Manufactured by Purdue Pharma L.P., OxyContin is a trade name for the drug oxycodone hydrochloride. OxyContin is a controlled-release form of oxycodone prescribed to treat chronic pain. When used properly, OxyContin can provide pain relief for up to 12 hours.

There has been a lot of media focus on this prescription drug due to reports of its abuse. In this edition of HowStuffWorks, you'll find out what OxyContin is, some basics of how it works and what the problem is.