OxyContin: Time Bomb

OxyContin: Time Bomb

2014, Drugs  -   64 Comments
8.31
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Ratings: 8.31/10 from 139 users.

In the medical community, chronic pain has become a major epidemic, and is thought to afflict many tens of millions of people worldwide. Pharmaceutical companies have been swift in their response to treating these patients, and their resulting products have netted multiple billions of dollars in revenue. Oxycontin, a narcotic produced by Purdue Pharma, stands as the poster pill for the severe pain-relief industry. While the drug has certainly assisted many in regaining a much-improved quality of life and daily function, it has also fostered a frightening new frontier in addiction. OxyContin: Time Bomb, a Canadian-produced documentary from CBC News, explores the origins of this troubling phenomenon, and searches for solutions amidst a crisis which shows no signs of slowing.

The success of the drug, and the unrivaled growth of the pain management and relief industry in general, emanates from an aggressive and hugely successful marketing campaign. Derived from opium, Purdue Pharma billed Oxycontin as a safe narcotic due to its slow release within the system, and downplayed its risks for endearing dependency amongst its users, particularly in comparison to its counterpart prescription drug Percocet. In what has become a disturbingly common practice within the medical industry, Purdue Pharma allied itself within the global community of doctors, and persuaded them that Oxycontin was the most reliable and effective remedy for patients dealing with chronic and severe pain. In effect, many of these doctors have become spokespeople for the pharmaceutical companies, and have often enjoyed large payments in exchange for advocating the drug in public forums.

What appeared at first glance to be an overwhelmingly positive development for all involved soon began to show signs of crippling dependency and withdrawal symptoms, alarmingly high rates of overdoses, and unprecedented recreational abuse. According to the film, this epidemic of addiction continues its insidious spread thanks to the mainstream legitimacy of the drug, coupled with the increasing permissiveness of the medical community itself. OxyContin: Time Bomb urges that change must come from within. Doctors must live by their mantra - first do no harm - and be more proactive in utilizing alternative means of pain treatment without the reliance on powerful narcotics.

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Ted
Ted
2 years ago

Go to Cali or some other looser State and smoke your ass off =D!

Raquel
Raquel
6 years ago

From a humanity point of view, its very tragic how this medication has destroyed and ended lives. It obviously messes with the pain receptors in the brain so trying to get off this medication, for some if not many, is very very physiologically difficult. For those who are able to take it as prescribed and not develop the problems others have is great however it seems to be less common than those who go on to form a dependence and suffer the fall out. I think our society needs to put high priority and high quality resources into helping those who are suffering.

Jaxcy
Jaxcy
6 years ago

At one time, years ago, my pain made me want to die. It was the worst i had ever felt and was not only house bound but confined to my bed as well. I had nurses coming in and out of my house daily, I needed help to even take a bath and had bed rails set up, as well as bars to help me use the toilet and i had a cane and a wheel chair for when i would finally be able to go out once again. I was put on 90 mg oxycontin, after trying many other meds, and i finally got some relief. I had hope and no longer longed for death to take me. But i did count the hours from one dose to the time that i would be able to take the next dose. It worked and did its job. And I was very happy about it. As my back healed i was able to go down on the amount of oxycontin that i was on, step by step. Later it was found to be addictive and many were misusing it so it was changed to what we have now In Canada called oxyneo..... It did not work as well but i got used to it and it still helped, although not as much. I am presently at a much lower amount that helps. But i must say that if you don't take it at the right time, the withdrawal is insanely evil. While it helped me with my back, and it helped me to be able to do housework and take the kids to their sports, i really felt like i didn't want to rely on it..So i went down to the lowest level possible for me and remain at it to this day....sometime I hope to get off it completely if i am able....

ex-superman
ex-superman
7 years ago

I feel for the weak willed that get hooked on pain meds.. Be strong, be stronger and stop blaming outside forces for your own failures as a human! I have been on the same low dose of opiates for over 3 years. I've ran out early exactly 2 times.. never experienced any "withdrawal issues. My State medical board says you must be treated at a pain management specialist if you are taking over 170mg of opiates, I use 60mg and still must go through the same garbage(HMO issued a proclamation to not deal with "pain management at all)" to procure my meds as a junkie that is pill shopping! I need to see my doctor every month(on going, no end in sight) and submit to a UA every single time, all due to addicts that use them not for their intended usage! I hate being tossed into the same group as abusers!

L.
L.
8 years ago

The doctor who wrote the pain management book asked something along the line of 'where does personal responsibility begin'; this as an excuse for himself not taking responsibility for the ill effects that this drug has on certain people. It's a argument that I personally really do not like. He is sure in his thinking, I can see that, but he is wrong in what he does and stands for. He is certainly responsible.

Brad Erlwein
Brad Erlwein
8 years ago

Seems a lot like Reefer Madness redux. The tolerance problem with these drugs is a limitation that has to be managed, but it's well worth the effort versus putting up the chronic pain. Blaming these drugs is a simpleminded approach that begs the larger problem. Properly managed by competent physicians, these drugs are still the best solution for chronic pain. This is a pretty crappy piece of documentary work.

Jason Rane
Jason Rane
8 years ago

Although I must agree that consuming oxycontin/oxycodone and any opiate for that matter, is going to provide a pleasurable experience; therefor being high risk for addiction, and if addiction is present well not doubt withdrawal is to be expected too. I must also mention my own case. Due to the negligence of a surgeon I suffer from indescribable knee pain that hurts all the time, regardless of weather I walk, stand, sit, or lay down. the pain is excruciating, extreme, and constant. I would not wish this upon anybody. I managed to get by for seven years without drugs of any kind. the pain was worsening year to year and on the eight year when i was ready to end my life because of severe chronic pain i was put on a course of drugs (including oxycodone and methadone). these powerful analgesics have given me back some quality of life.

I have been on them now for four years without any problems. i do suffer from addiction. i take only as prescribed, never anymore! and i can honestly say without these drugs i would not be alive today. so think twice before forming an opinion about how evil and addictive this medication is. perhaps it's not the drug that makes the addict, maybe it's the person that makes the addict. those who are prone to addiction will struggle with anything pleasurable. while those who are not prone will easily refrain from abusive behaviour with even the most pleasurable substances on earth. I for one am very capable of exercising appropriate restraint in life. It's impulse control and i happen to have it.

I am one of many people who literally owe's his life to narcotics. so please please please think twice before hating on the pharmaceutical companies and instead aim that hatred at the idiots who have no self control and abuse drugs such as opiates therefor giving them an awful reputation which people like me then have to suffer the judgemental attitude of the ill informed masses of asses. I hate being judged as if i am an addict. it makes me sick to my stomach that people are so incapable of taking care of themselves.

William Hoffmaster
William Hoffmaster
8 years ago

I have been on pain meds since 2003 from an accident at work and have tried just about everything. I now take three kinds of pain meds. and still am in pain. I also have a license for marijuana. The plant works better than any of the pills or patch. Yet the FDA still refuses to acknowledge that it is useful and non addicting. I wonder if any of you know how many labs the FDA has to test these drugs after they get the papers from the drug companies. The answer is simple :NONE. They make the decision on what the drug companies tell them. I think it is about time the FDA builds a lab and starts testing these drugs themselves. they do some small tests on some things BUT if we are going to trust the FDA then they need to build labs and test the drugs they are allowing us to use .. We are trusting them with our lives. know you are going to read this so please get Congress to alot the funds needed to keep Americans safe. PLEASE!!!!

charlie
charlie
8 years ago

The whole premise of this movie is ridiculous. Purdue did not say that Oxycontin would not cause addiction. IT said it would cause a lower possibility of addiction then non time released opioids. This is true. I have taken prescription medications for chronic pain for 20 years. I have taken almost everyone. I have ben prescribed oxycontin for control of that pain and despite the number of years I have had to take it I have never had to exceed 40Ms 2x a day. I am given a very low dose of breakthrough medication (10mg) up to 4 times a day and have never had to abuse that either.

My pain is the result of a severe electrical accident which resulted in me losing a big part of my super torso. The pain will not go away it wil infect worsen as I age. The ability to control addiction is the result of a good doctor and a patient who understands that taking the medication outside of prescribed limits will cause problems. One time I took more than I was prescribed and I told my doctor I had done that. He threatened that if I were to ever do it again he would never write me another prescription.

Message given / message received. Everyone in the world these days wants to place blame somewhere else. Where did Purdue say that the drug was NOT addictive. They didn't. Purdue cant help it if people go on their own like the woman in the film did taking 30 pills a day. Despite these truths the film game less then 5 minutes to one woman who understands that she needs to take the medication to remain at a level where pain is controlled and she can function. I am sure she understand that if she were to try to take herself off of it there would be withdrawal symptoms. As I understand there would be for me if I wanted to wean off eh medication. These are the realities whether it is less addictive ( which it definitely is) then immediate release opioids or not. Opioids in all forms can and will cause addiction. In the end everyone wants someone else to be held responsible for the choices they make.

Erica J Thiel
Erica J Thiel
8 years ago

It is really very sad so few know the difference between addiction andn dependence.
Just like with MANY other drugs opioids have to be weaned off of in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms, this does NOT mean someone is Addicted!
Dependence IS very difference than addiction -the elicit desire to get or inappropriately take a medication!

KvlnTlmothyMore665
KvlnTlmothyMore665
9 years ago

People with real pain are now being abused because of the drug hysteria that that has been created by media surrounding opiate painkillers such as Oxycontin. Not every opiate medication has the same risk of addiction. Most opiate painkillers are not as addictive as Oxycontin. Many opinions about opiate medications have become very biased and do not provide a complete picture. In many Indiana communities, it is virtually impossible to find pain relief unless you are coerced by a doctor into taking less effective non-opiate pain medications that cause problems such as a heart attack and/or suicidal ideation. Apparently a heart attack and/or suicidal ideation are acceptable risks for pain management medications so long as the medication is non-opiate. Opiates and their users have become a scapegoat for problems in medical communities. Opiate users are often targets of harassment even though they have a legitimate health need.

Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital in Bloomington, IN regularly fails to diagnose patients correctly and calls them addicts without much evidence because it is easier for hospital staff and it is profitable. Apparently Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital staff are the "good guys" for blaming perceived undesirables in the community and for failing to diagnose several painful physical conditions in some patients. Interestingly enough, many of the people they treat as undesirable have played important roles in the community and are Indiana University graduates. Hospital staff derive a great deal of competitive pleasure through defaming their patients and sending them home in unbearable pain.

Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital often seeks to get perceived undesirables out of the way by prescribing the patient behavior-altering psychiatric medications for pain in the hope that the medications cause suicidal action and/or other behaviors that will most likely be perceived as a psychiatric problem. The overall idea is to torture patients with behavior-altering psychiatric medications so when the patient self-harms the patient is the one to blame. A hospital that keeps patients sick and in pain always has profitable work that will keep them in business.

Kevin Moore-Jackowiak
Kevin Moore-Jackowiak
9 years ago

People with real pain are now being abused because of the drug hysteria that that has been created by media surrounding opiate painkillers such as Oxycontin. Not every opiate medication has the same risk of addiction. Most opiate painkillers are not as addictive as Oxycontin. Many opinions about opiate medications have become very biased and do not provide a complete picture. In many Indiana communities, it is virtually impossible to find pain relief unless you are coerced by a doctor into taking less effective non-opiate pain medications that cause problems such as a heart attack and/or suicidal ideation. Apparently a heart attack and/or suicidal ideation are acceptable risks for pain management medications so long as the medication is non-opiate. Opiates and their users have become a scapegoat for problems in medical communities. Opiate users are often targets of harassment even though they have a legitimate health need.
Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital in Bloomington, IN regularly fails to diagnose patients correctly and calls them addicts without much evidence because it is easier for hospital staff and it is profitable. Apparently Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital staff are the "good guys" for blaming perceived undesirables in the community and for failing to diagnose several painful physical conditions in some patients. Interestingly enough, many of the people they treat as undesirable have played important roles in the community and are Indiana University graduates. Hospital staff derive a great deal of competitive pleasure through defaming their patients and sending them home in unbearable pain.
Very often, Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital often seeks to get perceived undesirables out of the way by prescribing the patient behavior-altering psychiatric medications for pain in the hope that the medications cause suicidal action and/or other behaviors that can be perceived as a psychiatric problem. The overall idea is to torture patients with behavior-altering psychiatric medications so when the patient self-harms the patient is the one to blame. The theory is that a hospital that keeps patients sick and in pain always has profitable work that will keep them in business.

Blaice
Blaice
9 years ago

Started really strong, but the lack of physiological effects on the body, to relate it to the more pure—harder—substance left it a little lackluster. Overall, it was quite a good documentary for the length. I am not a believer in drugs, and only see the deceit and disingenuous actions by an industry driven for profit, but acts in health. If these people understood foods interaction with the human body, and the amazing physiological potential, maybe they would choose a smarter route of alleviation.

FollowTheFacts
FollowTheFacts
9 years ago

...fine documentary...not very enjoyable to watch and not very interesting either, but...a fine documentary nevertheless...I gave it 7 – and I watched it because you guys gave it such a high score...a well made piece about a dreary subject matter....

John Techwriter
John Techwriter
9 years ago

There are plenty of flaky docs on this channel, but this is not one of them. It's a segment from The Fifth Estate, which is to Canada what Frontline is to the USA -- a documentary series with intergrity and willing to take the time and resources required to explore a story.

I recommend this video especially to those who take prescription meds to get high. It shows that with Oxy, a reckoning is bound to take place -- and often at the cost of a person's job, family, and self respect.

Purdue, OxyContin's maker, have been fined $600 million for misrepresenting their highly addictive product as totally safe to family doctors who wanted a sure-fire pain remedy for their everyday patients. The judge said he would imprison Purdue executives if he had the power.

In Canada, thousands of Oxy ex-addicts are in methadone programs, and that's because this drug is right up there with heroin in terms of its addictiveness and life-altering consequences.

I'm not against getting high on principle -- life is hard and now and then we need a mental vacation. But it's good to know going in the price tag of your drug of choice. Part of getting high responsibly is awareness of the addictive properties of that which you are ingesting.

This documentary takes on big pharma in a way most U.S. producers would never dare. Its insights are thus of value to the discerning druggie. And who knows? You might conclude that sometimes a double martini can be the safer way to go -- provided you're not driving, of course.

Kaliya Knight
Kaliya Knight
9 years ago

Come on now!! This is like the poor getting in their first (beautiful) home, with some silly, ridiculously low payment. And hummm, you think they should ask some questions?? But no, they don't want the Lender to 'change their mind". And this (these) Borrowers are JUST as much part of the responsible for the entire collapse of our economy & housing industry! Ya don't think it's weird this lady went & took it on her herself to continue to over dose (her script) more & more without ever having contacted her Doctor to report the situation & ask for his legal direction? Duh!!! All of us have our roles & responsibilities in how we will contribute to or corrupt our community & whatever else. Please, let's all stand up & do the one thing they can't - say, I allowed myself to be taken under this crap, but I won't any longer. And let's force the Pharmaceutical companies to come clean!!! What a joke!

TKRandi
TKRandi
9 years ago

I wanted to add: "Yes pharmacuetical companies are in the business of making big bucks. It is the job of the medical assosiations, doctors and etc, to created a safety wall from this for their patients.

TKRandi
TKRandi
9 years ago

It does take regulation and also I have discovered it takes a better awareness about drug interaction. For instance I discovered that benzo's, or mood enhancement drugs such as torazapam creates an almost inability to take the proper dosage of pain med's. The sedative created anxiety and since I am bi-polar anyway and am on citilopram for it with great success, the sleep or hypnotic med' caused a after affect of nervousness which I am over sensitive to. Drug interaction awareness is important. I was educated about my problem when I quiet torazapam abruptly and was thrown into a manic high. Ambulance came and the attendant was very knowledgable about drug reactions. He informed me that the torazapam was in fact addictive and what I was experiencing was a full blown withdrawal. He said torazapam, zoloft and any of these med's are called hypnotics and young people even use them to get high. The psych department psychiatrist got me on them to help with sleep, when all I needed was more time to allow the citilopram (bi-polar med) to work. I sleep like a baby now and my world is beautiful and balanced. Thank you for these sites, they are a lot of help to the worlds' medication users.
Also here in Canada, it is impossible to take too much pain medication. The pharmacies and doctor computers are all linked together with the CMA or Canadian Medical Association. If a patient has been put on a daily dose from his doctor for over using, every pharmacy and physician, in two minutes can check. There is no "doctor shopping here". Professional Pain Clinics are ready to help doctors do their job better. Patients can be referred and kept abreast of their progress. (Hope I spelled all the med's properly)

Lila Joseph
Lila Joseph
9 years ago

It's all about the marketing. When you promote alternative treatments you are called crazy and can be prosecuted but at least you don't promote addiction to the gullible!

RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon
9 years ago

The treatment industry is so far out of line in North America with their superstition over science that it is virtually impossible to get good pain management anywhere in North America. Politics and ideology informs pain management and as a result medical patients who must have their doses titrated on a regular basis are treated as drug seeking individuals looking to get high-there is no ceiling to the amount of opiates on can become acclimated to and eventually the dose must be raised to remain effective but the government will not allow them to go over a certain dose-that is outrageous for long term opiate patience who have stuck to their regimes faithfully for decades and without incident. Absolutely outrageous.

TKRandi
TKRandi
9 years ago

I am 67 yrs. old and have been using oxy four times a day for eight years for arthritis, osteoarthritis and digestive disc disorder. I find it still works for my pain and do not go over the recommended dosage. My doctor keeps a close eye on my usage. It is a blessing for me, as before I begin using it, I sat in a chair or lay in a bed, unable to move. My heart was becoming weak from inactivity. Doc put me on them and said, "Now get out there and walk, use your small weights and start doing your yoga again. I am 5'6" at the time I started on them, was 250 lbs. I would have died of what they call a flabby heart from inactivity. I never ate much, raw veggie salads, fruit, lean meats, seeds, nuts and dried fruit. Within a year I reduced my weight down to 135 lbs,, was exercising, went out and got a job as my x had no money to help me with. I worked for four years as a MOA, medical office assistant, running the entire office for the doctor by myself. I am now retired and have enough gov't money coming in to support me. Now I am active in the community and still praise oxy to this day. Not all stories are bad. It does take discipline to stay on the proper dosage, but possible.

Jennifer
Jennifer
9 years ago

Many people aren't aware of the difference between an addiction and a
dependence. Experiencing withdrawal doesn't mean one is "addicted" to a
substance - it simply means one's body has become accustomed to it. This is referred to as "physical dependence," rather than addiction. This
is why people who drink coffee daily can experience significant
headaches if they stop suddenly. That doesn't make them "addicted" to coffee (though we often jokingly use that term), though it may mean they're physically dependent on it, to some degree. If they thought about Starbucks all day long,
stole money in order to afford their daily Grande, and needed more and
more, just to get "that coffee high," then yes, that would be an addiction.
Otherwise, it's a dependency. It's an important difference.

There's much said about the devastating toll these drugs can take on peoples' lives - yet almost nothing said about the pain relief they offer those living with debilitating pain. For every horror story you read online, there are hundreds - perhaps thousands - of patients whose lives haven't "been destroyed," but in fact, have been salvaged, and returned to meaningful purpose. So often we forget - happy people don't spend time ranting online - they're too busy getting on with their lives. Another perspective worth considering.

OldSchoolG
OldSchoolG
9 years ago

This is old information, for anyone who has been following the big pharma pain killer epidemic. Now, that's not to say, that it's a bad documentary; or wouldn't be beneficial for educational purposes. But the premier documentary on the opiate epidemic, is still "The Oxycontin Express". But anything that can help people learn more about this real life horror, is better than nothing!

M Chiron
M Chiron
9 years ago

Doctors no longer swear any oath to do no harm. I was going to tell the long sob story of how my care was mismanaged and I was put on increasing doses of opiods until I developed complete tolerance and then was abandoned. The good news is you do not need opioids because large doses of cannabis extract are actually more effective at pain relief, as well as being an incredibly powerful anti-inflammatory which reduces/cures the cause of most pain. Most people can be fine on $5-10 a day of extracts compared to the insane cost of prescription painkillers.

Tim Chisholm
Tim Chisholm
9 years ago

Well done doc.

Fabien L'Amour
Fabien L'Amour
9 years ago

I've yet to find an opiate medicine that is not addictive. One should be very careful with these pain medicines.