I learned that on Thursday, August 13, 2015 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has approved the use of OxyContin for children ages 11 to 16 who are suffering chronic, severe pain. As founder and CEO of seven drug rehab centers, I find it very disheartening when a government authority takes a drug as seriously addictive and as high powered as Oxycodone and makes it legal for someone as young as eleven years of age. What is going to happen because of it is that more parents will be able to get prescriptions for their kids which allows more pills to be on the market of the United States of America, this great country, which will also allow more addicts to get more pills. So, in terms of doing this, not only are you taking the life away from the 11-year-old, but you’re also putting less opposition to get more drugs. The fact is, when it comes down to being able to buy a prescription for someone as young as 11 years old, do they really have control of what they take, of the money, or how their body feels? No, they’re not in any control because they’re only eleven years old, and of course the person that controls the medication controls the ability to sell the medication, to take the medication for themselves, and/or, even worse, give it to an eleven year old.
So, I see OxyContin for young children as a double-edged sword. It cuts not only the young child, but it also cuts society. Hey, what are we trying to do to our society? Just bring more and more and more drugs out there because we’re a grandiose society whether it’s money, whether it’s drugs, whether it’s sex, we want the most of all of it!
Creating a New Generation of Addicts?
You and I know that juvenile delinquency and shattered lives in the US stems directly from corruption. Drugs are not there because of any other reason than somebody wants to make money. Again, this new law that was written, the FDA, do I need to say more?
One thing about children, if we permit the child to receive these pills, you’re going to start a future of new addicts. You guys reading this article, think about this for a minute. It’s bad enough to give an aspirin to a kid, let alone start a kid on opiate pills at a young age. They’re going to get used to pills and receive a product that doesn’t really fix the pain. Most chronic pain needs physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, stretching, amino acids, all the building blocks of the body, not pills. This is going to create so many addicts, we’ll never recover from it. If we start them out young, what do they learn how to do? They learn how to receive something to mask something instead of fixing the problem themselves. Again, not confronting the pain, not handling the pain, just taking a pill, is not the answer.
Some Facts on Why We Need to Be Worried About OxyContin
OxyContin is a long-acting version of the opioid Oxycodone and was designed to provide around-the-clock pain relief. This drug is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and addiction, however, it is one of the largest selling opioid drugs on the market today. Since its introduction to the market in 1995, doctors have prescribed OxyContin to adults for a wide range of needs including chronic post-surgery pain, cancer pain, arthritis, migraines, and many other ailments.
The US Department of Justice reveals that over 13 million people in the United States have used Oxycodone (OxyContin) for recreational purposes. Prior to 2010, people who wished to abuse OxyContin were able to crush the tablets for injecting or snorting. The problem with addicts crushing these time-released tablets is that he/she is ingesting a powerful, 24-hour dose of the drug all at one time, and this can cause addiction, overdose, or death. Purdue Pharma discontinued this older version of the pill and distributed a reformulated, improved version that was more difficult to crush.
Anytime that you take a pill for a problem, you’re not really confronting the problem are you? You’re taking a pill to mask the problem. The problem is, after the pain is masked, your body gets addicted to the drug, this is just a blatant fact. If you take enough opiates your body will want more opiates and then you’ll have to come to us to get withdrawn from them and that’s a fact. It is well-documented that repeated or prolonged use or abuse of this drug can result in increased tolerance leading to dependency and eventual addiction, overdose, or death.
Do We Really Want to Put this Dangerous Drug Into the Hands and Bodies of Kids?
The answer should be “NO”. Kids this age do and will get addicted to drugs. Although we don’t treat juveniles in our facilities, we have had phone calls about kids this age needing treatment for opiate problems, heroin problems, Vicodin addiction, and the list goes on. All the pills are a problem and have been for ages, down into the 11-year-old age group, down into the 5th grade level, heroin addiction has started. I’ve heard this from other people that run rehabilitation centers here and in other countries like India, where it actually starts younger than that.
Opiates are a very physically addictive drug. Do we need to worry about this new FDA approval? Of course, we do. More opiates, more addictions. More pills, more addicts. It’s a numbers game, plain and simple.
Of course, as adults, we don’t like to see children suffer. Anyone involved in administering this drug to a young child must observe only the most stringent safety precautions to ensure that no child suffers overdose or death. As always, we must be advocates for protecting our young people from all the things they might not realize or perceive as a danger.