Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Election 2020

FDA Approval Of OxyContin For Kids Raises Concerns

Photo caption:

Photo credit: narconon via Compfight

Different doses of OxyContin are shown in this undated photo.

Drug abuse prevention advocates question the FDA's decision allowing doctors to prescribe OxyContin to children.

At a time when prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death nationwide, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of OxyContin for children.

The agency says the narcotic can be prescribed to kids 11 to 16 who suffer from severe, persistent pain, but only after other treatments have failed.

Drug abuse prevention advocates call the decision a bad move.

Sherrie Rubin, a member of the San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, thinks prescribing opioids to children is preposterous.

“Oxy has been proven to be a highly addictive, mind-altering drug, and I’m concerned that parents are not going to be educated to understand what they’re giving to their children," she said.

OxyContin is one of the most widely-prescribed painkillers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the abuse of OxcyContin and other opioids killed more than 16,000 Americans in 2013.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.