As the stockpiled street supplies of Oxycontin dwindle on the streets of Hamilton, in Ontario, the addicted have begun to reach out for help. According to TheSpec.com, Oxycontin addicts are coming to treatment and counseling centers in record numbers, in an attempt to get clean on their own terms before they are forced to kick with the scarcity of the drugs.
Debbie Bang, executive director of Womankind Addiction Services at St. Joseph's Healthcare, said, "The silver lining in all this is people are talking about it. Suddenly it's OK to tell your family and friends you are addicted to Oxy." In March, the number of women seeking withdrawal management from Womankind for opiate addiction jumped from 34% to 57%. In Hamilton, young women are primarily the Oxy users, according to Debbie Bang. More than 30 babies were born with opiate addictions here each year.
Many people believe that Oxycontin is okay because it is available with a doctor's prescription, but it has become a huge problem. Eighty addiction and treatment experts from across the city are meeting for an Oxy workshop. They will discuss the symptoms of withdrawal, dynamics of the narcotic's new OxyNEO, and a review of the city's opioid withdrawal protocol used by ER physicians. In April, 49 women sought treatment for opioid withdrawal at Womankind compared to 41% the previous year. For the first half of May, the number was up to 40 from 33 in 2011.
At Wayside House, a Men's withdrawal management and treatment center, there has been a 10% increase of the number of men with Oxycontin use in their drug history, according to the center's executive director, Regan Anderson. In March, Purdue Pharmaceuticals stopped the production of Oxycontin, replacing it with a more tamper-resistant formula called OxyNEO. The area has been waiting for the numbers in treatment to begin to rise in the area.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Oxycontin addiction, please contact us.