Abuse of prescription pain medications is not new. Two primary factors, however, set OxyContin abuse apart from other prescription drug abuse. First, OxyContin is a powerful drug that contains a much larger amount of the active ingredient, oxycodone, than other prescription pain relievers. By crushing the tablet and either ingesting or snorting it, or by injecting diluted OxyContin, abusers feel the powerful effects of the opioid in a short time, rather than over a 12-hour span. Second, great profits are to be made in the illegal sale of OxyContin A 40-milligram pill costs approximately $4 by prescription, yet it may sell for $20 to $40 on the street, depending on the area of the country in which the drug is sold.
Injecting OxyContin creates a mindset in which the only goal of the individual is to obtain more of the drug. Interest in work, family and personal well being simply disappears. The individual often develops a drug-seeking behavior in which jobs, family, friends will all be sacrificed in an effort to obtain money to buy more OxyContin Thefts of money or items to sell from family members are all too common. Some result to prostitution or other criminal acts to fund their habit. OxyContin has a street sale value of one dollar per milligram.