Saturday, January 22, 2005

"Hillbilly Heroin" a Big Killer in Canada

The Toronto Sun reports on "A new drug on the block," Ocycodone:
HILLBILLY heroin is part of a new trend in drug use .... Oxycodone -- known as "hillbilly heroin" because it's cheap and easy to obtain -- was responsible for 27 deaths in Toronto in 2002, up from seven a year earlier, Dr. Joyce Bernstein of Toronto Public Health said yesterday during the release of the Drug Use in Toronto 2004 study.

Reports of increased use of the narcotic pain reliever available by prescription have been noted across North America in the last five years, said Bernstein, the chairman of the Research Group on Drug Use, a collection of municipal and provincial healthcare agencies.

Users often take megadose pills designed to be released into the bloodstream over time and grind them up, resulting in an instant hit.

"Reports of individuals who chew these pills or dissolve them in order to release the full dosage all at once are very alarming and very likely leading to the high number of deaths," Bernstein said.

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