Four years ago, the Ontario government decided to ban the use of Oxycontin, hoping to stop the pattern of increased opioid addiction in the province. Unfortunately, like every place banning Oxy, the medical profession needed another drug to take its place. Today, it appears that the drug most used is Hydromorph Contin. And now doctors say it’s causing deadly heart infections.
What is Hydromorph Contin?
Hydromorphone Contin is chemically similar to Oxycontin, but it’s meant to be harder to abuse, and it’s formulated mostly for people experiencing severe, acute pain such as those from accidents like car crashes or cancer. The drugs itself was designed to deter abuse and prevent injection by turning into a thick, gel-like substance when exposed to water.
How Are People Getting Hurt?
Unfortunately, if there is a will, there’s a way, especially when it comes to people with addiction finding new ways to use their drug of choice. Authorities say addicted persons looking to get their fix have discovered a dangerous workaround for Hydromorph Contin. When they want to inject the drug, they use a filter to get the substance into a needle. If a person crushes the pill and does this, tiny fragments of it can get into the syringe, which then is injected into the body. This leads to dangerous heart problems.
The pill shards can scratch blood vessels and organs as they travel, causing significant damage as they make their way to the heart. Usually, that’s where they land, scratching a hole in the heart itself. People have strokes, heart attacks, and get severe infections as a result.
Is Hydromorph Contin Damage Curable?
There is no cure for people with severe heart damage that Hydromorph Contin abuse can cause, and it is usually monitored for life.
Some patients have to have their heart valves surgically rebuilt, a challenging process that often requires multiple surgeries. Heart infections can be treated with antibiotics if the patient is compliant, but doctors say this is a challenge for people with addiction, who have trouble with medical compliance.
Many of the patients are in their 20’s and 30’s. If they get well from heart damage, they often have to see a specialist for life.