OxyContin is an infamously dangerous narcotic and one of the biggest contributors to the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic. A powerful prescription painkiller, OxyContin can quickly cause physical and psychological dependency - one that's comparable to heroin. Additionally, the drug’s powerful depressant effects put abusers at a very high-risk for overdose.
Thanks to OxyContin’s high potential for abuse, the drug has been reformulated numerous times in hopes of keeping people from crushing or snorting it, which provides a more intense high. Unfortunately, they quickly devised work-around methods, although the reformulation does make abuse a bit more difficult.
What Do Parents Need to Know?
When it comes to OxyContin paraphernalia, parents really need to be on top of things. You’ll have to be aware of the both the “tools” and the actual delivery methods. Since there’s no time to waste, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about three paraphernalia items associated with OxyContin.
#1 Green or Yellow Stains
Before teens can abuse OxyContin, they must first remove the time-release coating of the pill. This is done by licking the pills, then scraping off the softened coating of the pill. As luck would have it, the coating is usually yellow or green – depending on the strength of the pill. How does that help you as a parent? Well, if you find T-shirts or items of clothing covered with the telltale green or yellow stains, it’s time to have a talk with your teen about OxyContin abuse.
#2 Hose Clamps
Whether Oxys are snorted or injected, teens must first break the pills down into a fine powder.
In this case, one of the most popular tools of the trade is a simple hose clamp (normally used to fasten automotive and plumbing hoses). The clamp, which looks like a small, circular metal band, has a perforated metal surface, making it perfect for scraping and grinding pills.
It’s also worth mentioning that, in a pinch, metal pedicure scrubbers are also used for the same purpose.
#3 Blackened Pieces of Tin Foil
If you notice pieces of tin foil randomly scattered around your teen’s bedroom – and those pieces of foil happen to have black streaks running from one side to the other – there’s a good chance he’s smoking OxyContin. The foils are used to heat up small pieces of a pill, which produces an opiate-heavy cloud of smoke that’s inhaled with a straw or hollowed ink pen. In order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay, some teens smoke the black residue – or “skids” – left behind by the melted pills. If you find burned tin foils with black, sticky residue, it’s time to confront your teen.
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