Oxycodone: Personal and social consequences

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 2:36 pm

The majority of people who use narcotic pain relievers do so safely and appropriately without becoming addicted. Despite widely held assumptions that increased prescribing of these drugs will lead to increased abuse, recent studies suggest this is not the case.
Patients with chronic pain or who suffer from pain syndromes are sometimes labeled as “weak” or “dependent” because they need prescription pain medication on a daily or as-needed basis. Unfortunately, such labeling might make people who truly need strong prescription pain relief too ashamed or embarrassed to ask for it.
People who do become addicted to oxycodone or other opiates face many personal and social obstacles, including difficulty obtaining or maintaining a steady job. As a result, addicts who do not get the help they need to stop using prescription drugs may end up having to rely on public assistance.
Since the early 1990s the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C viruses, and tuberculosis among people who inject opiate drugs has increased dramatically. The annual number of opiate-related emergency room visits has increased dramatically and the number of people who die each year as a result of abusing opiates has nearly doubled in recent years, further underscoring the human, economic, and societal costs of opiate addiction.

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