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NCJ Number: 204154 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescent OxyContin Abuse
Journal: Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  Volume:43  Issue:2  Dated:February 2004  Pages:231-234
Author(s): Debra A. Katz M.D.; Lon R. Hays M.D.
Date Published: February 2004
Page Count: 4
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After presenting three brief case reports of adolescents who were admitted for inpatient treatment because of OxyContin abuse, this paper discusses the drug's effects, its prevention, and treatment.
Abstract: OxyContin, a prescription pain reliever, is a controlled-release form of oxycodone hydrochloride. It has become a popular alternative to other street drugs such as heroin. Illicit users prefer to crush the tablet to disable the sustained-release coating and then swallow it, snort it, or dissolve it in water for injection. This results in an instant euphoria that has contributed to the drug's popularity. The three cases described in this paper show that the adolescents quickly developed serious addictions to OxyContin, which contributed to debilitating behavioral, psychological, and physical symptoms that warranted hospitalization. The rapid onset of OxyContin addiction and its potential for morbidity, mortality, and criminality indicate the need for prevention efforts. Continuing medical education programs and drug education programs for adolescents, parents, teachers, and law enforcement professionals can promote awareness of the dangerous consequences of OxyContin abuse. Ways to reduce illegal access to the drug include the use of tamper-resistant prescription pads, development of statewide or national prescription-monitoring programs for Schedule II drugs, and increased education of pharmacies to ensure security for scheduled drugs in pharmacies. Professionals who work with children should be aware of risk factors, early symptoms of abuse, and treatment methods for OxyContin abuse. Adolescents require detoxification services in the acute period, along with a thorough assessment of comorbid psychiatric conditions. All of the adolescents treated by the authors have required acute inpatient psychiatric hospitalization as well as close long-term follow-up. Long-term residential treatment and/or long-term medication-assisted (e.g., methadone) outpatient treatment may be indicated. Because of the high relapse rate, adolescents need close psychiatric follow-up with attention to depression, anxiety, and self-injurious behavior, family and school involvement in treatment, and regular drug testing to ensure abstinence. 20 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Drug effects; Drug prevention programs; Juvenile drug treatment; Opioids; Oxycodone; Prescription drugs; Treatment techniques
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