Appalachian Addicts Drug of Choice Not Bath Salts But OxyContin
There is a new word to describe those in the Appalachian mountain region who are addicted to prescription drugs like OxyContin and the word is Pillbillies. A pillbilly is described as someone who is addicted and obsessed with opioid use.
According to the Washington Times, Kentucky and West Virginia are constantly involved in fatal overdoses from painkillers due to their wide range of abuse in this region. While this is in no way an epidemic that is confined to only Appalachia, with OxyContin’s introduction as a sort of miracle drug, it became largely prescribed in this mountain area.
254 million prescriptions were filled in the U.S. for the year 2010 alone. This amount is large enough to keep every adult in the U.S. medicated 24 hours a day for one month. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recently released statistics showing prescription drugs to be more deadly than overdoses from both cocaine and heroin combined.
If that fact doesn’t scare you, accidental prescription overdoses now outrank automobile accidents, making this a first in the past century. Accidental overdoses rank first when it comes to accidental deaths in the U.S.
While all of these illegal drugs have potentially deadly consequences, none have caused as much devastation as OxyContin. Purdue Pharma first introduced the pill as a non-addictive solution for relief from chronic pain. It was touted as the miracle drug and was widely prescribed in the Appalachian mountain region.
Now, we are left to wonder when the government will realize the dangers it is causing and do something to help stop this epidemic in America. Obviously, the pill mills, pharmaceutical companies and unethical doctors are making huge profits from the sale of OxyContin and are only profiting financially.
OxyContin was first approved in 1995 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a non-addictive pain pill that would be gradually released over a 12 hour period to avoid withdrawal symptoms and eliminate the euphoria that addicts crave.