A profile of OxyContin addiction

J Addict Dis. 2004;23(4):1-9. doi: 10.1300/J069v23n04_01.


OxyContin is a controlled-released form of oxycodone indicated for the management of moderate to severe pain. OxyContin diversion and abuse has become a major problem in certain areas of the United States, particularly rural areas and Appalachia. This study undertakes an 18-month retrospective chart review at a private freestanding psychiatric facility to develop a profile of OxyContin addicts seeking treatment. There were 579 admissions to the Addictive Disease Unit of this facility from October 2000 to March 2002, with 298 of these admissions being for the treatment of opioid abuse or dependence. One hundred and eighty seven of these individuals were dependent on OxyContin, using an average dose of 184 milligrams of OxyContin per day. The OxyContin dependent individuals tended to show a progression from p.o. use to either snorting or i.v. use. The author concludes that a sociocultural understanding is needed to better treat these addicts as is improved communication between the pain treatment community and the addiction treatment community.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Opioid / administration & dosage
  • Analgesics, Opioid / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Oxycodone / administration & dosage
  • Oxycodone / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / statistics & numerical data


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Oxycodone