Monday, March 3, 2008

Oxycontin Killed My Friend


Don't do drugs. Don't drink too much. Don't allow yourself to slip into addictive habits. Don't let yourself get into peer pressure situations. Don't give into the college partying atmosphere. We trust you. We know we raised you right.

And then off you go, to college, no rules, no restrictions, no parents. And all they can do is hope for the best.

All of us have heard this advice, some starting from elementary or high school, and nearly all of us when entering college (and sure to be continued forever). How many times have we brushed off the "drugs and alcohol" and the "peer pressure" talks? How many times have you rolled your eyes when your mom explains that drugs ruin your life? How many DARE week assemblies did you skip out on in high school to hit the beach instead?

It just has to happen to you, someone you know, someone you used to know, and then you'll get it.

One of my close friends from high school, Kurt Allen Baker tragically died of an accidental drug overdose in San Diego at his fraternity house early last Sunday morning. Went to a party, got super wasted, and did some Oxycontin with his friends just to top off the night. Topped off the night all right. When his frat bros went into his room the next morning he was surrounded in black blood and vomit. They tried to resuscitate him, and he was transported to the nearby hospital, but died. From a combo of Oxycontin and vodka.

He literally partied to death.

Kurt's death hit us hard and fast. Shocked and dismayed. Confused and angry. Helpless and devastated. Just wondering what happened to the quiet but fun, good looking, girl catching, basketball playing, country loving kid that used to play basketball with me on Sundays and fight with me over the Kings and the Lakers.

His death has really got me thinking about drugs. I personally have truly never done a drug, mostly because I majorly feared my parents in high school, so it's really hard for me to understand why someone would want to alter their body in that way. So I decided to do some research on addictive habits, oxycontin, etc. I want to tell people about oxycontin so that they can share this information with other people, because apparently it is becoming a more and more common street drug, and I don't want anyone to go through what Kurt's family and friends are going through right now, much less what Kurt went through.

Oxycontin is a prescription pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain when around-the-clock analgesic is needed for an extended period of time. Abusers use it by taking off the coating that causes it to be time released which give them a sense of euphoria that is apparently similar to that of heroin (only you don't have to shoot it into your veins). When abused, oxycontin is proven to be highly addictive, increases drug tolerance (meaning you need more each time to result in the same effect on your body), and also has terrible withdrawal symptoms, probably discouraging a lot of kids to quit.

The statistics I found were absolutely shocking to me (since I don’t do drugs, I didn’t realize just how popular Oxycontin was becoming). The National Household Survey of Drug Abuse reported that over 1 million US residents over the age of 12 used Oxycontin for a non-medical purpose more than one time per year. The worst thing to read about was how Oxycontin is affecting the high school population. An article on npr.com reported that approximately 1 in every 12 US high school seniors now acknowledge at least having tried Oxycontin. In its annual survey of teen drug use, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that Oxycontin use by high school seniors is up 40 percent nationwide in just three years. Five times as many seniors report using Oxycontin than report using meth. The most telling thing I read was that prescription drugs are the second most used drugs among teens behind weed.

The prescription drug epidemic happening in America has got to be put to a stop. Prescription drugs, especially Oxycontin, are expensive on the street, and high school and college kids are using them as a “status symbol.” Although I have read a few different things on street prices, npr.com reports that Oxycontin is $80-$100 PER PILL. Stories of kids stealing from their parents and selling their possessions were rampant on the addiction website that I looked at, and the stories about the rich kids whose parents wrote them blank checks without question were more horrifying. The article I read quoted a teenager who switched from a public to a private school halfway through high school and noticeably saw the change in drug abuse: “ ‘All the popular kids -- that was the cool thing to do,’ Mike says. ‘It seemed like it was cool because it was so expensive, this big rich drug. And a lot of rich kids were doing it because the poor kids couldn't afford it.’ ”

With this prescription drug phenom on the rise around our age group, I just beg you guys that if you abuse prescription drugs or have friends that do to stop. I know you don’t want to hear it from me, you don’t want to be preached to, whatever your reason is…but it will kill you. It killed Kurt. It’s not a joke, and it’s not a game. It truly ruins lives. Just ask my ex boyfriend and best friend of Kurt, or Kurt’s little brother, or dad. Save yourself. Don’t be next. Don’t make your family and friends bury you.

Stop. Help somebody stop.

Read more about Kurt:
http://www.kurtallenbaker.com/
http://www.nbcsandiego.com/mostpopular/15412584/detail.html
www.thedailyaztec.com/news/2008/02/27/City/Resident.Of.Sigma.Pi.Dies-3237155.shtml - 40k

Read more about Oxycontin, its affects and abuse:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5061674
http://www.drugfree.org/Portal/drug_guide/OxyContin

7 comments:

Rex345 said...

Those are some shocking statistics; I had no idea. The first time I heard about Oxycontin was through a friend who had also never done drugs in his life. He was prescribed it for a sports injury and said that if the doctor had refilled his prescription, he probably would have gotten addicted. It's such a scary idea and something needs to be done. Doctors shouldn't be able to prescribe heroin-like painkillers because it just makes it easier to find on the streets. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I have so much sympathy for your and your friend's family and I hope this makes people think before they pop a seemingly harmless pill in their mouth just to "have a good time".

Steve said...

I have attended meetings where all the people there lost a child to an OxyContin--legal herion, overdose.

As the director of Novus Medical Detox, I daily see the ravages caused by prescription drug addiction created by doctors prescribing it to their patients and then the patients either continuing to obtain it or purchasing these drugs on the internet or the street. Probably the worst of these drugs is OxyContin.

Prescription drug addiction is an epidemic and we must do everything we can to stop it before it overwhelms us. Education is a must.

Steve Hayes
http://novusdetox.com

The Brand said...

Thank you both for your support - I hope that more people will read stories like Kurt's and realize that their bodies have limits, and when pushed to those limits, even accidentally, tragedy can occur.

Oxycontin Side Effects said...

My name is Kim Adam and i would like to show you my personal experience with Oxycontin.

I have taken for 3 years. I am 23 years old. I think it is the best pain killer there is. Although it's coming very abused, I think that it is a very powerful reliever and that more doctors should look into it for pain relief.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
mild dependency and constipation

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Kim Adam

Anonymous said...

Hace un tiempo que compro en mega_pharm, una farmacia confiable ya que a lo largo de este tiempo me han demostrado confianza y seriedad, no son estafadores como muchos y entregan un producto de calidad, por ello ya soy asiduo y creo que deben ser confiables como ellos. visita aqui http://prescriptions-pain-medications.blogspot.com/ y veras las diferencias.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm your friend Kurt. Kinda like Cobain but not quite. I will keep this story in mind for I too have been mixing the two alcohol and oxy. No walk in the park. Sad actually.

Linkhelpers said...

That can be harmful really.