Friends and Relatives Provide Nearly All Oxycontin to Abusers

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Posted: Thursday, February 25th, 2010

A startling 97 percent of individuals who misused OxyContin said that they got the drug from a friend or relative with a prescription for the opiate painkiller, HealthDay News reported Feb. 18.

Researchers who surveyed 5,300 adults in Utah found that 85.2 percent of Oxycontin abusers said friends or relatives gave them the drug willingly, while 9.8 percent said they took the drug from friends or relatives without their knowledge. Only 4.1 percent of those surveyed said they had bought the drug.

Study co-author Erin Johnson of the Utah Department of Health urged residents to discard their leftover medication, but acknowledged that many people are unwilling to do so because they paid for the drugs and believe they might need to use them in the future.

The study was published Feb. 19, 2010 in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.