Pubdate: Fri, 06 Aug 2004
Source: Edmonton Journal (CN AB)
Copyright: 2004 The Edmonton Journal
Author: Dr. Saifee Rashiq


Half Truths Threaten Use Of Oxycontin.

Re: "National registry needed to stem abuse of 'hillbilly heroin.' "
Journal, Aug. 5.

Much of the recent bad press about the drug Oxycontin is based on half
truths and misunderstanding. Oxycontin is available in several
different strengths, and while it is true that the strongest pills are
very potent indeed, the others are about as strong as the long-acting
morphine tablets that doctors have prescribed for years.

Anyone who wants to abuse a prescribed medication by crushing it and
injecting it into their veins will find a way to do so. If Oxycontin
is removed from the market, these individuals will simply move on to
something else. The people who would suffer the most in this scenario
are the thousands of people in our city and elsewhere who make proper
and appropriate use of Oxycontin to relieve severe pain and improve
the quality of their lives.

The medical literature shows that addiction has at least as much to do
with who you are as with the substances you can obtain. A person who
never had any kind of substance abuse problem and who is prescribed a
drug like Oxycontin for a legitimate medical purpose can rest assured
that the chances of becoming addicted to that substance are virtually

Drug addiction is a terrible scourge on our society but undue hysteria
about a legitimate and effective medical tool such as Oxycontin will
do nothing to reduce it.

Dr. Saifee Rashiq, director, Multidisciplinary Pain Centre,

University of Alberta Hospitals, Edmonton
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