, and
Modern society Eighth Edition) Oxycontin is also FDA approved and allows it to be
taken orally and absorbed slowly over a period of twelve hours, once people take
they will then notice that their bodies will start to feel better and any form of pain
will start to go away. The key here is that the oxycontin has to be taken correctly
because if not user can be in big trouble. The user must swallow the pill, if users
dont swallow and for example take the pill and crush it into a powder it can then be
inhaled or swallowed or even worse broke down into a solution and then injected
into the body, this is just like doing heroin, the effect is the same. It has been known
that sometimes if people just swallow the normal pill they can still suffer from the
terrible withdrawal symptoms that are just like the heroin withdrawals. In our life
society and drugs book it says Driven by widespread opiod prescription durg
abuse, twenty U.S. states reported in 2007 that the number of unintentional
overdose deaths exceeded deaths to either motor vehicle crashes or suicides,
nationwide. (Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Soceity Eighth Edition)
In response to this drug the FDA has come up with different way to try and
solve the problems. On the labeling there are now warnings that say that this drug
can be addictive, so basically it warns all users and tells them that you need to be
careful because it is very addicting. It also says on the label that if you dont just
swallow the pill and resort to crushing, inhaling, snorting and injecting that you can
die. It is a very serious matter and sometimes people just dont realize how powerful

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this drug can be so when they take it they dont pay attention to the directions and
that is a big mistake because thats how normal people become addicted and just
like that their whole life can be changed. The FDA also tried altering the pill, what
they did is they started changing the pill so abuser would have a harder time
abusing it. They turned them into gummies, so there wasnt tablets. The reason they
did this is because you can crush up a gummy and snort it and its just harder to
abuse. As always though we have users that find ways and started melting the
gummies down into a liquid and then snorting it while its still hot. So no matter
what people will abuse it, but the FDA is trying its best to reduce the number of
overdoses by changing things up and for warnings. The warnings are very important
because like the stat said earlier a lot of the time the deaths are unintentional
overdoses so if we warn people we can reduce this number.
Oxycontin is an opium derivative that is available by of course prescription
and is one of the most powerful pain killers there is. Lots of people will use Ib profen
to get rid of pain and then once you get into the prescribed medicines you hear
about the loratab and the percasets to get rid of the pain and a lot of the time people
think that those are strong pain killers but when compared to oxycontin they
nothing, its crazy how much stronger it is. A lot the time oxycontin is prescribed to
people that have chronic pains such as very bad back or knees that hurt all the time
so they have to have it to live life with less pain. The reason they love it is because it
is very strong and eliminates pain and makes the body feel very good. It is also
prescribed to cancer patients that are in constant pain. I have seen this with my own
eyes, one of my friends had cancer and was on so many different treatments he was

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constantly in pain and didnt even want to keep going, he has basically had it all,
anywhere from medical marijuana to oxycontin, and he would always say that it
made him feel very good and the pain would just go away. That showed me that
there is positives to this drug because you hear all the negatives and see all the
people that abuse it, but it really can do good.
Next I want to talk about some of the minor side effects that will occur if you
are taking oxycontin. You can experience a lot of these, not in any specific order, dry
mouth can occur, your body and head will make you feel super dizzy, and a lot of the
time users say that they get very confused, so confusion is a big one. You can also
experience nausea or vomiting, heartburn, constipation, and your body can become
super drowsy. These are some of the minor side effect that can take place and they
are not fun at all but arent to big of a deal when they are compared to the major
side effects. Some of the major side effects are your body can start having seizures,
you will start having difficulty breathing, severe rashs, a bad fever, chest pain, cold
and clammy skin. And lastly is the worst and it is that you can die, overdose/death.
These are major symptoms and can be very dangerous thats why its so important
to use this drug wisely.
Next I want to talk about the withdrawal symptoms. This is when people
have been taking it for awhile an then stop, this is what can happen to your body
after because it wants it. Frequent nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils, hot and cold
flashes, irregular heart beat, relentless abdominal pain. It is very hard for users to
sleep after taking it and will go with out sleep. Another withdrawal is anxiety, this

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occurs a lot in people and they start freaking out because they just want the pills so
bad so their body has anxiety.
One of the last things I want to talk about is the question, Is oxycontin a
gateway drug? This question is always asked and everyone has different answers.
After reading on the different sites I do think that it is a gateway drug because it fits
together and links with heroin so much. Oxycontin is a lot harder to get because it is
a prescription and heroin isnt that hard to get so thats why it is a gateway drug.
People that cant get oxycontin will switch to heroin because its easier to get and the
affects are the same, and you feel the same. When people inject oxycontin its like
injecting heroin and you even get the same high. In the U.S. we have a lot of users
that abuse this drug and it brings up the argument is pain relief vs abuse. You have
people that abuse it and make money and then you have the people that really need
it. Oxycontin is the number one abused prescription drug in the country and
continue to get worse and worse.
In this research paper we have talked about oxycontin, an opium derivative
that is the most abused prescription drug. This drug is so addicting and ruins
peoples lives. You should know all the effects that this drug does to your body,
minor and severe and at of all of this I hope you know that this drug is so strong and
very ADDICTING! Stay away from prescription drugs, especially the most powerful

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Works Cited
Arnold, Mckayla. "Why Is OxyContin So Addictive?" The Rose. N.p., 2014. Web. 24 Sept.
HealthDay, WebMD News from. "OxyContin Tops List of Abused Prescription Drugs:
Survey WebMD." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
Legar, Donna L. "Oxycontin a Gateway to Heroin." N.p., n.d. Web.
Skarnulis, Leanna. "Oxycontin Pain Relief vs. Abuse." Web MD. N.p., 2005. Web. 2014.
Szalafitz, Maia. "Abuse-Proof OxyContin Pushes Addicts to Heroin and Other Opioids,
Survey Finds." Time. N.p., 12 July 2012. Web. 24 Aug. 2014.

Levinthal, Charles F. Drugs, Behavior, and Modern Society. Boston: Allyn and Bacon,
2002. Print.