The Cost of OxyContin Addiction
The Financial Cost of OxyContin Addiction
Whether OxyContin addiction began by taking a legitimate prescription for real pain, or from using it to get high, the results are the same: an ever-dwindling spiral down to fear, anxiety, hopelessness and, eventually, to no life at all.
People who come to Novus Medical Detox Center for a medical OxyContin detox have made a decision to recover their lives and be free from drugs. They will also be free from the crushing financial burden of OxyContin addiction.
Of course, the real, long term costs of OxyContin addiction are far greater than just the cost of OxyContin alone -- costs that are too great to sustain a meaningful life, and too often, any life at all.
If you or someone you love has a problem with OxyContin CALL Novus Medical Detox NOW We will get you or your loved one through a safer, more comfortable OxyContin detox.
Counselors are here 7 days a week.
“I will have a life again as opposed to an existence. Thank you all so much.”
The path to OxyContin addiction
Many of us have experienced real pain and begged for anything that would just make the pain go away. Most of the patients who come to Novus Medical Detox Center for OxyContin treatment started their path to OxyContin addiction, not by purchasing these dangerous drugs, which are really legal heroin, on the street but from a pharmacy. They had gone to a medical doctor or a dentist and were given an OxyContin prescription for pain.
Most of them had real pain from:
- An injury
- Dental surgery
- Other surgery or medical problem
OxyContin and other forms of legal heroin don't treat the source of the pain but act like an anesthetic and prevent us from feeling the pain--or at least most of it. While many of us took only a few pills and then put the remainder in the medicine cabinet, for some they had more pain or fear of pain and continued to take the drug. After a time, they became dependent on the drug - if they tried to stop they would have painful, flu-like symptoms.
Dependent people continue taking a drug not because of how it makes them feel. Many times they believe it is making them feel and function worse, but because of the withdrawal symptoms.
However, a certain percentage of people became addicted to the drug. They would experience painful physiological withdrawal symptoms, but they were now taking the drug primarily because of how it made them feel. They liked the euphoria or the fact that their problems "seemed" to fade away or become less important.
Getting OxyContin once addicted
Once a person is addicted to OxyContin or other narcotics, they then have to find a way to ensure a supply every 4-6 hours--the amount of time when most people need another dose to prevent withdrawal from happening.
If they live in Florida or one of the states that does not have an effective prescription drug monitoring bill, then they really don't have much of a problem just going from doctor to doctor (doctor shopping) and ensuring that they have an adequate supply. Of course, in most states this type of activity is a crime that leaves a clear trail. Many people are unwilling to leave that type of trail.
Purchasing from dealers
If an addicted person is unable or unwilling to purchase OxyContin at a drug store, then they are reduced to having to purchase it from a dealer. Often this seems the most anonymous way to do it and leaves no trail since it is done in cash and no one keeps records.
According to the 2009 National Prescription Drug Threat Assessment prepared by the Drug Enforcement Agency, the average street price for OxyContin is $1.15 per milligram.
This is taken from the Assessment:
- Street prices for drugs are affected by numerous variables, including availability, demand, law enforcement investigations, area of the country, and the relationship between the purchaser and the seller.
- CPD (controlled prescription drugs) availability is reportedly high in most areas of the country; this high availability should result in price stability.
- The increases reported in 2008 in the average prices of CPDs may be a result of the willingness of the abusers to pay whatever price the dealer is asking, coupled with the dealer’s desire to increase profits.
- Additionally, dealers may believe that they face an increased risk in selling the drugs on the street because of increased law enforcement activity targeting distribution.
- It is possible that these dealers have increased street prices to reflect that risk.
Calculating the cost of OxyContin addiction on the street
At Novus we have seen people who were addicted to OxyContin using between 80 to 400 milligrams a day.
Generally, the lower amounts are used by people who have been addicted for a shorter period of time.
For almost everyone, as you use a narcotic like OxyContin or heroin, your body starts to develop a "tolerance" to it. This means that it takes more of the drug to produce the same feelings.
For purposes of our example, let's assume that a person uses 120 milligrams of OxyContin each day or 3,600 milligrams per month, and they have to purchase it on the street. Using the DEA estimated average cost of $1.15 per milligram, here are the costs of OxyContin:
- Daily: $138
- Monthly: $4,140
- Yearly: $49,680
Calculating the cost of OxyContin addiction if doctor shopping
Many of our patients tell us that they go to medical doctors who will prescribe OxyContin as long as they pay the required office visit fee.
Because OxyContin is a Schedule II Controlled Substance, a prescription can only be written for 30 days and then you must return to the prescribing doctor's office for a new prescription.
While different doctors charge different fees for the initial visit and subsequent visits, our patients tell us that most of these "more compliant" doctors charge from $200 to $300 per visit. Then they will give you a prescription that you can take to the drug store and fill.
Since most of our patients will need to go to at least two doctors to obtain enough OxyContin, we will assume that they pay $500 per month to the doctors.
In Florida, the major drug stores charge about $375 for 60 of the 40 milligram OxyContin pills--or about $.15 to $.25 per milligram. We will use $.20 as the average per milligram cost.
We will assume that they use the same 120 milligrams per day.
The costs of OxyContin prescriptions:
- Daily: $24.00
- Monthly:$720 plus $500 in doctor fees for a total of $1,240
- Yearly: $14,880
t is very profitable for a medical doctor to have a large number of patients who pay $250 per month for a very short visit. If this doctor had 100 patients a month coming to see them and charged each one $250 per month, then they would have a $25,000 monthly income.
If you or someone you care about is abusing Oxycontin
CALL Novus Medical Detox Center NOW at
Our counselors are available 7 days a week. We can help you arrange a safer, more comfortable medically-supervised OxyContin detox as the first step toward ending OxyContin addiction, dependency and abuse.
Heroin — alternative to OxyContin
Many times the cost of OxyContin leads people to heroin. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, because of the competition from OxyContin and other legal heroin alternatives, the purity of heroin has increased from 20% to 60% to 80%. In many areas, heroin is easier to obtain and much less expensive. Heroin is often cheaper than marijuana. In Chicago, a "dime bag," which contains 10 to 12 doses of 60 percent pure heroin, costs just $10. Much less expensive than OxyContin.
The advantage to the higher purity levels of heroin is that you no longer have to use a needle to inject the heroin in your veins but can snort it. Of course, heroin is illegal and possession is a crime.
The other problem with heroin is that the dealers add something to heroin to dilute it to 60% or 80%. Sometimes, the additive is simple corn starch and sometimes it’s more harmful. You don't know what you are snorting, but to an addict with no money, they don't worry about the additives.
Calculating the cost of heroin addiction
Here are the equivalent costs of heroin:
- Daily: $10.00
- Yearly: $3,600
Additional costs of OxyContin or heroin addiction
If a person is addicted, then whether they are buying the OxyContin on the street or getting them by doctor shopping, what they are doing is illegal. If they, like many of our patients with an OxyContin addiction, start having to resell some OxyContin on the street to acquire the money to keep purchasing the OxyContin, there is the risk of arrest.
In Florida, if you are arrested with OxyContin and convicted of possession, there will be a three year mandatory prison sentence. To try to avoid being charged and sent to prison requires the use of a good attorney, and this can cost from $10,000 to $50,000.
Liability for Death
More and more prosecuting attorneys are locating and prosecuting the person responsible for supplying drugs that cause an overdose and death. This means that if the person sells drugs to someone that overdoses and dies, there is a good chance that if the authorities can trace the drugs to the seller, the seller may be arrested and prosecuted for murder.
Of course, all of these estimated costs are based on the idea that people will not increase the amount they are using and will be rational.
- Once people get addicted to OxyContin or other similar narcotics, their tolerance keeps increasing and their need for more of the drug keeps increasing.
- This means that these costs are going to keep increasing.
- However, it also means that they will become more and more desperate to obtain the drugs and they will do more and more dangerous and irrational things.
- This will likely lead to a higher likelihood of overdose or arrest.
If the addict doesn't get an OxyContin detox and effective OxyContin treatment and drug rehab, they will likely end up in jail or even dead.
At Novus Medical Detox Center, we specialize in helping people find a solution to the problems caused by drugs and alcohol. People also come to us for a safe and more comfortable:
- Alcohol detox;
- OxyContin detox;
- Oxycodone detox;
- Methadone detox;
- Vicodin detox;
- Hydrocodone detox;
- Percocet Detox
- Lortab Detox
- Fentanyl Patch Detox
- Paxil and Zoloft detox;
- Detox from other unwanted drugs.
Please contact us if we can help someone that you know.
NOTE: This information is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute (i) medical advice or counseling, (ii) the practice of medicine, health care diagnosis or treatment, or (iii) the creation of a physician patient or clinical relationship. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem or that this information may be useful to you or others, please consult with your health care provider before applying any information from our articles to your personal situation or to the personal situation of others.
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If you or someone you love is taking OxyContin and you suspect there might be a problem, CALL Novus Medical Detox NOW at . We can help. We'll get you or your loved one through a safe and more comfortable OxyContin detox. It's the first step to resolving OxyContin dependency/addiction and abuse, and it could save their life.
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