OxyContin abuse is becoming a thing of the past—sort of. Ever since Purdue Pharma reformulated its hit narcotic pills to make them harder to snort, chew, or inject, addicts have been looking elsewhere for their high, the New York Times reports. “It’s too much work,” says one ex-user. He tried microwaving the new pills and snorting the burnt remains as his dealer instructed, but “it wasn’t anything I enjoyed.”
That’s the good news. The bad news? Users have mostly just jumped to pure, 30-milligram oxycodone pills (called “Perc 30s” or “Roxies), or a similar time-released drug called Opana. Some former users have even gone straight to heroin. “It’s just a matter of switching,” said an Ohio drug task force member. “If I’m an addict, I’m going to find a drug that works.” The FDA is currently studying whether other opiates could be similarly reformulated.