23 Feb Comparing Oxi and OxyContin
The common names of illegal street drugs can often be misleading. Names like Mary Jane, Grass, Smiles, and Spice sound practically family friendly, perhaps helping to conceal the illicit nature of the substances by sounding innocuous to those who are not familiar with them. With so many nicknames for well-known illegal drugs, and new designer drugs with new names cropping up all the time, it can be nearly impossible to know just what is out there.A particularly nasty drug that has gained a strong foothold in the Amazon region of South America has a name that may cause confusion for a different reason. The drug is called Oxi, and with such a name it is natural to think that this name refers to the drug oxycodone (brand name OxyContin) or to a synthetic drug with similar properties. However, these two similarly named substances actually have very little in common, apart from the fact that both are addictive and may be abused.
The Light and Dark Sides of OxyContin
OxyContin is a prescription pain medication, and also a Schedule II controlled substance. The medication is a powerful painkiller that can help to neutralize even the severest of chronic pain. However, the drug is also highly addictive, and is regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) because of its potential for abuse.
Although OxyContin has earned a reputation as a popularly abused and highly addictive drug, the medication is largely beneficial and offers minimal risk of addiction when used properly. When OxyContin is used as it is intended, it releases into the system slowly, thanks to a controlled release mechanism. This allows the human body to benefit from its pain-blocking and relaxing properties without experiencing the kind of rapid high followed by rapid drop in medication levels that causes the brain to become addicted.
However, OxyContin is an agonist opioid, which means it is derived from the same source as the highly addictive illegal drug heroin. The origin of all opioid-based drugs is the opium poppy plant. When taken incorrectly or at extremely high doses, OxyContin does have the ability to produce a high that drug abusers crave and leads to addiction. Frequently, individuals seeking a high from OxyContin will inject, snort, or chew the drug to bypass the slow release process and receive an instant high as the drug floods their system.
Twice As Strong As Crack Cocaine
In contrast to OxyContin, the drug Oxi does not have a day job as a prescription medication. Oxi is illegal and highly dangerous blended drug-a combination of various noxious substances with no legitimate therapeutic purpose.
Oxi originated along the Amazonian borders of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil in the 1980s. In the past decade it has experienced a surge of popularity that has caused it to spread as far south as Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The drug takes its name from the Spanish word ‘oxidado,’ which means rust.
Although the exact chemical nature of Oxi is not known, the drug is believed to be made by combining cocaine paste, kerosene, gasoline, and calcium oxide. The resulting substance is a powerful hallucinogen, and has been described as being twice as strong as crack cocaine. Unfortunately, the drug is only a fraction of the price of crack cocaine, making it attractive to many drug abusers in spite of its dangers. The drug is also so addictive that anti-drug organizations in the Amazon region report that the majority of users become addicted to Oxi after their first use.
Like crack cocaine, Oxi is consumed by smoking. The cocaine paste in Oxi, like other forms of cocaine drugs, is derived from the coca plant, making it distinct from poppy derived opioids. The physical and mental effects of cocaine-based Oxi and the opioid OxyContin are also distinct. OxyContin, when abused, results in a strong rush of euphoria and invincibility. In contrast, the common effects of Oxi are violent hallucinations and paranoia, which can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting.
A Future Threat?
As frightening as the effects of Oxi in Amazonian Brazil may be, the drug has not yet made many inroads outside of South America. However, with a drug so addictive and so dangerous, it is never too early to understand just what Oxi is—and is not.
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