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OxyContin is the brand name for oxycodone, a powerful painkiller frequently prescribed for a variety of problems. It is an opium derivative and is available in milder forms as Percodan and Percocet.
After its approval by the FDA in 1995, OxyContin was heavily marketed as safe and nonaddictive. Today, it is increasingly connected to addiction and even deaths. In some cases, heroin addicts who are unable to get their drug turn to OxyContin as a substitute. In others, patients prescribed OxyContin for legitimate physical problems become dependent on the drug.
A high incidence of OxyContin-related crimes has caused some pharmacies to remove it from their shelves.