When the makers of OxyContin - Purdue Pharma – altered their formula in an attempt to inhibit OxyContin abuse, they had no way of knowing the move would ultimately spawn a radical surge in heroin addiction throughout the U.S. Though OxyContin abuse has decreased substantially over the past couple years, heroin use has all but doubled.
Many law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. are reporting large pockets of heroin use in areas previously unknown to the drug.
In a recent study performed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, over 2,500 individuals in 39 U.S. states where questions about their transitions to heroin use.
Less Oxy Abuse
Of the 2,500 patients questioned, the most common response provided by OxyContin users regarding their switch was, “Because of the decrease availability of Oxycontin, I switched to heroin.”
- Heroin users have doubled from 2010 to 2012
- 30 day OxyContin users dropped from just above 47% to 30%
- OxyContin was listed by 36.6% of patients as their primary drug in 2010
- The percentage dropped below 13% by 2012
Overdose More Likely
In an effort to feed their opioid addictions, OxyContin users unable to access the drug shifted towards more powerful pain drugs, or to heroin. With this development lies the all too real danger that users are much more prone to accidental overdose.
Though the pressure is off Purdue Pharma, the repercussions associated with their changes have ultimately resulted in a mass opioid migration. Paved in good intentions, though it may be… the road we’re on does not appear a shortcut to greener pastures.