Press Releases

In an effort to put a stop to widespread abuse of and addiction to the powerful narcotic OxyContin, Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) and Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) today expressed concern about the approval of a new formulation of the drug and called attention their legislation, the Stop Oxy Abuse Act of 2010. This bill revises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classification to ensure that the drug is prescribed only for severe pain, its intended use.

“Far too many of our young people are falling prey to the dangerous and highly addictive drug, OxyContin – it is making addicts out of America’s future and costing too many young lives,” said Bono Mack. “The FDA needs to focus on the root of the problem and do better to keep this drug out of the hands of those who don’t need it – especially our young people.

“Prescription drug abuse is skyrocketing across the country, and it’s essential that we do everything we can to limit the availability of these potentially deadly drugs and better monitor who is getting them, which is why Congressman Rogers and I are joining forces on this important measure. I’ve seen both the beneficial use of Oxy and the outright abuse of the drug – we must strike a better balance to ensure that only those who actually need such a substance are the ones benefiting from it.”

“I have seen first hand the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse and the epidemic that faces our nation,” said Rogers. “If we are serious about keeping this out of the hands of our young people and stopping the lawlessness that comes with drug diversion, then we must ensure that OxyContin is limited to only those who need it, first and foremost. In the face of mounting drug overdoses, federal indictments for misbranding, and burgeoning illegal trafficking, the FDA has simply looked the other way and shirked its responsibility. I join Congresswoman Bono Mack in taking a stand and focusing our efforts on limiting the use of OxyContin rather than simply reformulating this drug that is crippling our future generations.”

OxyContin drug was originally intended to be prescribed only for severe pain to help individuals dealing with late stages of cancer and other severe illnesses. However, more and more people are being prescribed this drug for less severe reasons, expanding the availability and potential for abuse of this strong narcotic.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently issued the Monitoring the Future Survey, which revealed that an increasing number of young people are abusing prescription drugs. According to NIDA’s findings, nearly 1 in 20 high school seniors reported abuse of OxyContin. Additionally, seven of the top 10 drugs were prescribed or purchased over the counter, with nearly 66% of students reporting that they obtained prescription drugs for non-medical use from friends or relatives.