"I never said I want to grow up to be a junkie, ever," says 22-year-old Troy Swett. But he did, and he now he is ashamed of it.
Like tens of thousands of people around the country, he breaks the law every day, abusing a powerful painkiller called OxyContin. "If I were to go without Oxys, I'd feel violently sick," he says. Harold Dow reports on Swett's struggle to free himself of addiction.
Seven years ago OxyContin didn't even exist. Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration says abuse of this legal drug is growing faster than any other prescription remedy in decades.
Purdue Pharma developed OxyContin to provide long-lasting pain relief. The drug contains a large quantity of narcotic, coupled with a special time-release agent to control the dosage – an innovation some call a miracle.
Aired: 12 Dec 2001