OxyContin – Opioid Epidemic Origin, PART 1

| With the consent of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Purdue Pharma was allowed to promote its drug OxyContin as providing pain relief for 12 hours.

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Opioid Addiction ProgramStudies have now established that in many cases the drug did not work for the full 12 hours. Oxycontin had to be given at more frequent intervals to patients for pain relief.

1996 – When the Opioid Addiction Epidemic Began

Many health officials trace the current opioid epidemic in the U.S. to the Purdue company’s 1996 launch of OxyContin.

The federal government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 7 million Americans have become addicted to OxyContin since it came on the market.

And since 1999, more than 190,000 people have died from overdoses involving OxyContin and other prescription opioids.

OxyContin- A Marketing Success Story

OxyContin became America’s bestselling painkiller, and gave Purdue $31 billion in revenue. During the past two decades, OxyContin earned its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma, more than $31 billion. But while it was making the company and its owners (the Sackler family) very, very rich, the drug was also becoming one of the most abused prescription drugs in U.S. history.

OxyContin’s success in sales masked a fundamental problem: it does not last for 12 hours in most patients. The drug wears off hours early in many people, a Los Angeles Times investigation found. OxyContin is a chemical cousin of heroin, and when the dosage wears off, patients can experience excruciating symptoms of withdrawal, including an intense craving for the drug.

This offers new insight into why so many people have become addicted to OxyContin, one of the most abused pharmaceuticals in U.S. history.

Opioid Painkiller Addiction Epidemic – the Introduction

From the 1996 PR Newswire Press Release for Oxycontin – Published in the ‘Financial’ Category by the Purdue Company. Read the entire Press Release.

OxyContin: the first and only 12 hour oxycodone analgesic New OxyContin is a significant advance in the treatment of persistent pain. Millions of Americans suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain serious enough to have an impact on their lives. Among the most common causes of persistent, debilitating pain are arthritis, lower back conditions, injuries and cancer. For example, more than eight million Americans are permanently disabled by back pain with 65,000 new cases diagnosed each year….

Unlike short-acting pain medications, which must be taken every 3 to 6 hours often on an “as needed” basis OxyContin Tablets are taken every 12 hours, providing smooth and sustained pain control all day and all night. Dosing with OxyContin Tablets on a regular schedule spares patients from anxious “clock watching” when pain must be controlled over long periods.

Twice daily dosing simplifies and improves patients’ lives “The importance of pain control with twice daily dosing can’t be stressed strongly enough,” reported Paul D. Goldenheim, M.D., Vice President of Purdue Pharma. “…Now, with every twelve hour OxyContin dose, many patients may experience pain relief and may enjoy daytime activities and nighttime rest without the inconvenience of taking tablets every four to six hours. Moreover, we’ve discovered that the simplicity and convenience of twice daily dosing also enhances patient compliance with their doctor’s instructions.”

Patient benefits demonstrated in clinical studies In clinical trials of OxyContin Tablets, involving more than 700 patients, key findings included:
• Onset of pain relief occurred within 1 hour for most patients.
• 12 hours of smooth and sustained pain control were provided by OxyContin Tablets.
• Common opioid related side effects (except constipation) diminished over time, even as daily doses increased.
• By relieving their pain, OxyContin improved patients’ quality of life, mood and sleep, as compared to placebo treatment.

“Because of its effectiveness and good acceptability to patients, our studies suggest that OxyContin is an ideal choice in progressive pain management when around the clock therapy is indicated,” added Dr. Goldenheim.

Purdue Aggressive Marketing of Oxycontin

Purdue is the company that created Oxycontin and aggressively marketed it. Sales of OxyContin took off because Purdue claimed that one dose would relieve pain for 12 hours — twice as long as the lower-costing generic painkillers available at the time. That would save patients from waking up in the night to take a pill. Health care professionals are now painfully aware that Oxycontin claims were vastly over-stated.

From the Department of Health and Human Services, HHS.gov, Health Professionals Resources, Opioids.

Prescribing guidelines for opioids need to be improved, opioid addiction treatment options must be expanded, and access to illegal opioids must be reduced.

  • Improve opioid prescribing to reduce exposure to opioids, prevent abuse, and stop addiction.
  • Expand access to evidence-based substance abuse treatment, such as Medication-Assisted Treatment, for people already struggling with opioid addiction.
  • Expand access and use of naloxone – a safe antidote to reverse opioid overdose.
  • Promote the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs, which give health care providers information to improve patient safety and prevent abuse.
  • Implement and strengthen state strategies that help prevent high-risk prescribing and prevent opioid overdose.
  • Improve detection of the trends of illegal opioid use by working with state and local public health agencies, medical examiners and coroners, and law enforcement.

Recipe for Addiction

OxyContin taken at 12-hour intervals could be “the perfect recipe for addiction,” said Theodore J. Cicero, a neuropharmacologist at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a leading researcher on how opioids affect the brain.

Patients in whom the drug doesn’t last 12 hours can suffer both a return of their underlying pain and “the beginning stages of acute withdrawal,” Cicero said. “That becomes a very powerful motivator for people to take more drugs.”

Opioid Addiction Treatment and Recovery – Arrowhead Lodge Recovery: Men’s Rehab

Arrowhead-Lodge-Recovery,Men's Rehab Group Therapy, Prescott AZArrowhead Lodge Recovery is a gender-specific addiction treatment center for men over 30; located in Prescott, AZ. We treat opioid painkiller addiction on two fronts: addiction and chronic pain. Our physician is board certified in pain and addiction medicine.

This means we are able to treat both addiction and chronic pain symptoms. Our program requires a 12-week residential stay that may be covered by medical insurance plans. We also work with workers compensation companies for those whose injury was work related.

Inpatient Suboxone Treatment Program – Cognitive, Physical, Spiritual

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery provides Suboxone treatment. Most people cannot just walk away from opioid addiction. They need expert assistance to change their thinking, behavior, and environment. Unfortunately, “quitting cold turkey” has a poor success rate: fewer than 25 percent of patients are able to remain abstinent for a full year. This is where medication-assisted treatment options like Suboxone benefits patients in staying sober. It also greatly reduces the side effects of withdrawal and curbs cravings which can lead to relapse.

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery, Men's Rehab, Prescott AZArrowhead Lodge Recovery is a small, private addiction, co-occurring disorder and trauma treatment program for men 30 and older; located in the beautiful mountains of Prescott, Arizona.

Arrowhead Lodge Recovery is owned and operated by Kenneth Chance, D. Div, who designed the recovery center to offer older men the clinical effectiveness, safety and comfort of a gender and age-specific treatment environment. Arrowhead Lodge Recovery employs an experienced and licensed team consisting of a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, registered nurse, licensed therapists, and nutritionist.

The experienced and accredited Arrowhead Lodge Team allows us to help men for whom previous treatment attempts may have failed. Thorough medical, psycho-social, addiction and trauma assessments inform medical interventions, medication management needs, and the team’s individual approach to treating addiction and trauma in each client. Arrowhead Lodge Recovery also believes strongly in the power of spirituality in the healing process and helps its clients discover a path to living a more authentic life.

Questions? Arrowhead Lodge Recovery Has Answers

Call our admissions counselor now at 1-888-654-2800 for a confidential assessment to see if our prescription painkiller addiction recovery program will help you return to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Article Credits
LA Times OxyContin Investigative Reporting http://static.latimes.com/oxycontin-part1
OxyContin’s 12-hour problem https://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2016/05/oxycontins-12-hour-problem-and-its-central-role-prescription-opioid-epidemic

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