OxyContin has a significant potential for both physical and psychological dependence and abuse. In fact, it is classified as a controlled substance, meaning that there are special rules and regulations for prescribing and obtaining the medication. For instance, you must have a written OxyContin prescription (not a phoned or faxed prescription) in order to legally obtain the drug.
Because it is a very desirable drug of abuse, people often try to buy it through illegal means, such as from foreign countries or online sources that do not require a prescription. It is readily available and relatively inexpensive (at least in generic form), making it a popular drug of abuse.
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ReformulationIn April 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a reformulated version of OxyContin that is designed to be less likely to be abused. Although the details about the exact changes are vague -- probably intentionally -- apparently, the new formulation is more difficult to crush into a fine powder and more difficult to dissolve.