As Canada Grapples With Thousands Of Opioid Overdoses, Get The Facts On OxyContin

Amid a nationwide opioid abuse epidemic, the name OxyContin has been one everyone’s lips. It is one of the strongest, most commonly prescribed pain reliever available and one that has carried with it a dangerous risk since 1996 when it was first introduced and valuable information was concealed.

In 2016, at least 2,458 Canadians lost their lives to opioids. That’s an average of almost seven Canadians every day. In 2017, those figures surged to over 4,000. That translates into almost eleven people per day. Not to mention the devastating effect it has on the lives of close friends and families, as well as communities and Canada as a country.

So how did this happen exactly? How did Canada get to where it is today? About 22 years ago, opioids were not widely available, quite the contrary they were only used in palliative care for oncology patients. Once OxyContin entered the market, the game changed. People with any sort of pain from moderate to severe were being prescribed oxycodone. And the numbers of prescriptions grew at a steadfast pace. The main driver was the marketing and communications campaign behind the brand which passed health regulatory requirements based on a theory.

The theory itself was not based on clinical data and it dictated that drug abusers prefer painkillers that have a short-acting effect. That means the narcotic power hit faster which was the opposite of OxyContin, a pill which was digested over a period of 12 hours. However, soon drug abusers figured out a way around that and started crushing it, snorting it and injecting it. It was only in 2012 when the manufacturer pulled the drug off the market and launched a replacement, yet it was far too late.

In 2016 alone, healthcare professionals wrote about one opioid prescription for every two Canadians. The country is now the second biggest consumer of opioids after the U.S. Oxycodone has quickly become a replacement for heroin being a cheaper alternative. Even though nowadays action has been taken and the pills are actually harder to crash and when dissolved they turn into a gel like substance, the addiction still exists and the problem has not been resolved. Even more so, many drug abusers now turn to the streets to get their fix endangering themselves and those around them.

Across Canada, there are many addiction centres working to fight this epidemic and help those in need. Addiction Rehab Thousand Islands is one of them. Click here to visit their website. The centre offers a wide range of treatments, from individual therapy or group counselling to dual diagnosis or outpatient and residential treatments. By doing so, the experts ensure that all needs are met and the person seeking help feels supported and empowered to overcome this hurdle.

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