What is Oxycontin?
Oxycontin is the brand name for a time released formula of oxycodone, a medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycontin in a morphine-like drug typically given to patients that need a constant supply of pain management such as cancer patients and accident victims. The long lasting formula is what sets it apart from other prescription pain killers. The time release makes the drug more popular because you don’t need as many pills to get the desired high. A stigma has been created around the drug and the number of doctors who refuse to write the prescription is growing daily. Patients have reported feeling the beginnings of addiction after taking the medication for only a few weeks.
How is Oxycontin Abused?
Oxycontin can be crushed, snorted, swallowed or injected. The drugs time-release feature gives it a very high concentration of oxycodone and therefore, it will give you a more intense high than weaker pills of the same variety. It’s potency is what makes it so attractive as a option for a fix for abusers. When the pill is altered in any way the time release effect that the drug should have on prescribed patients is gone, the drug is even more potent than just ingesting the pill alone.
Oxycontin has been called Hillbilly Heroin due to its widespread use in the Appalachian mountains. 80% of the crime in that region is due to Oxycontin addiction. Oxycontin works on the nervous system. It’s opium or heroin like effects, when not taken in its intended form, also lends itself to Oxycontin’s nickname. Other words used to describe Oxycontin are Ox, Oxy and killer.
What Are the Side Effects?
As with any addiction there are always side effects of abusing a drug, some include but are not limited to: Constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, Respiratory depression, Heart Attack, Coma and in extreme cases, death.
What Are the Signs of Oxycontin Dependency?
If a tolerance is built up in the body and more and more of the drug is required to achieve the same effect, there is a chance that the body has become addicted to Oxycontin. Social withdrawal, change in personality and ongoing use even after the initial pain is gone could also be signs that the drug has crossed the line from helpful to harmful. Doctor shopping is also a significant sign that the individual needs help with the addiction. If you or your loved one exhibits signs of hallucinations, sensitivity to normal sights and sounds, neglects responsibilities, experiences black outs or becomes defensive about the problem a medical professional should be contacted.
When Oxycontin is no longer being taken the side effects will start shortly and may include: Restlessness, Insomnia, Anxiety, Diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, Sweating and chills, muscle spasms, muscle pain, fast heart rate and increased breathing. These side effects vary greatly on the length of use and how much of the drug was being consumed on a daily basis. Often times the withdrawal symptoms are so severe that the user must get a fix and will resort to Heroin if pills are not readily available. Such binges puts the individual at a much higher risk of overdosing.
How to Get Help?
Oxycontin’s potency makes it a dangerous drug to stop taking abruptly. The safest way to stop the use of the drug is through a physician assisted program of medication and counseling. Inpatient treatment programs are most effective for long term users. There are a variety of options and all are very discreet. Meridian Treatment Solutions can help match patients with the right treatments for them. The success of the program depends heavily on making sure it is the right type of program for the person and the addiction. Not all recovery programs are inpatient. Depending on the severity of the addiction and the willingness to change, an outpatient facility may be the best fit for some addicts. Recovery isn’t impossible. Drugs containing buprenorphine are most commonly used to assist in the recovery process. The most important step in getting help is having a good support system. Stop hiding the behavior and rely on a trusted group of friends and relatives and recovery become a real event, one that will never have to be repeated again.