Monday, October 14, 2019

OxyContin Essay Example for Free

OxyContin Essay 1. Article Summary: OxyContin and Prescription Drug Abuse The article â€Å"OxyContin and Prescription Drug Abuse† by Inciardi and Goode provides detailed overview of drug problem in the United States. In particular, the authors discuss OxyContin, its prescriptions, diversification and problems which may appear after its using. The authors argue that the patterns of drug abuse has been changed – drugs are emerging and disappearing from drug scene, and it is more difficult for scientists to analyze which drug may cause the most severe addiction. OxyContin was firstly introduced to American market in the very end of 20th century and it was used in pain management. OxyContin is claimed to be unique as it provides patients with long-term relief from heavy pains, especially it is useful for patients who have been suffering from chronic pains for many years. Nevertheless, in the recent years the attitude towards OxyContin has changed as researchers claim it has negative affect on patients’ health causing addiction and increasing abuse potential. However, medical effects are still appreciated. Oxycodone is an active component of OxyContin and it has been used for centuries in pain management. The authors define oxycodone as â€Å"a semi-synthetic narcotic analgesic most often prescribed for moderate to severe pain, chronic pain syndromes, and terminal cancers†. (Inciardi Goode, p.17) Oxycodone is very effective in management pain if it is supervised by physicians. The uniqueness of OxyContin is that it contains aspirin, whereas others oxycodone medications don’t. In such a way, OxyContin is able to lengthen and increase efficiency of oxycodone. Physicians say that OxyContin is able to ensure pain relief for about 12 hours, although it is argued that it may become alleged abuse. Clinical tests show that OxyContin is effective analgesic in patients with moderate and severe pains. Nevertheless, Food and Drug Administration stress that OxyContin carry high abuse risk as it acts similar to narcotic substances. Thus, use of OxyContin should be carefully managed, in particular in patients with higher risk of substance abuse. Additionally, OxyContin is claimed to carry a boxed warning known as ‘black box’. The authors admit that â€Å"although there are several sources of national data on drug abuse that have been operated for decades, the collection of specific data on OxyContin abuse is quite recent†. (Inciardi Goode, p.19) One of the government-sponsored studies shows that drug abuse is higher among high school students, adolescents and young adults. This report dates 1975, whereas OxyContin studies appeared only in 2002. According officially collected data of 2002, it is revealed that about 3-4% of 8th, 12th and 10th graders have used this medication at least one time during the year. One more interesting fact is that the use of Vicodin was significantly higher than that of OxyContin. Medical examination of deaths during the period of 2000-2001 showed that about 950 deaths were related to oxycodone use. Statistic is shocking and the question appears: how can oxycodone be effective and, at the same time, so fatal. About 49% out of 950 deaths were associated with OxyContin abuse – 146 deaths were ‘OxyContin verified’ and 318 deaths were ‘OxyContin likely’. Medical experts argue that the death â€Å"may be a result of overdose induced by a combination of substances, not just the oxycodone itself†. (Inciardi Goode, p.19) OxyContin abuse was firstly reported in rural Maine, and then in Appalachia and Ohio Village. These regions appeared to be at the highest risks as rural areas are more isolated and have less information about addiction effects of oxycondone. Summing up, the authors argue that OxyContin abuse is still on the rise. 2. Two Articles: Compare and Contrast Similar to the article â€Å"OxyContin and Prescription Drug Abuse† by Inciardi and Goode, the article â€Å"Misuse of Pharmaceuticals Linked to More ER Visits† by Donna Leinwand discusses the problem of substance abuse in the United States. Leinwand adds that the problem is worsening because of over-the-counter drugs: â€Å"Overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs are sending more people than ever to emergency rooms†. (Leinwand, p.12) However, the primary difference in authors’ positions is that Leinwand defends position that the problem with drug abuse is attributed to pharmaceuticals, whereas Inciardi and Goode argue that people prefer overdosing themselves to manage pain. Leinwand stresses that, according official rates, there were more than 613,000 cases of overdosing cocaine and heroine, whereas the number of improper prescriptions is about 598,000. Inciardi and Goode say that OxyContin is very effective in pain management; although they stress that it is at risk to develop addiction. However, they still recommend OxyContin prescription if it is supervised by professional. In contrast, Leinward argues that it is necessary to prevent drug abuse even if it is effective in pain management by re-shaping and re-evaluating approaching to dealing addictions – firstly, by seeking for new medications with no addiction effects. Pharmaceuticals should be very careful with drug prescription as misuse may result in severe addiction. Both Leinwand and Inciardi and Goode consider hydrocodone and oxycodone as the most common drugs associated with overdose as they are narcotic painkillers. They argue that oxycodone abuse is still on the rise – up to 24% increase in overdose over the past years. Medical use of narcotic painkillers has grown and the authors recommend proper management and finding new effective painkillers with lower addiction risk as â€Å"these are beneficial drugs, and we want people to have access, but these are also substances that can be easily abused†. (Leinwand, p.12) Summing up, both articles are professional, well-developed and properly supported studies of the drug abuse problem in the United States. The authors provide theoretical and practical framework by offering official statistics, opinions of medical experts, etc. These articles set the background for further researches in drug abuse field.

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