Opana probably ranks among the top three of all abused prescription drugs in the United States, even though most people have never heard of it. As agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency put it, Opana is “trending rapidly” in many parts of the country. They know this is true because of the increase in deaths attributed to this drug, the increasing number of people entering residential treatment for Opana, and because the number of Opana prescriptions will be over a million this year alone, even though Opana has only been on the market since 2007.
The Opana trend is due to a change in the formulation of OxyContin, a powerful narcotic painkiller that is a chemical cousin of Opana and heroin. OxyContin was sold as pills, but addicts typically crushed them into a powder to be snorted through the nose or mixed with liquid and injected. Under pressure from the federal government and physicians, Purdue Pharmaceuticals reformulated OxyContin pills so they turn into goo when crushed, making it impossible to inject or snort the drug. It cakes in the nose and gets stuck in the teeth.
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