FDA Approves OxyContin for Kids?!

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Posted: August 25, 2015

Earlier this month the FDA officially approved doctors to prescribe OxyContin to children ages 11-16, and it has caused quite a stir in the addiction community. Over the last few years prescription overdose has been the #1 leading cause of accidental death in America which leads me to wonder why on earth the FDA would make such an approval. OxyContin has proven one of the most addictive drugs on the market and giving it to young persons is only going to increase addiction to OxyContin, and similar drugs, across the country. Now, of course the FDA has made statements such as this should be a last resort for children suffering from chronic pain, but statements such as this one does not decrease the chances of an adolescent getting hooked on the drug. We as a community need to educate ourselves on the harmful effects prescription drugs can have, not only on adults, but growing children as well. OxyContin has been on the market as a strong pain reliever prescribed to those with chronic pain, or pain lasting longer than just a few days. The side effects of using this pain killer can be detrimental to one’s health which include trouble breathing, or in medical terms, respiratory depression that can lead to death. It is for this reason, among many others, that strict supervision from your healthcare provider is strongly encouraged and necessary. As a member of the addiction community I hear countless stories of recovering addicts who claim their addiction began when they were legally prescribed the medication by their doctor. While some are more susceptible to abusing drugs based on factors such as personality, genetics, and environment the risk of later abuse is high for all individuals who take this drug. OxyContin is typically prescribed as a long-term medication to be used around-the-clock indicating the high risk for withdrawal if the drug is terminated from one’s system. Overall, there has been some success in using this strong pain killer with those suffering from severe arthritis or a range of pain caused by cancer, but this medication must be a last-resort. In many cases doctor’s see prescribing OxyContin as a lose-lose situation simply because the risk of abuse is so high, but those suffering from chronic pain need the relief they have been led to believe only OxyContin can give them. It is of the utmost importance that chronic pain sufferers who are contemplating using this drug be well-educated in both its properties and harmful side effects before using this drug, and it’s even more important that parents become educated before even considering giving such a powerful man-made drug to their child. I have to say that, personally, I do not condone the use of OxyContin to minors simply because the research shows such a high potential of abuse and overdose in adults. Children need to be especially supervised when consuming this drug and many tests should be done on the healthcare providers behalf to ensure the child is even capable of handling such a potent and highly addictive drug such as OxyContin. If you or a loved one is suspected of abusing this drug, treatment and counseling services are available at Americanaddictionnetwork.com. While this approval may be beneficial to some, the potential for increased harm to society must also be taken into consideration. Education is key when it comes to young children being given permission to use this drug and a close eye needs to be given to dosage amount and harmful side effects linked to OxyContin. Please feel free to share your thoughts on the FDA’s new ruling that OxyContin be approved for children ages 11-16, we would love to hear your feedback regarding this issue.

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