"If that's the case, it's a shame," says Richard, who knows firsthand about Oxycontin addiction. "Unfortunately, some drug companies are just out there to make money."
"I'm now trying to rebuild my life after five years," states Richard, who was prescribed Oxycontin following knee surgery.
Prescribed After Surgery
After knee surgery, Richard's doctor prescribed 20 mg of Oxycontin two times per day. But by the time Richard decided to "quit cold turkey," his doctor was prescribing Richard 380 mg. of Oxycontin, three times per day.
"I don't even drink. I couldn't believe what had happened to me," he recalls.
"The pain would come back, and I'd have to take more. Some weeks I'd end up 'short' at the end of the week, and I'd get irritable with my kids, with my wife. The physical effects are drastic. It caused major strain in my marriage.
"What psychological effect did the drug have on me? It's like I wasn't there. I can't think of another way to describe it."
Quitting Cold Turkey
Because drug addiction wasn't covered under David's insurance plan, he decided to quit cold turkey, at home. "It was hell," he says. "It was very painful. It's a good thing my wife and kids were at school and work all day. I pretty much went through it alone.
"My doctor prescribed me something for night sweats, that was about it. He called it a 'dependency.' Well that's the same thing as an addiction."
David's doctor has since left his practice.
Long Term Impact: Chronic Pain
David has successfully beaten his Oxycontin addiction, and now has a new primary care physician.
"My new doctor is on top of it. He wouldn't consider prescribing me Oxycontin."
David recently had both of his knees replaced due to degenerative arthritis. After the surgery, "I suffered horribly. There was nothing they could give me for the pain."
READ MORE LEGAL NEWS
"From what I read, there's nothing that will really change that," says David, who is researching alternative pain therapies and regularly attends a pain management clinic for his condition.
To all users of Oxycontin, David has this advice: "Get off Oxycontin. Get some help to wean off it, as soon as possible."
If you or a loved one have experienced Oxycontin addiction, you may wish to speak to a lawyer to discuss your legal options. Purdue Pharma and three executives have recently admitted to charges of misbranding and will pay $634.5 million in fines, and there are more class action lawsuits on the way.