I just wanted to mention, I believe the UK doesn't have as rampant a prescription opioid
problem as the USA because they are FAR stingier in giving them out to patients.
Although it seems they're starting to be a bit more lenient (though that could just be the circles I run in...).
Generally, you have to be really fucking sick to get oxycodone
in the UK, whereas in the USA you can get it for a stubbed toe if you have a "good" doctor and/or play your cards correctly. I know someone who got a Percocet prescription from the ER for a fucking hemorrhoid. HEMORRHOID! *sheesh* Which, btw, would seem to be contraindicated, but my friend who got that (many years ago) *did* seem to be in a lot of pain... *shrug*
Anyway, it seems like oxycodone is a last-line prescription in the UK, whereas it's lower on the totem pole in the States. They seem to go: codeine
-> DHC (which we don't have in the States; I suspect DHC is somewhat similar to hydrocodone
, which the UK doesn't have) -> morphine
patches or oxycodone. Whereas in the States, it'd more likely be: codeine -> hydrocodone -> oxycodone -> morphine -> hydromorphone
-> Fentanyl patches
Obviously, this isn't a hard & fast rule, but generally seems to be the progression in chronic pain patients who need more/stronger medication over time.
Of course, now they also have BuTrans patches, methadone
, etc to throw into the mix, but that's another discussion...