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New Drug Takes Hold In Pittsburgh Area

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- It's the newest drug people in our area are abusing and the medical director of a local drug rehabilitation center wants to warn people about it.

It's called Opana, and it's a prescription pain killer, but Dr. Neil Capretto from Gateway Rehabilitation Center says it can be two to three times more powerful than Oxycontin. He says he's heard of people dying from it and fears things will get much worse.

"It's flooded Beaver County," said a 20-year-old who is in rehab right now. "It's the drug of choice in my area. Everybody wants Opanas."

The young man, whose identity we won't reveal, says his addiction began with another drug: "At first I was doing Oxycontin, and they made the new ones so you can't crush them down and snort them, so one of the my friends told there was a new drug called Opana."

He says he wrecked his car twice because he was high.

"I've had patients call it Oxycontin on steroids," said Dr. Capretto.

He says addicts go to great lengths to get drugs like this. "I have patients who tell me they go to real estate open houses looking in medicine cabinets."

Opana is a prescription pain killer and the 20-year-old who's in rehab says: "I know people who were doing heroin and switched over to Opana because they were getting more high on Opanas than heroin."

He says the withdrawal was unbearable and that getting help was the best thing he's ever done.

Dr. Capretto says: "I still see this as getting worse before it gets better in our area."

Gateway Rehab
MedlinePlus: Prescription Drug Abuse

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