SNOHOMISH, Wash. - A new version of a Oxycontin, now arriving at local pharmacies, is designed to make it more difficult for drug abusers to crush the popular prescription drug and misuse it.
Oxycontin is considered popular among drug addicts because it is so widely available, and its effects are similar to heroin.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the new tablet that works just like the current tablet, but has a harder casing that is considered strong enough to prevent any breaking or crushing. The new tablets can only be used for ingestion.
"This is a big step in the right direction," says John Sontra, pharmacist at the Everett Clinic. The clinic had its first shipment of the newly designed Oxycontin tablets arrive Wednesday.
"Oxycontin is so addictive and dangerous if misused," he says. "This new version is just a safe way to go."
Snohomish Police Chief John Turner is being proactive in light of the new tablets hitting the market.
"The fear is that if drug addicts stop using Oxycontin, they will turn to something else," says Turner. "That something else is heroin."
Snohomish Police have conducted two search warrants in the city since August 20 in an effort to stop heroin producers who may eventually supply the drug to Oxycontin users.
"We are trying to get ahead of the curve if there is one," he said.
Turner and other Snohomish city leaders have been vocal about the growing heroin problem in the city.
by JAKE WHITTENBERG
KING 5 News
August 25, 2010
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New Oxycontin pill made to be drug-abuser-proof