Like a number of other drugs that are now classified as addictive, OxyContin originally had a medical purpose. It is a very effective pain reliever and if used in the right way, it may even relieve someone of pain for 12 hours.
According to Discovery Health:
“Oxycodone is an agonist opioid. Opioid agonists are some of the most effective pain relievers available. Unlike other analgesics, opioid agonists have an increasing analgesic effect with increased doses. Meaning that the more you take, the better you feel…You can see why, particularly for people who suffer chronic pain, a medication like OxyContin can be so beneficial: It can potentially provide up to four times the relief of a non-opioid analgesic, so even the most severe degree of pain can be managed.”
The danger with this is that those who are in chronic pain and really need OxyContin may eventually become dependent upon it Additionally, its pain-relieving properties are of interest of people who are not suffering from chronic pain, but just want to numb themselves to life.
However, because it has a controlled-release mechanism, people who wish to abuse OxyContin will find some other way to ingest the drug such as chewing, injecting or snorting it so that they can feel its effects sooner.
People who take OxyContin as directed are not likely to become addicted. Those people should however, take care to dispose of their prescription properly to prevent the drug from being abused.