Michael Jackson Death Brings Focus to Oxycontin
Oxycontin, a prescription pain killer, is rumored to have been used daily by Michael Jackson for pain control. According to an ABC report, a senior law enforcement official reported that oxycontin was a part of Michael Jackson’s daily medical regimen in addition to the pain killer Demerol.
Oxycontin contains the pain killer oxycodone, and is associated with high level of drug abuse for the past thirty years. Respiratory depression is one of the side effects associated with all narcotic drugs. The drug is widely sold illicitly. Common nicknames for oxycontin include OC, Oxy, OX, Blue, Oxycotton, Hillybilly Heroin, and Kicker.
The effects of oxycodone last 4 to 6 hours. Oxycontin is time released. The narcotics contribute to feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and pain relief. It is manufactured in time or immediate release capsule and tablets, and in combination with aspirin or acetaminophen. Adverse events associated with oxycontin have increased since the drug was first marketed, leading to close scrutiny of prescribing policies. Most physicians are hesitant to prescribe the narcotic that carries a major risk of respiratory depression and high risk of abuse.
Oxycontin is a legitimate drug that can be used for pain control, but requires close monitoring and medical management. Over-prescribing has been an ongoing focus of the DEA, as well as diversion and fraudulent prescriptions.
Over time, higher doses of narcotics such as oxycontin, or Demerol might be required to control pain. Sadly, drug dependency is a common problem that claims lives. Chronic pain is a serious problem that destroys quality of life, leaving patients in pain susceptible to harm.
Narcotic drugs such as oxycontin and Demerol can cause overdose as tolerance to the medications develop. Drug dependency and addiction often go hand in hand. Oxycontin and Demerol are high on the list of drugs that can cause physical dependency and addiction, and carry serious risks – the highest of which is respiratory depression and cardiac arrest.
Whether oxycontin and Demerol drug dependency contributed to Michael Jackson’s death remains to be seen. Discussion and education about the potential for harm from narcotic pain killers such as oxycontin could help others fight drug dependency and abuse.