Woodstock is a city and the county seat of Oxford County in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is located 128 km southwest of Toronto, north of Highway 401 along the historic Thames River. It is known as the Dairy Capital of Canada and promotes itself as “The Friendly City.” Woodstock is the only city in Ontario to still have all of its original administration buildings. In 2011 it had an estimated population of 37,754.
Many residents say the use of Oxycontin is pervasive in Woodstock, a city of 35,000, about 140 kilometers southwest of Toronto. A small town with its own methadone clinic says a lot about how widespread the problem is. There are no hard figures for Oxycontin users in Woodstock. Oxycontin is a popular painkiller developed in 1995 for people with chronic pain, such as those suffering from cancer. It contains oxycodone a synthetic opiate with effects similar to those of morphine, heroin, codeine and methadone. When used as prescribed, it provides a slow, 12-hour pain relief. But drug abusers soon learned to crush the pills, then snort or inject the drug for a rapid high. Called “hillbilly heroin,” a $4 prescription pill can sell for as much as $45 on the street. In Woodstock, it is extremely easy to buy the little pills on the street. Until two or three years ago, crack cocaine, ecstasy pills and crystal meth were the most-used drugs then Oxycontin gradually got popular because it was cheap and easy to use, but that has changed. The tablets are pricey now a 40-mg pill can cost about $20. Some addicts are known to take up to 500 mg a day which costs about $250. It is very easy to get addicted, sometimes all it takes is popping them a couple of times. In a town like Woodstock, where the young people complain of nothing to do, dallying with drugs can be simply to fight boredom. There is no escaping it in this town; everywhere you look there are Oxy users. You can spot them with their fidgety scratching, and their pupils, which contract when they’ve taken a pill or two.”
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