Interview With an Oxy Addict

Vocativ got access to two Oxy users who are at the heart of the prescription drug epidemic, and they allowed us to film as they smoked pills and discussed their addiction

Credits: Jillian Cohen and Anne Allen

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In the United States today, more than 12 million people abuse opioid prescription drugs like like Oxycontin and Oxycodone.  Vocativ got access to two Oxy users who are at the heart of the epidemic, and they allowed us to film as they smoked pills and discussed their addiction. Users Nalu and Jango talk candidly about why they started on oxy, and describe the physical effects of using this opiate substitute. Oxy is colloquially called “hillbilly heroin” because of its high abuse rate in poor Appalachian communities. In actuality, it is a very expensive drug to use. Many oxy addicts eventually turn to actual heroin since it’s cheaper to procure. The more high Nalu and Jango get, the more detail they divulge about the extremes they go to for the money to feed their expensive habit. Both men tell us they hope to eventually quit, but with few resources and a powerful physical addiction to kick, their futures seem unclear. 

In the United States today, more than 12 million people abuse opioid prescription drugs like like Oxycontin and Oxycodone.  Vocativ got access to two Oxy users who are at the heart of the epidemic, and they allowed us to film as they smoked pills and discussed their addiction. Users Nalu and Jango talk candidly about why they started on oxy, and describe the physical effects of using this opiate substitute. Oxy is colloquially called “hillbilly heroin” because of its high abuse rate in poor Appalachian communities. In actuality, it is a very expensive drug to use. Many oxy addicts eventually turn to actual heroin since it’s cheaper to procure. The more high Nalu and Jango get, the more detail they divulge about the extremes they go to for the money to feed their expensive habit. Both men tell us they hope to eventually quit, but with few resources and a powerful physical addiction to kick, their futures seem unclear. 

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