OxyContin is a narcotic drug, an opiate, that has been approved by the FDA to legally treat chronic pain. Chronic pain is documented medical condition, a progressive disease of the nervous system and spine that causes constant a patient to experience constant, excruciating pain. Chronic pain is caused by the failure of the body's internal pain control systems and is accompanied by changes of the chemical and anatomical makeup of the spinal cord. Left untreated, the condition will spread to unaffected areas. A patient suffering from chronic pain does not produce enough natural opiates, so a pharmaceutical opiate like OxyContin is an effective treatment for the disease.
Unfortunately, drug addicts have abused the medical system and obtained prescriptions of OxyContin in order to feed narcotic habits rather than treat medical conditions. Like any narcotic, OxyContin can be highly addictive and overdosing can be fatal. Illicit prescriptions of OxyContin are both sold and abused on the black market. This situation creates a problem for governmental drug regulating agencies that are trying to take a hard line on drug abuse.
Recently, the government has been cracking down harder on drugs and drug abuse, and this does not mean simply going after the users and abusers of pharmaceutical drugs. The government has been targeting the doctors who prescribe these drugs to patients who then abuse them. The problem here is that it is difficult for doctors to know how their prescriptions are actually applied, and a doctor cannot immediately revoke the prescription of a suspected abuser because withdrawal symptoms cause are equivalent to the pain of torture, and can be fatal. Thus doctors who prescribe OxyContin to patients with chronic pain, and remember the condition will progressively and permanently worsen without this treatment, have been convicted of drug trafficking, had medical licenses revoked, and been sent to prison.
Who the real victim is depends entirely on the circumstances of the individual case. Certainly innocent doctors have been punished for prescribing appropriate drugs to pained patients, but in other instances OxyContin has been prescribed irresponsibly, causing addiction, overdose, death, and contributing to the black market exchange of drugs. If you are on either side of this line and are concerned about the use or prescription of OxyContin, please consult a lawyer immediately and protect your interests.
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