Since its creation nearly one hundred years ago the pharmaceutical known as oxycodone has been used to treat acute pain for a wide variety of illness and injury. Originally created in Germany in 1916, the thebaine derived oxycodone was intended to be used as a substitution for the previously mass produced heroin and morphine. Though the drug had many of the same analgesic effects, it was thought to have less addictive properties than its predecessors. It was also hoped that it would be less dangerous to use as it was to be ingested rather than injected making the effects less immediate.
In 1917 the drug was used for the first time clinically but was not introduced to the U.S. until 1939 when it was combined with aspirin to form Percodan. By the early 1960’s in America, Percodan would be the most widely used pain reliever. Due to light restrictions on the medication and its euphoric side effects, Percodan would also become the source of at least one third of all drug addictions in the state of California.
By the 1970’s a new form of oxycodone was introduced in America. However, Percocet, as it was named, would have much tighter restrictions. With information gathered about the addictive qualities and harmful long-term effects of these drugs, the National Bureau of Narcotics called for many new limitations on such medication and they and any other opiate were listed as a schedule 2 drug. This new listing allowed for a much clearer understanding of the drugs physical and psychological addictive properties.
In the late 1990’s a new uncut form of oxycodone was released. Developed by Perdu Pharma, the new version named OxyContin was developed to curb abuse through its time release delivery system. For i...
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...ith painful withdrawal symptoms like these it is easy to see why some people might go to great lengths to acquire more drugs, including committing crimes.
When prescriptions no longer become available, those who have become dependent or addicted to an opiate may resort to theft or burglary or other types of scams to afford these pills on the street. One example of this has been a rise in pharmacy burglaries. In Edmonton, Alta in 2011, there were 13 type robberies “almost double the number this time last year. Eleven of those robberies were for drugs, the primary target being the opiate oxycodone, which is sold under the brand names OxyContin and Percocet.”( Pierse, 2011) With the average street price of a dollar per gram for Oxycodone and such a high demand, it is clear why someone willing to commit acts of robbery would target a pharmacy.
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