The biggest explosion on the drug scene in recent years has been that of prescription pills. Though these pills are legal with a medical prescription, abusers use them for recreation and build up dependencies for them like any other hard drug. One of the premier intoxicating pill available on the pharmaceutical market is OxyContin/Oxycodone. This drug, used mostly for the treatment of severe chronic pain is chemically similar to heroin and acts the same way. In fact, Purdue Pharama, the manufacturer of Oxycontin, pled guilty to lying to the FDA, doctors and the public about Oxycontin in 2007, but it remains available. In a statement, Novus Medical Detox Center said, “One of our patients, a former heroin addict who used OxyContin when he couldn’t get heroin and heroin when he couldn’t get OxyContin, but preferred OxyContin even though it was more expensive because it was safer, asked, ‘Why is heroin illegal and OxyContin legal?’”
It would seem like responsible doctors would do all in their power to keep “oxys” away from children. That is not the case. Thursday, the FDA approved the limited use of OxyContin for kids. FDA director of new anesthesia, analgesia and addiction products, Dr. Sharon Hertz said that studies from Purdue Pharma “supported a new pediatric indication for OxyContin in patients 11 to 16 years old and provided prescribers with helpful information about the use of OxyContin in pediatric patients.”
It’s a little wild that the FDA would approve the use of something as hazardous as OxyContin to treat pain in kids, when marijuana, a natural alternative, has been proven to do so, but remains illegal. Some parents have seen the miraculous curing properties of cannabis at work, and have risked their freedom to obtain legal marijuana from other states to give to their ailing children.
Then again, the FDA’s move shouldn’t be too surprising. Adderall is prescribed to many children to treat ADHD, but it is a legal form of methamphetamine. Though there aren’t many horror stories in the news about kids tripping on Adderall, it seems more likely that we’ll see some attributed to the pediatric use of OxyContin.