The Ontario government banned OxyContin a few years ago to curb rampant abuse of it. But now are now seeing people abuse the drug’s “tamper-proof” replacement – Hydromorph Contin –with horrific consequences.

Hydromorph Contin is a formulation designed to prevent people from dissolving the pill and injecting it. It turns into a thick, gel-like substance when exposed to water.

Unfortunately, some addicts found a way to draw the drug into a syringe using a filter – a method that can cause significant heart damage. When crushed and injected, fragments of the pill sometimes end up in the mixture that can travel through the blood into the heart, scratching the organ’s interior and damaging valves.

The result, says cardiac surgeon Michael Chu, is an increase in strokes, blood clots and death among addicts. Heart infection is now a problem, leading to the need to cut out parts of the heart in some cases..

Doctors in London aren’t sure how large a problem they’re facing because deaths from drug-induced heart infections aren’t counted provincially like deaths from drug abuse are.

It’s been a very dramatic increase and rise, almost of epidemic proportions.

In some cases, heart valves can be surgically rebuilt, though the procedure is challenging and time-consuming. And while infections can be treated, getting addicts to follow through with an antibiotics regimen can sometimes prove challenging, doctors say.

Source: CVT News