Opana Abuse in USA Overtakes OxyContin
Jul 10, 2012
In the United States, Opana® is quickly replacing OxyContin® as the go-to drug for users who are addicted to prescription painkillers. Opana® (oxymorphone) abuse skyrocketed after the manufacturers of OxyContin® moved to stem the abuse of the drug by reformulating it into a crush-resistant pill, making it difficult for users to crush or dissolve the pill into a snortable or injectable form. With the new OxyContin® pills almost impossible to abuse, users searched for a new alternative and gravitated towards Opana®. Opana’s® manufacturers also created a crush-resistant version, but it wasn’t approved until late 2011, meaning that some crushable Opana®pills are still on the market.
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, there have been 11 pharmacy robberies this year—an unusually high number—and in almost every robbery the assailant specifically demanded Opana®. “When OxyContin
® changed, the drug abusers looked for a different thing. Opana® emerged immediately,” said Sgt. Jerry Goodin of the Indiana State Police.
“You get a handle on OxyContin®; they switch to Opana®,” said Jeffery Reynolds, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Mineola, N.Y. As the available quantities of the highly sought after crushable forms of Opana® start to dry up, police and addiction experts anticipate that heroin will take its place. “When they either can’t get those particular pharmaceuticals or can’t afford them, they now gravitate towards heroin,” says DEA Special Agent Gary Bloggs of the Office of Diversion Control.
Learn More: Narcotics, Oxycodone, Heroin
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