The Potent Perils Of a Miracle Drug

OxyContin is a leading treatment for chronic pain, but officials fear it may succeed crack cocaine on the street

For a woman dying of cancer, Terry Sanborn didn't seem to suffer. She and her unemployed husband Stephen lived on Medicaid and $512 a month in Social Security in a quiet blue-collar cul-de-sac in tiny Bangor, Maine. But they managed to pay $78,000 in cash for that roomy house at the bottom of Hershey Avenue, with a swing set in the backyard. They forked over an additional $17,000 for a Ford Econoline van. Not until drug agents raided the place did neighbors know how they were able to afford it all.

The Sanborns were accused of dealing OxyContin, the morphine-like drug...

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