Unintentional poisonings – nearly nine out of ten from prescription drug overdoses – kill more Sarasota County teenagers and young adults than anything else.
For overdoses, the death rate among Sarasota adults ages 20 to 24 is four times the state average, and is two to three times state averages for both teenagers and the age 25 to 34 group. It leaves Sarasota County in unfamiliar company, ranking with the counties around major metro areas like Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville and Ft. Lauderdale for the rate of drug poisoning deaths.
One of the main culprits that is killing our teenagers and young adults in Sarasota, Florida is OxyContin, also known as Roxies, Blues.
What is OxyContin anyway?
It is a drug used for pain relief for up to 12 hours, but it also is unfortunately a member of the opiate family. It is supposed to be used by swallowing it, as it is a controlled-release form of oxycodone. It is used for people with chronic pain.
Accidental Death or intentional suicide from overdose is very common.
OxyContin can provide a euphoric effect which is users may find highly addictive when it is not swallowed as perscribed. When an intentional high is being sought after the victim may start chewing the drug, snorting it, or injecting it through a needle to increase the euphoric effect. Within a short period of time the person’s body becomes addicted to the opiates. From there it is usually a down hill slide to nowhere. very fast. OxyContin on the street can be very expensive up to $25.00 for just one small dose. Therefore those who no longer have jobs or stable homes because of drug use, may find themselves at the wrong end of the law very quickly. Perhaps stealing and selling those items to support their drug habit. It’s a horrible way to live. It destroys family in ways that are unfathonable.
Medium Readings for surviving family members of accidental overdose.
Lately I have been asked for readings so that surviving members of the family may get in touch with their young sons, daughters or siblings who have unintentionally or intentionally overdosed on OxyContin, or alcohol with Xanax. What often happens is the victim may unwittingly take too much of a drug or have a lethal combination of drugs in their system. This causes respiratory failure, then heart failure. Basically in the opiates or benzo family the victim falls asleep never to awaken. Other drug victims may overdose on a combination of crack/meth which will basically gave the person a full on heart failure.
It is with greatest respect and honor I come to help the victims. The victims are both those who overdosed and the survivors who are left to bare the pain. The grief, anger and guilt can take the wind right out of your sails, taking away your own happiness and life purpose. I highly recommend professional grief counseling for your very personal pain and suffering. If you find in conjunction that direct medium contact with your son or daughter can help, I will do my very best to help you find their spirit and communicate openly and honestly with them. I have done this for numerous surviving family and I can tell you the healing and relief is a blessing to all, including to me.
I am a compassionate individual intent on helping those who are suffering. I do not, nor would I ever pass judgement on anyone for overdosing or committing suicide. Suicide is a fact that just happens, it is not something to be ashamed of or kept in the closet. You have every right to talk about it, heal and celebrate the life of the deceased. I am here to help communicate to the family the victim’s thoughts, feelings, and even do my best to provide what I can on clues as to the cause of death. My own step-father took his own life, so I can clearly identify with the pain that you may be feeling.
I help out of a compassionate heart. My readings often go way past the time limit as your personal healing is more important than time itself. I am a volunteer at hospice so I am very familiar with grief and the pain of losing a loved one. Please don’t hesitate if you need help to give me a call at 941-993-7105.
Thank you. The following is a description of what exactly OxyContin is.
Resource: National Institute of Health
Oxycodone(ox i koe’ done)
Last Revision: October 15, 2011.
Oxycodone extended-release (long-acting) tablets should be used only to treat people who need regularly scheduled doses of pain medication to treat continuous pain for an extended period of time. Extended-release oxycodone tablets should not be taken as-needed or to treat occasional episodes of pain.
Oxycodone 60-mg tablets and oxycodone 160-mg tablets (not available in the United States) should only be used to treat people who are tolerant (used to the effects of a medication) to narcotic pain medication. These tablet strengths may cause serious breathing problems or death in people who are not tolerant to narcotics.
Swallow oxycodone extended-release tablets whole; do not chew, break, divide, crush, or dissolve them. If you swallow broken, chewed, or crushed extended-release tablets, you will receive the entire dose of oxycodone at once, instead of slowly over 12 hours. This may cause serious problems, including overdose and death.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking oxycodone.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Oxycodone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. It works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.
Oxycodone is also available in combination with acetaminophen (Endocet, Percocet, Roxicet, Tylox, others); aspirin (Endodan, Percodan, Roxiprin, others); and ibuprofen (Combunox). This monograph only includes information about the use of oxycodone alone. If you are taking an oxycodone combination product, be sure to read information about all the ingredients in the product you are taking and ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Oxycodone comes as a solution (liquid), concentrate solution, tablet, capsule, and extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The solution, concentrated solution, tablet, and capsule are usually taken with or without food every 4 to 6 hours, either as needed for pain or as regularly scheduled medications. The extended-release tablet are usually taken every 12 hours. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take oxycodone exactly as directed.
If you are taking the oxycodone concentrate solution, be sure to carefully measure and double check the dose before taking the medication. Use the measuring dropper that comes with the medication to measure your dose. Mix the medication with at least 1 ounce (30 milliliters) of juice or other liquid, or with a semi-solid food such as applesauce or pudding. If you are taking oxycodone concentrate solution from an ampoule (small pre-packaged tube containing oxycodone liquid), be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking a dose. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any questions about measuring your dose or taking your medication.
Your doctor will likely start you on a low dose of oxycodone and may increase this dose over time if your pain is not controlled. After you take oxycodone for a period of time, your body may become used to the medication. If this happens, your doctor may need to increase your dose to control your pain. Talk to your doctor about how you are feeling during your treatment with oxycodone.
Oxycodone can be habit-forming. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor. If you have been taking oxycodone for more than a few days, do not stop taking oxycodone suddenly. If you stop taking this medication suddenly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, yawning, sweating, chills, muscle or joint aches or pains, weakness, irritability, anxiety, depression, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, fast heartbeat, and fast breathing. Your doctor will probably decrease your dose gradually. Call your doctor if you have any withdrawal symptoms when your dose is decreased or when you stop taking oxycodone.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking oxycodone,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to oxycodone, codeine (in many pain relievers and cough medications), hydrocodone (in Hycodan, in Lortab, in Vicoprofen, others),dihydrocodeine (in Synalgos-DC, others), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in oxycodone liquid, tablets, or capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: antidepressants; antihistamines; buprenorphine (Buprenex, Subutex, in Suboxone); butorphanol (Stadol); medications for mental illness, nausea, or seizures; other medications for pain, especially narcotics; muscle relaxants; nalbuphine (Nubain); naloxone (Narcan); nalmefene (Revex); pentazocine (Talwin); sedatives;sleeping pills, or tranquilizers; Also tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the following medications or if you have stopped taking them within the past two weeks: isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Eldepryl, Emsam, Zelapar), or tranylcypromine (Parnate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had asthma, lung disease, slowed breathing, or paralytic ileus (condition in which digested food does not move through the intestines). Your doctor may tell you not to take oxycodone.
- tell your doctor if you drink or have ever drunk large amounts of alcohol and if you use or have ever used street drugs, or if you have overused prescription medications. Also tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a head injury,a tumor in your brain or nervous system, any condition causing increased pressure in your brain; hypothyroidism (condition in which the thyroid gland produces less hormone than normal), hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist); delirium tremens (severe withdrawal symptoms that may occur in people who drank large amounts of alcohol over time and have stopped drinking); kyphoscoliosis (curving of the spine that may cause breathing problems) low blood pressure;Addison’s disease (condition in which the adrenal gland does not produce enough hormone), seizures; urethral stricture (blockage of the tube that allows urine to leave the body), enlarged prostate (a male reproductive gland), or heart, kidney,liver, or pancreas, or biliary tract disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking oxycodone, call your doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking oxycodone.
- you should know that this medication may make you drowsy. Do not drive a car, operate heavy machinery, or participate in any other possibly dangerous activities until you know how this medication affects you.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking oxycodone. When alcohol is taken with this medication, dangerous side effects can occur.
- you should know that oxycodone may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting when you get up too quickly from a lying position. To help avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
If you are taking oxycodone on a regular schedule, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Oxycodone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms, are severe or do not go away:
- loss of appetite
- dry mouth
- mood changes
- decrease in pupil (dark circle in eye) size
- red eyes
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- fast or slow heartbeat
- difficulty breathing
- slowed breathing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing
- hallucinating (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- loss of consciousness
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online [at <a href=”http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch” data-mce-href=”http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch”>http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch</a>] or by phone [ 1-800-332-1088 ].
Oxycodone may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light and excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Throw away oxycodone concentrate solution 90 days after you open the product. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
Keep oxycodone in a safe place so that no one else can take it accidentally or on purpose. Keep track of how much liquid or how many tablets or capsules are left so you will know if any medication is missing.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- difficulty breathing or slowed or stopped breathing
- excessive sleepiness
- limp or weak muscles
- increase or decrease in pupil (dark circle in the eye) size
- cold, clammy skin
- slow or stopped heartbeat
- blue color of skin, fingernails, lips, or area around the mouth
- loss of consciousness or coma
What other information should I know?
If you are taking the extended-release tablets, you may notice something that looks like a tablet in your stool. This is just the empty tablet shell, and this does not mean that you did not get your complete dose of medication.
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Selling or giving away this medication may cause severe harm or death to others and is illegal.
This prescription is not refillable. If you continue to experience pain after you finish the oxycodone, call your doctor.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Disclaimer
Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright
, 2011. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.
The following brand names are from RxNorm, a standardized nomenclature for clinical drugs produced by the National Library of Medicine:
- Oxy IR
Brand names of combination products
- Combunox (containing Ibuprofen and Oxycodone)
- Endocet 10/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Endocet 10/650 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Endocet 5/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Endocet 7.5/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Endocet 7.5/500 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Endodan Reformulated May 2009 (containing Aspirin and Oxycodone)
- Lynox 10/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Lynox 2.5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Lynox 5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Lynox 7.5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Magnacet 10/400 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Magnacet 2.5/400 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Magnacet 5/400 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Magnacet 7.5/400 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Narvox (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percocet 10/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percocet 10/650 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percocet 2.5/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percocet 5/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percocet 7.5/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percocet 7.5/500 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Percodan Reformulated May 2009 (containing Aspirin and Oxycodone)
- Percodan-Demi (containing Aspirin and Oxycodone)
- Perloxx 10/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Perloxx 2.5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Perloxx 5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Perloxx 7.5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Primalev 300/2.5 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Primlev 10/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Primlev 5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Primlev 7.5/300 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Roxicet (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Roxicet 5/325 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Roxicet 5/500 (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Roxiprin (containing Aspirin and Oxycodone)
- Taxadone (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Tylox (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone)
- Xolox (containing Acetaminophen and Oxycodone
OxyContinis a trade name for the drug oxycodone hydrochloride. Manufactured by Purdue Pharma L.P., OxyContin is a controlled-release form of oxycodone prescribed to treat chronic pain. When used properly, OxyContin can provide pain relief for up to 12 hours.
Recently, there has been a lot of media focus on this prescription drug due to increasing reports of its abuse. According to an Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) fact sheet, an estimated 1.6 million Americans used prescription-type pain relievers for non-medical reasons for the first time in 1998. Furthermore, ONDCP reports that the number of oxycodone emergency cases increased nearly 36 percent in a single year, from 3,369 in January to June 1999 to 5,261 in January to June 2000.
Oxycodone is considered to be a Schedule II controlled substance. This means that it is under the legal control of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the U.S. Department of Justice. One of the main factors dictating a drug’s “schedule,” its degree of regulation, is the drug’s potential for abuse. Once a drug is classified as a controlled substance, it becomes subject to a formal system that requires registration, record keeping, distribution restrictions, dispensing limits, manufacturing security and reports to the DEA.
You may be wondering what makes OxyContin a controlled substance. In order to better understand this, let’s consider what oxycodone does and how it works.
Oxycodone is an agonist opioid. Opioid agonists are some of the most effective pain relievers available. Unlike other analgesics, opioid agonists have an increasing analgesic effect with increased doses. Meaning that the more you take, the better you feel. Other analgesics, like aspirin or acetaminophen, have a threshold to their effectiveness. You can see why, particularly for people who suffer chronic pain, a medication like OxyContin can be so beneficial: It can potentially provide up to four times the relief of a non-opioid analgesic, so even the most severe degree of pain can be managed.
Once oxycodone enters the body, it works by stimulating certain opioid receptors that are located throughout the central nervous system, in the brain and along the spinal cord. When the oxycodone binds to the opioid receptors, a variety of physiologic responses can occur, ranging from pain relief to slowed breathing to euphoria.
When abused, OxyContin, like other opiates and opioids, can be dangerously addictive. Rather than ingesting the pill as indicated, people who abuse OxyContin use other methods of administering the drug. To avoid the controlled-release mechanism, they either chew, snort or inject the medication to get an instant and intense “high.” Frequent and repeated use of the drug can cause the user to develop a tolerance to its effects, so larger doses are required to elicit the desired sensation and the abuser gets increasingly addicted to the drug.