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Oxycontin - One Young Man's Story

Dec 18, 2007
Recently, it was reported that the maker of OxyContin was fined $644.5 Million for misleading the public. That is a steep fine, but when you look at this young man's story and think of all the other stories of struggle and heartache that are sure to be out there, the fine somehow does not seem adequate:

Once there was a young man of 18 with a heart of gold who, like too many his age, enjoyed partying a bit more than he should, but was loved by one and all and had never committed a single criminal act, except for the partying.

One night, while his father was out of town, he became impatient waiting on friends who were supposed to give him a ride to a party and he "borrowed" his father's car, an Acura V6, and drove himself to the party. His friends showed up at the party later, stayed only briefly and then left and the young man found himself a stranger in the midst of some less than friendly guys from another neighborhood who began taunting him. Rather than getting into a fight, the young man left in anger and took some of his frustrations out on the car by driving too fast.

Several miles later, still storming down the highway, a drunk driver veered out of the adjacent lane of traffic and tapped the Acura's right rear hard enough to send it spinning out of control. The young man fought frantically for control as the car spun and then skidded across the grassy median and into oncoming traffic. Somehow he was able to avoid the oncoming traffic and gain enough control to bring the car out of the oncoming lanes and back into the median, where it lost traction in the grass and begin sliding swiftly back towards the other side of the highway as it approached an overpass.

Beneath the overpass was a guardrail cured by a number of large one foot by one foot wooden steel clad posts. The out of control car mowed through several posts like they were toothpicks, chewed up the guardrail like it was tin foil and continued it's left to right path across the pavement to the guardrail on the other side, where it destroyed a few more posts and a large portion of guardrail and finally came to a stop. The entire wreck lasted scant seconds but took half a mile from start to finish and impact was so great that the car's battery ended up another 150 yards down the highway.

Somehow the young man was alive and conscious and he managed to crawl out of the car, where he collapsed in a pool of blood and remained there until he was later careflighted to the hospital. Anyone who saw the photos of the mangled car would swear that no one lived through such a wreck, as the car looked for all the world like a smashed and crumpled aluminum can.

Although it was touch and go for awhile, the young man did live. For many months, the young man had to be carried back and forth from the bed or sofa to the bathroom, and it took three major operations, several minor ones, skin grafts and an ocean of love and tears before he was finally, almost a year to the day from the accident able to walk again unassisted.

Eventually, the young man was restored to 90 plus percent of his old self, albeit with enough titanium rods, pins, screws and plates to set off a major alarm at any airport checkpoint. He was a very strong and determined young man and he put everything he had into his physical rehabilitation - the same kind of effort he gave as a member of his state championship soccer team and as an accomplished martial arts competitor.

And so he won the physical battle. But sadly, there is another battle he has not been able to win - one that he still fights every day. While his long ordeal and painful efforts left him almost physically whole again, it also left him with a monkey on his back that he has not been able to shake: the addiction to OxyContin, the painkiller that was prescribed as being the best available for the intense pain he suffered. Much was said at the time about how wonderfully OxyContin relieved pain. Nothing was said about it being even more addictive than heroin.

After over 8 years and fully a dozen drug rehab programs, the no longer quite so young man, finally got caught up in the legal justice system and ended up in a state sponsored (prison) rehab program. Despite never committing robbery or any other non-drug related crime, no record of violence, etc., the young man ended up with a criminal record for drug possession and ended up losing years of his youth to the pain and desperation of a habit he could not beat. And it all started with a mistake in judgment that was compounded by OxyContin.

It has been eight months now since he last did any drugs. Only two weeks ago, he was given his freedom and once again is able to enjoy the freedoms you and I take for granted. Maybe, just maybe, this time he has finally gained the time and determination to get past his nemesis and get on with his life.

I certainly hope and pray that is true. The young man is my son.

With hope and tears,
Tony Isaacs
About the Author
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health researcher and author of books and articles about natural health, as well as song lyrics and humorous anecdotal stories. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life http://tbyil.com website for baby boomer's and others wishing to live longer, healthier, and happier.
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