Op-Ed By Larry Golbom – Addiction: The FDA and OxyContin

This is an editorial written by Larry Golbom of Prescription Addiction Radio. All viewpoints are welcome here at US Recall News. If you would like to write an editorial response please use the comment section below or contact us with your proposal.

FDA: Please Stop Oxycontin! By Larry Golbom:
In February 2009, the FDA announced that they would begin the process to require Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) to help curtail the misuse of the drugs referred to as opioid pain products. The FDA has been negligent in not responding to the crisis sooner. In response, the companies and organizations that benefit most from the unencumbered distribution of oxycodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, and oxymorphone have started to react.

In my state, Florida has the most detailed public statistics available concerning drug related deaths and 2008 was a banner year for the drug companies. In Florida, the deaths implicated with oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, increased 25%, fentanyl 19%, and Hydrocodone 8%. Heroin displayed a 20% increase, the drug most closely interchangeable with oxycodone. As the over marketing and over production of the addictive narcotics continues to flood every community in the country the response from the drug industry is becoming more refined. There was recently a well organized effort directed at the FDA to continue the status quo on the prescription narcotics and many people in the Hospice industry responded. It is interesting that people who help the terminally ill and see the suffering an end of life disease can bring have been lead to believe by an organization partly funded by the drug industry that the FDA is considering curtailing pain relief to those who are in the most need. The evolving response by those who claim to be advocates for pain relief is to exploit those in our society who need the most compassion and caring. A rational discussion to curtail addiction and death must include professionals who take care of the terminally ill, but not to include representatives who profit from an over proliferation of proven products that have been proven to be dangerous.

My previous writings have been detailed in connecting the increased production of legal narcotics under the guise of pain relief. The mantra that “millions of people in pain are being undertreated” has helped drive the excuse to allow “pain management clinics” to proliferate around the country. With every pain management clinic more potentially addictive drugs will reach our streets. The silence from our medical professionals, public officials, elected officials and medical boards, along with the lack of understanding by the major media allows the silent and growing epidemic of death and addiction to continue.

The literature defines three basic forms of pain: Terminal, Acute and Chronic. Terminal pain needs little explanation. An end of life disease may cause excruciating pain prior to death and the World Health Organization addressed this issue over 20 years ago. The literature and health community should be well versed on treating a terminal patient without limitations.

Acute pain is generally thought of as short term. A day surgical procedure, dentist appointment and procedures that require hospitalization all fit into this category. The pain has a limited time frame and intensive narcotic pain therapy, if necessary, is warranted. However, we still have practitioners who don’t understand that 40 to 60 Percocet may be the first step to a world of dependence and/or addiction.

Chronic pain is the form of pain that has become the most susceptible to the exploitation and misunderstanding of “pain therapy“. It has started with the medical establishment forgetting that pain is a symptom and not a disease. Ironically, most of the wisdom in the medical literature concludes that addiction is a disease and we now have thousands of medical practitioners creating a disease from treating a symptom. The disease of addiction has become a growing phenomenon as a result of medical incompetency. We try to avoid cardiac disease, diabetes, HIV, etc. but, continue to condone the dispensing of products, with few safeguards that have been linked to creating the disease of addiction.

If an individual cannot stop taking a drug due to suffering adverse consequences from discontinuing the drug, I believe that is addiction. Contrary to my analysis, the “experts” have created the differentiation of addiction, dependence and tolerance. Addiction is a mental instability that creates a craving beyond the scope of rational medical use. Only addicts smash through front windows or point guns at people to get more drugs. Addiction is defined with psychological shortcomings.

Dependence and tolerance are simply outcomes from “rational medical care”. The reality is those who are dependent or tolerant cannot stop taking the drugs without serious physical and mental complications (withdrawal). Whereas addiction is defined as a psychological problem, dependence and tolerance are only defined as physical complications. The latest literature indicates a strong correlation that depression may predispose an individual to being more sensitive to pain. The psychological effects of those consuming the opioids daily is conveniently avoided in the discussion for those defined as tolerant or dependent by the drug companies.

There is presently a site on the internet requesting the FDA to immediately begin to stop the distribution of OxyContin http://www.banoxycontin.com. With only one local TV station and with the help from two newspaper publications it has garnered thousands of signatures and comments asking our public officials to stop the proliferation of OxyContin onto our streets. The public is beginning to understand that OxyContin is simply a controlled release form of oxycodone. Oxycodone has been available to medicine for over 60 years and it was Purdue Pharma starting in late 1995 who apparently realized that marketing a product similar to heroin would be highly profitable. The FDA is well aware of OxyContin’s limitations in the use of medicine, is aware of Purdue’s marketing tactics, and is aware that the question of the risks exceeding the rewards for the use of OxyContin is long overdue for review. The comments from independent sources is bringing the long term use of opioids for chronic pain into serious question. Betts Tully, a “pain patient”, in part, submitted this to the FDA on June 30, 2009:

* “This is not, nor has ever been a complicated issue. The benefits do not outweigh the risks. A medical examiner in 2002 stated that “it does not take a rocket scientist to connect the dots, where OxyContin is concerned, even if poly-drug use is involved, in these deaths. The common element of OxyContin in all these deaths, speaks volumes“.

* “The scientific evidentiary basis for OxyContin, as well as aggressive narcotic prescribing practices for the treatment of moderate pain, is flawed if not outright junk science, designed to drive profits only. Real studies are needed for dangerous products before these drugs and new practices are unleashed on the public.

* “The claim that severe and chronic pain is or was “undertreated” is unfounded and scientifically inaccurate. Accepted scientific evidence, based on rigorous study has never been conducted.

http://www.prescriptionaddictionradio.com/blog/category/Message-to-the-FDA-from-a-Former-OxyContin-Patient.aspx

The tobacco companies successfully thwarted the legal community for many years. Everyone knew tobacco was dangerous and it has only been recently in which the tobacco companies are losing lawsuits to the victims do to the misrepresentation of tobacco. I remain hopeful that the media and legal community will begin to look more closely at the cause of our loved ones being hurt and our communities suffering from the continued growth of the growing distribution of the legal narcotics. Our wait for the FDA to react continues.

There are 27 comments. Add yours.

  1. Carole Babb

    Larry Golbom:

    Not only are you incredibly ignorant, but you are also horribly lacking in compassion for others. I would love to see if you would write the same article regarding pain medication, if you suffered from the same disease that I have – RSD/CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). RSD is a neurological disease which attacks the pain pathways, causing pain that registers at 42 on the MacGill Pain Scale (the scale goes up to 50, to give you an idea of how severe the pain is). I almost went insane from the pain, as it never ever goes away – it is constant and it is mind boggling in intensity. Oxycontin saved my sanity and reduces my pain enough to give me as good a life as is possible with this disease. My pain is always there, even with the pain meds, however, it is reduced to a more tolerable level with the medication. I have never had the “high” that drug abusers get. When you take these meds for pain, not recreation, the medication zooms in on the pain. The drug abuser has no pain, so the pill (having nothing else to do) provides the abuser with the “high” that becomes addictive. I never crave my pain medication and, in fact, I frequently forget to take my medication, but am reminded to do so when I suddenly feel an unbelievable increase in my pain, like being hit with a thousand burning knives – all at the same time. This is not good, as the pain is, at that time, ahead of me – this wastes half the pill on working to bring the pain back under control. Because I get so few pain pills each month (due to people like you), that one-half of a pill is very precious to me.

    They say that if you want something really badly, and wish it to happen more than anything, that you must continue to put out thoughts relating to this wish on a continual basis, as well as state it out loud and mean it – many times over. Because of people like you, I (as well as all other Florida pain patients) have had my pain meds reduced. Since my pain is no longer controlled, I am now stuck at home 85% of the time, laying in bed and suffering wihout hope of a reprieve. In summary, I have plenty of time on my hands. You have given me a mission – something I can do during all of those hours I am stuck in bed. I will spend that time chanting my wish to the Universe, praying that it will be answered. I will not stop until I know that my request has been granted — it is my wish that you and your loved ones are stricken with a trauma or disease resulting in continual pain for the remainder of your life. Perhaps, if you live with pain, you will gain some insight as to just how horrible it is to be a pain patient. You immediately become a criminal in the eyes of Society — you are called a drug addict by Pharmacists, doctors and anyone else who finds out about your medications. You are forced to sign contracts with your physician regarding the pain meds, your records are open to any official who wishes to look at them, you are required to go to the doctor every single month on the date and time they give you (you are not allowed to change your appt), you must submit to surprise urine tests, you are checked each month all over your body for any sign of illegal drug use, etc. I can only hope that the Universe sees fit to answer my prayers and bring you what you so richly deserve for your incredibly cruel and inhumane views voiced in your article.

    I have written your name everywhere in my room, so that I never forget to put my words out there. If there is any justice left in this world, then you will get exactly what you deserve! You can redeem yourself by performing research into the lives of chronic pain patients, find out just how much they suffer, learn pain medication is so important to them – why they must have it just to perform simple tasks such as going to the grocery store, hugging their children, etc. RSD patients are unable to touch or be touched when their pain is in full gear – any pressure against their skin (even the pressure of their clothing) causes intense pain. Oxycontin gave me the ability to hug my loved ones – imagine that! An evil drug like Oxycontin makes people do such horrible things as hugging their family members — how awful!

    You can redeem yourself by learning the real truth. Find out just how many people have killed themselves because their pain was far greater than the loss of their life. These people did nothing wrong – committed no crimes – and yet society treats them like criminals. You can redeem yourself by learning and writing the real truth about pain patients and the reasons why they need the pain medications they take. I hope you will open yourself up to becoming a better person, someone willing to look at BOTH sides of an issue before passing such harsh judgment, especially against innocent people who just want to live a halfway decent life, in spite of their health issues.

    We (pain patients) never did anything to you – why do you hate us so much?

    Signed,

    A Pain Patient Who Just Wants a Reduction in Pain

    Reply
  2. guest

    We live in a irresponsible country. Parent’s blame one drug for the death of their child and in doing so now hundred’s of thousand’s of ccp (if not a million) are suffering from Purdue’s change to a toxic usless drug that cost’s more and will most likely cause future health problem’s. This line of thinking is insane! Do we now sue the car companies if our child get’s behind the wheel and kills himself and other’s? What about alcohol? There are more death’s from this ‘drug’ than there are with oxycontin. Why hasn’t this been taken off the market? Oxycontin is time released oxycodone and has been around for decade’s. To deny a human adequate pain relief is inhuman. What is wrong with society today that places blame on everyone but themselves?

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  3. Derek M

    Well stated Jeff. Mr. Golbom is certainly no the most educated or intelligent individual, or even rational for that matter, concerning addiction, pain, and palliative treatments, or “care”, to be proper.

    The entire basis for opioid therapy rests on targeting the SYMPTOMS rather than the underlying pathology or CAUSE, often when the latter is either not practical, or impossible. Pain can not be objectively measured, and there is no one who is not “worthy” of opioids, whether the pain is mild, moderate, or severe. Opioid theray is a choice, granted the patient is fully informed of effects and risks, and accepts the approach.

    A non living entity such as a drug (oxycodone), does not “cause” addiction, or compulsive behavor, compulsive and excessive drug use is caused by CHOICE; Addiction also, is a CHOICE, or a series of choices, NOT “disease”.

    Additionally, tolerance and physical dependence are clinical manifestations, which simply come secondary to opioid use over a chroic period. “Addiction” refers to large clusters of physical, neurological, behavioral, sociological, compulsive elements which lead to te compulsive CHOICE to continue using drugs, evn in the presence of harm.

    Clinical dependence is not addiction, and addiction is not a mystical force or disease.

    Even NON MEDICAL use of drugs is a natural right which every adult has.

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  4. Pam Novak

    Why is Pharma making billions of dollars a year? There are not millions of people with serious pain. These pills are being given for toothaches and other minor injuries. Some doctors are finding it most profitable to collect the office visit fees, and write the prescriptions, that then are sold on the streets.. Our young people, who do experiment with drugs, are finding this drug. It is creating an epidemic of opiat addicts. This is a menace to society. If they can’t find help in rehab, they will be in prison, or in the cemetary. Is this what we want for this generation?

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  5. siouxpernatural

    There’s gotta b some kind of self responsibility and self accountability here, seriously!!!

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  6. Steve

    I understand that abuse has run ramped in Florida! Why don’t they regulate drug prescriptions like every other state?I live in Connecticut and trust me it is NOT easy to get Oxycontin! I watched vanguard Oxycontin express and I couldn’t believe my eyes! Totally insane and horribly ran! Now I take Oxycontin 80mg 3 times a day! I was in a tragic accident that left me close to paralyzed! I no longer have use of my right arm the shoulder and elbow joints are obliterated! I have a titanium right arm and back! You wouldn’t believe the sounds and crunching noises it makes when I make the slightest movement! I’m forever damaged and Oxycontin gave me my life back well productive painless life back! Oxycontin not these Op things let’s make that clear! Thats NOT oxycontin! So here you are in the best of health! Your body is in one piece! It doest hurt to get dressed drive a car etc. You see if you don’t know pain you don’t know relief! Please don’t assume all Oxycontin
    patients are abusers please! I’m sorry about peoples kids nephews etc but they took Oxycontin with the sole purpose to get high! Does Budweiser pay for drunken driver accidents? Does Absolute pay when a drunken driver hits a kid? People need Oxycontin to feel better not only terminally ill people! We are mothers fathers workers Drs lawyers that simply need a solution to the curveball Life threw at us! Trust me I’d take your health over mine any day and quickly toss those pills if I didn’t need them for everyday activities I’m a helicopter mechanic and I work 50 plus hours a week! I’m no addict no junkie and yes my life is simply better with Oxycontin and there’s million more like me! Florida needs to change not Purdue NOT US!!!

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  7. Steve

    Oh! One more thing! I was just listening to this ridiculous radio show bragging about 2000 hits a week! You forgot to say that the majority is PRO OXYCONTIN !!!!!!!

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  8. christy ezekiel

    my husband has taken 80 mg oc 2 x daily and 40mg oxy for break through pain. for 10 years..they change the formula and then bam…he has been acting crazy..not knowing where he is going, driving somewhere and he don’t remember going there. writing letters and don’t know why. endlessly aggitated, hot headed about the smallest thing…this is not my husband. his doctor has changed his 80 mg meds to roxicodone with only a small amount of withdrawl discomfort. he does still take the 40 mg at night for the break through pain. this has caused our entire family to suffer. his behavior is not right. we are in counseling and we are hoping to salvage our marriage of nearly 16 years, with our wonderful daughter in our minds, we forge on. Why would the FDA approve such a drug difference? The oxycontin was the only meds that really helped his pain…for almost 10 yrs he has taken this w/o issues. He has severe diabetic neuropathy in his legs and feet. he has a lung disease and had a brain aneursym in 2002, so we as a family have been put through hell…and now this? I want my husband back, and our children want their daddy back. Can we sue the pharma company, for causing all of these problems? because of his behavior on this new meds….insane!!! Please contact my email if you can help! We are in the middle of him being arrest on misdominers for the letters to a woman that he didn’t even know…? and he don’t remember writing them all…and now DHR has been contacted and he has to be out of the house until they finish their investigation…DHR are overworked and they are not moving as fast as we’d like. Praying everynight…I pray that he would be healed and not ever need anymore pain meds…that would solve a lot of the problems. Help and response is appreciated. Christy

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  9. Christine Watercutter2@woh.rr.com

    I am a 64 yr old women who took 4 percocet and 2 Oxycontin everyday for back pain while trying to find a Dr. to help me. After I finally had back surgery I slowly started withdrawal, first the percocet, then the oxy. It took me one year and 7 months of withdrawal on and off. I took my last Oxy. 8 weeks ago and I am still going into terrible withdrawal. Sometimes I’m well enough to drive and go places, then bam, withdrawal again. My husband and my daughter who is a single mother have either been with me or talked me though it as I need them. What I need to know is, is this ever going to end? I heard one man say it took a year and a half for his withdrawal to stop. But does it get better as time goes on? Will the withdrawal periods get farther apart and less severe? My Dr. will give me no answers. I took these drugs only as prescribed, never abused them and yet my life is ruined. Everyone seems to be under the impression that only people who abuse these drugs get addicted. I am living proof that this is not true. Please submit a comment if you can answer my question. Thank you for your help, Christine

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  10. charlie

    not sure how long i can take the pain anymore.
    these new op’s are worthless.i used to be able to play with my kids a bit.
    now i can barely get out of bed.
    i take them as prescribed.but these dont work like the oc’s did.
    and to mention your using carsigens.
    so now i have no pain relief and im also going to get cancer too.
    you should be ashamed of yourself.

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  11. Chris

    I don’t know how I can take the pain much longer. These new OP’s don’t work!
    They don’t kill the pain and they upset my stomach, give me diarrhea, and headaches. I take them as I am supposed to. My oncologist died and the doctor writing scripts for me is not giving enough medication for breakthrough pain. This was true even when I was getting the OC’s. Heck, Purdue has always lied about Oxycontin lasting 12 hours.

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  12. Jim

    I appreciate the post from people that are NOT against Oxycontin. Additionaly I appreciate the knowledge of the dangers of the new Oc’s that I wasn’t told of. I have had two back surgeries after breaking my back. The first they put two Titanium screws in my spine. The second was to remove a fractured screm from my back, that was caused by the surgeon or manufacturer defect. I will never know because they had to leave the broken screw was fused to my spine. I am in worst pain now than I ever was. I just started these op/oc pills. I hope they continue to help and not give me cancer. I wish people would quit blaming Purdue on their loved ones ODing and blame their loved ones for abusing the medication. Keep up the good work Purdue just keep out the carsigens.

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  13. nancy

    Oh yes..i forgot to mention a very serious issue..the new formulation of oxycontin..has at least 2 carcengic’s in it. Children who are playing with drugs and getting high..they were not taught to respect their bodies an their lives. Could the explanation be parents who are careless with other’s feelings or/and can not nor will show compassion to other’s? It’s all about me me me. Kids who get high will find many many other ways to do so!! It doesn’t take oxycontin..The new formula for oxycontin is very very dangerous to ones heart..liver..kidney brain. This new formula is plastic..titanuim dioxide..polysorba..mageusim..all toxic. Produces cancer ..we will be seeing a alarming rise in cancer rates in a few years..in our youngest as well as older population.And if i were to judge you the way you judge those who need pain relief..well how dare you hypocrits allow your children dying of kidney cancer any pain relief!!

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  14. hanna

    Hello…It is those people who have no problems with severe pain that shout the loudest.I slipped 2 disc’s as well as having other deformities of the spine and have lived since 1989 with untreated severe pain that no doctor would treat approprialty. In fact i was told pain is good for me as it build’s character. I reached a point where i would rather die than continue to live in pain. It sapped everything out of me. I finally had the good fortune to find a N.P.who prescribed oxycontin. It has been a Godsend. I can now function. However i am sick and tired of the guilt factor placed on everyone who must deal with pain on a daily basis..from those in this group.Stop driving because are you aware of how many accidents take innocent lives? And don’t cross a street..do you know how many car’s run the red light? In fact stop taking every over the counter medicine..do you know the needless deaths from oc meds? I would wish no one live with pain…but there are times when a person so flippity state painkillers are wrong..well i wish they would have such severe pain for a while and then come back and make your assessments.I doubt you would be so self righteous.

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  15. Dr. Bipper

    Larry Golbom of Prescription Addiction Radio is just another suppressor of free speech. His site banoxycontin.com is a complete hoard of crap. You try & post anything beneficial on that site & it is immediately deleted. You try & post how many millions of lives that OxyContin has helped & how many millions of people can lead a productive & normal life due to that drug & your post is immediately deleted. What is this Soviet Russia? Just because SOME people are stupid enough to abuse OxyContin doesn’t mean that MILLIONS of other chronic pain sufferers from a host of diseases & injuries should be denied a drug that works for them. Where are the parents, where are the teachers, where are the police, where are all the responsible people in kid’s lives that should be there to STOP this problem from ever escalating in the first place. I am SO sick of hearing parents sit around & complain how OxyContin is the reason why their child died! Where where you to watch your child’s behavior, where were you when they began hanging around a bad crowd, where were you when they are looking through yours or grandma’s medicine cabinet, where were you when your child was acting high in front of you all the time? Can any parent answer ANY of these questions? Do all you people know is how to blame someone else for your lack of responsibility & your problems? Nobody forced your child or ANYONE to take OxyContin. No person, no doctor, NOBODY put a gun to your head & forced you to take this narcotic, PERIOD! Do you people ever think of anyone else but yourselves? Do you ever think of the millions of suffering people everyday that use this drug AS PRESCRIBED, not abused & gain the ability to live life without pain? Do you care about how many people this drug helps when taken like THE DOCTOR TELLS YOU TO? I think it is absolutely ridiculous that none of you people can take responsibility for your own actions. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that you people can manipulate a drug, crush it, snort it, inject it, chew it, or whatever, & then have the audacity to blame the drug for getting you or your loved one addicted! You people need an education & people like you should NEVER be prescribed this drug, no questions asked! This drug was not intended to be abused & manipulated to do so. It was intended to relieve severe pain & make people able to live their lives more productively! Go ahead & play the blame game like so many of you same people always do, you are always the first ones to complain about everything, the first ones to make a lawsuit about anything, always the first ones to try & move the blame & responsibility away from yourselves & on to others. It is clearly not OxyContin’s fault that your child or loved one manipulated the drug, chewed it, snorted it, or whatnot & then overdosed because of that. That is called breaking the law, it is called addiction behavior & you should have NEVER had access to this drug in the first place. Parents, please don’t sit here & complain about how your child suffered when you did NOTHING to stop them from abusing this narcotic! You were all enablers, whether intentional or unintentional, you allowed this problem to persist to the point where death could take place. You allowed this to happen right under your own roof & right under your own noses whether you will admit it or not! It is disgusting that you blame the drug for the behaviors that you people display & choose to act upon! Just another selfish group of people who feel the need to make themselves feel better by placing the blame on to something or someone else, what a surprise! OxyContin has helped so many people & I tried to explain some of these stories & even tried to have them explain their stories themselves on Larry Golbom of Prescription Addiction Radio’s banoxycontin.com site, but any positive light that was shed on OxyContin was immediately deleted & our first amendment rights were violated. This means that you are only hearing a VERY SMALL portion of the story here, you are not hearing ANY of the successful stories & successful outcomes of using OxyContin properly & as prescribed. You are hurting millions of chronic pain sufferers all over this country & you don’t care at all. Why would you? You are selfish people! Why is Canada not changing the OxyContin forumlation? You know why? Because the new formulation has class 2A carcinogens such as titanium dioxide which have been clearly linked to cancer throughout the body. Health Canada considers this, along with most of the rest of the world, as a class 2A carcinogen & therefore will not let there population ingest such a chemical. The U.S. on the other hand only considers this toxic chemical, only one of the several toxic chemicals now in the new formulation, a class 2B carcinogen. This is still horrible & clearly is labeled a carcinogen for a reason! But what do you people care about this? Your children will continue to try & abuse this new OxyContin & now not only will they face the dangers of the drug when abused, they will face the consequences of these toxic chemicals. I hope all of you are SO proud of your great stance against this drug, it has really done so much! You have only given Purdue Pharma another 15 years of exclusive rights to producing this new OxyContin, it will never be banned, & now it contains drugs that are just as bad, or even worse than are what are in cigarettes now. Congratulations to all you inconsiderate people out there! Thanks for not taking responsibility for your own problems or your own kid’s abuse of this drug & now forcing the onset of this new even more dangerous form of OxyContin. Thanks for ignoring millions of chronic pain patients who are now going to be forced to ingest these toxic chemicals because they were listening to their doctors & taking this drug as prescribed for years & years & are still living & living with better quality lives! If you people are not already ignorant enough, there are tons of other opiates just waiting to be abused out there & already are, yet are you people doing anything to prevent your children from abusing these drugs? Dilaudid, Roxicodone, Morphine, Methadone, Oxymophone, Demerol, Percocet, Vicodin, Darvocet, Fentanyl, Levorphanol, & many more can & will be abused & cause death if abused. The point here is not to blame a helpful substance, but to teach & educate your children & yourselves to not do any of these drugs period, unless told to by a doctor. And if you are prescribed to any of these type of drugs, then DON’T ABUSE THEM, don’t crush them, don’t snort them, don’t inject them, that is NOT what they were intended for! Just because you people have NO self-control & are always looking for some substance to abuse nowadays the people who REALLY need these drugs should not be subjected to this nonsense! These drugs have been used in the medical field for centuries & no problems have occurred when these drugs have been used as prescribed & responsibly! These drugs are only meant for people who NEED them, not for teenagers, not for 20 year old college kids looking for a “high” & not for anyone who doesn’t have a prescription & therefore doesn’t need these drugs! Parents wake up & smell the coffee! Your children will continue to die & abuse some form of an opiate no matter if it is OxyContin or Dilaudid. You have to be the parents & take action & be responsible for your own child’s behavior & actions! This is literally a disgusting quest at blaming someone else for your problems & a quest that will lead you absolutely nowhere! Grow up, get educated, & learn how to take your drugs properly & don’t abuse the drugs nor use them for unintended purposes & not follow a doctors directions! This is all your own problem & will NEVER be fixed until you fix yourselves! These kind of drugs have been around & always will be around, the way to stop overdoses & abuse is with education & responsibility, it is that damn simple!

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  16. Stephanie

    My dad was a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for about 5 years. After a surgery, he was perscribed Oxycontin by a doctor. This was in the same hospital that my father had been in for rehab several years earlier. I will forever be curious why there was no red flag on his medical records that alerted he had a history with addiction? My highschool years were spent watching him spiral out of control with this terrible drug and Oxycontin was the ultimate cause of his death. When the doctor wrote that script, he wrote my dad’s death sentance.

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  17. Staicia Southern

    Hello my name is Staicia Southern. I’m a sixteen-year old girl from California and I am highly interested in becoming an anti-OxyContin activist and help put a stop to the addiction and loses of our loved ones. Over the passed couple of months I have lost two friends of mine to this drug. When I found out about my friend, at first I couldn’t believe it. Know one expected it from him, know one knew he was abusing this drug and then all of the sudden he’s gone, just like that. At that moment I decided that I wasn’t going to just wait around to see which one of my friends is going to die next. I decided I’m going to do something about it, I am going to do everything in my power to let the world know about this harsh drug and that our children are getting ahold of it and that one little interaction with this drug can take them away from us forever. I can only imagine the pain of what it feels like to loose a child, but the pain of loosing close friends at sixteen hurts. These friends of mine weren’t bad people, they were genuinely good true-hearted kids and wonderful friends, always full of life and smiling and making sure if you were having a bad day that they’d cheer you up.
    For years now, tons people I used to hang out with and call my friends have turned to this drug and completely neglected everything else. It has turned them into shady, deceiving people that I would rather not have in my life, and so I choose to stop hanging out with them, and I stuck with a small group of friends i trusted. But even in this small group of friends, that drug found its way in and took the life of someone I loved.
    I want to talk to as many kids and families as possible and just get let them be aware, and if I can do more I will. If it saves one life at least I know doing something right. My friends that are gone no longer have a voice to speak for this, so I believe that it is my duty to be the voice for them.

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  18. vangie

    oxycontin is ruining and killing people everyday, and after being found guilty of false info about the drug,and the addictiveness of it ,and the lives that have been lost and families that it has destroyed to my opion it should be banned any med with opium should be banned and the fda should be held responsible and forced to ban opiates after all they did lie about it’s effects ,so ban it now and forever and award evryone that it has caused harm….

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  19. susan cox-harris

    I walk both sides of this issue. I lost a child, sister , mother, and almost my brother , either directly or indirectly related to OXY. I also suffer 3 debilitating diseases. My pain is severe, my fear of OXY is worse.
    I was addicted @ 17 to IV Demerol. Auto accident caused 17 fractures, collapsed lung. I certainly didn`t choose this, and was before the days of Morphine pumps.
    Doctors want you to be comfortable and Nurses want you to be quiet. It`s a fine line, and hopefully you don`t fall over it. I did. It sucked, was one of the hardest things I ever did, the funny thing is I didn`t realise(nor did my Doctor) that it was withdrawal I was sick from.
    Although in believe in pain relief for those of us that NEED it, I also believe that Oxycontin is specifically manufactured to addict people, therefore is a danger to society and needs to be recalled, just like tires, playpens, blinds, food and any other thing that injures, kills people inadvertently.
    Obama has ties to big Pharma and it`s time he TRULY understands what his decisions mean.

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  20. Drew

    I have lost both my children to oxycotin, and my grandchildren has been without parents because of it. All it took was trying it once and they were hooked. I say someone is making a killing in money for other people dying on oxycotin. I think we should all file a lawsuit on the govenment and pharmacutical companies for pain, anguish, suffering and the lost of our childrens and family lives maybe they would see the how the oxycotins are destroying all families.

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  21. Cheryl Roxberry

    I agree with the fight to ban Oxycotin. I also feel for people in pain, but oxycotin and opoids are over prescribed and under controlled. Take Oxycotin off the market. What kind of medicine was prescribed to chronic pain suffers before Oxycotin? Have the FDA hire a company to make a different kind of pain killer with all the money they fined Purdue Pharma. I have seen so many people young and old get addicted to these opoids. I have lost two nephews to Oxycotin.My sister who grew up in a great family and great person got addicted to percoset from a back injury and now is a Heroin addict. My sister in now alive and on suboxene but her story is real and her only wish in life was that she never picked up. If you need an addict to describe to you or help you in any way with the life of this addiction I am sure she will be glad to help. GET THE DRUG OFF OF THE MARKET, SO MANY HIGH SCHOOL KIDS ARE GOING FROM OXYCOTIN TO HEROIN IT IS HORRIBLE.

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  22. Ed Bisch

    In the guestbook of my website are thousands of death and addiction stories and MANY started as patients. The FDA has ignored this fact for too long and needs to evaluate the risk/reward for oxycontin in moderate pain cases and in general.

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  23. Ed Vanicky

    Mr. Golbum has once again shined the light of truth on the deceptive practices of Big Pharma, the FDA, drug dealing “Doctor’s” and the addicted patients they “treat”.

    America had better wake up to the facts surrounding the liberal prescribing of narcotic medications, and the fact that the pharmecutical companies and the “Doctors” doing the liberal prescribing are only in it for themselves. There are legitimate patients who need these medications, that is understood, but at the same time a person with a toothache should not be prescribed OxyContin. Purdue Pharma would have you believe differently of course, but let’s please keep in mind that they are a multiple felony convicted company.

    Florida, for example, loses more people to death and addiction from OxyContin in one year, than the total number of Soldiers we have lost in the Iraq War since it started. That statistic is shameful and should grab the government and the FDA’s attention, but it does not. The new Drug Czar, Gil Kerlakowski has said prescription drug misuse would be a top priority for him – so far he has not delivered. The crimes associated with these dangerous drugs are out of control. Murder, assualt, robbery. When was the last time you read about someone robbing a pharmacy for Bayer Aspirin? You don’t – they get robbed for OxyContin.

    The “Pain Orgs” funded by Purdue Pharma that exploit pain sufferers for their own monetary gain, have been drawn into the light as well. The FDA turns a blind eye to them, just as they do the phamecutical companies. Any legitimate pain patient who needs their medication should not have to enlist the help of a “Pain Org” (or is it the other way around?) to get the medications they need. The “Pain Orgs” seem to exist for one thing only – helping pharmecutical companies peddle their dangerous drugs, through dishonest “Doctors”, to unsuspecting patients.

    The FDA has only one choice here – ban and / or re-classify these drugs to only those that truly need them. REMS is like putting a band-aid on an arterial wound. It won’t work. This problem is too widespread. The days of the Big Pharma money making, at the expense of the legitimate patient have got to be over.

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  24. Ada Giudice-Tompson

    I totally agree with Mr. Golbom.

    It is most commonly our licensed practitioners who legally prescribe these drugs that are causing addiction. They hand them out like candy. Although the focus should be on identifying the cause of the health problem the “prescription” solution takes priority in dealing with it quickly albeit unsafe and leading to deadly consequences. Our addiction specialists need to educate everyone, starting with the medical community about what addiction is — a HEALTH ISSUE requiring support and safe treatment. The police also require education and support in understanding the disease of addiction and how to safely approach someone who may be addicted. This education cannot come from a drug company like Purdue Pharma who very clearly only has a vested interest in their profit margin. WAKE UP FDA.

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  25. Jeffrey Brown

    I think ,that in this op-ed piece, we will have to agree to disagree. After two traumatic brain injuries I began to suffer from a variety of symptoms. One is severe pain where my spine connect to my brain. If I was to lay in bed, on my back all day and never move I, most likely, could live relatively pain free. However, having two kids, a wife and a job lying in bed is not an option. I spent 2 years and $100,000′s of dollars out of my money and my health insurance money to figure out how to stop the constant pain. I visited John’s Hopkins hospital, Georgetown University, Emory University and 7-8 of the best neurologist within a 300 miles from my home. After completing 2 years of constant medical therapy (of all kinds-except opioid) I could find no relief. I lost my job as a systems programmer with a major company. I lost my home. I lost my self respect. And I was loosing my wife and children. I was not going to let this injury take my family too.

    It wasn’t until I entered pain management and was administered oral morphine in a long acting form that I started to get some relief. After 6 months of figuring out a holistic treatment that included “narcotics” (not a word I would use) was I able to get out of bed on a simi-regular basis. I now work as much as I can, thank God for everyday the sun comes up and my wife and children love me for who I am not what has happened to me and what I have to do to take to control my symptoms.

    You sir, though I agree with you about oxycontin, are a misinformed fool. You state,”If an individual cannot stop taking a drug due to suffering adverse consequences from discontinuing the drug, I believe that is addiction”. You would be wrong. The body has it’s own pain receptors that handle pain. They are there for a reason. However, when these mechanisms within the body cannot handle the signals sent to them they need a boost from artificial means.If those means are opioids then the body becomes dependent on opioid medication. When you take that boost away and the body begin to revert to it’s original chemical settings. During that period It effects the person in many unpleasant ways.

    To classify people in pain as addicts is morally wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself. YES, there are people who abuse their medication and there should be monitoring to make sure that no one does. And if one were to fall into the depths of addiction treatment should be available. But you have gone too far in your assessment of people in pain. You make generalizations that do not include all people in pain. It’s people like you that make it difficult for people in pain to get the relief they need to have the will to live. Unless you think that we (people in pain)should all just die. I would suggest you reconsider your position.

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  26. Pete Jackson

    Mr. Golbom speaks very truthfully and accurately regarding the scourge that Purdue Pharma, the company that makes OxyContin, has wrought upon this country. This drug took our daughter from us three years ago, she was only 18. She made a simple mistake and accepted an OxyContin pill offered to her by a relative. One pill. This was her only experience with this dangerous drug.

    This drug flooded the medicine cabinets of America after being illegally marketed by Purdue, a company convicted of a felony for lying to doctors and the American public about the dangers of this drug to increase profits. Once it was widely distributed, it became increasingly used nonmedically. Young people assume that any drug that is in the family medicine cabinet with a doctor’s name on the vial must be safe. The results have been tragic.

    As Mr. Golbom has stated, FDA is well aware of the danger of this drug, the thousands of deaths annually from its use, misuse and abuse, and Purdue’s illegal marketing tactics, yet this company is allowed to continue to market the drug as always, with but a slap on the wrist. IT IS SHAMEFUL FOR A GOVERNMENT AGENCY TO ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE GIVEN THE HISTORY OF THIS DRUG. The dominating influence of the drug companies extends well beyond the halls of Congress into the very agency that is charged with ensuring the safety of drug use in the U.S.

    We now have a new President. Unfortunately, thus far the Obama Administration has not shown that it means business in reducing the unnecessary deaths from OxyContin and other dangerous opioids. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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  27. Dr. Steve

    Another excellent article from Larry Golbom, Host of Prescription Addiction Radio. He highlights the complexities of the poorly understood disease of addiction which has exploded nationally largely due to the overuse of prescription opioids for millions of patients for the ‘symptom’ of pain, many of whom have had chronic pain and pain sensitivity associated with anxiety and depressive disorders [Check out the references cited: "Patients with depression frequently suffer from medically unexplained pain" and "MRI reveals relationship between depression and pain"]. This excessive, nonselective use of OxyContin and other opium-derived products as successfully promoted for profit by the opioid industry [with the complicity of the FDA], has led to the progressive, mounting toll of addictions, diversion, crime, overdose, and death, which needs to be better understood by the medical community, media and public.

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