OxyContin Use Growing Among White-Collar Population

Doctors and social workers in New York City have seen an increase in the number of white-collar professionals using OxyContin ® to get high, the New York Post reported Feb. 16.

"For the white-collar people that I take care of, OxyContin ® is an attractive option," said Dr. Brealyn Sellers, director of rehabilitative services at Bellevue's methadone-treatment clinic in New York City. "I definitely have seen more of it."

In New York's metropolitan area, emergency-room visits related to oxycodone, the active drug in OxyContin ®, Percodan, and Percocet, have increased nearly 300 percent since 1995.

Compared to other drugs, OxyContin ® is expensive, costing between $25 and $80 a pill. But the "high" achieved from the drug can last 12 hours, and price is no object for wealthier users. Heroin, on the other hand, costs about $10 a dose, but the "high" lasts for just about an hour.

"The patients that I'm seeing are doing some doctor shopping," said Dr. Clifford Gevirtz, medical director of the Addiction Recovery Institute in Westchester. "I don't need to go to the corner bodega to get my drugs -- I can go to the doctor's office."

OxyContin ® is also preferred by upscale users because it's difficult for local law enforcement to track.

"There is no national database to determine how many prescriptions are given out," said Robert Strang, head of an investigative and security company and a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent.

Source: www.jointogether.org

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