What Is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a controlled-released opiate brand of oxycodone. It functions by changing how the brain and the central nervous system feel pain. This is a powerful medication to help people suffering from moderate to severe pain. In addition, it can help individuals who are in constant pain to find the relief needed to recover. OxyContin is recommended to be taken every 12 hours and is available in the following doses:
Although it is available in pill form, it can be snorted, chewed, crushed, injected and smoked. When individuals take the pill in non-traditional forms, typically in cases of misuse, there is much more potential for abuse. Oxycodone, a major chemical in OxyContin remains one of the most commonly abused drugs to date and has serious side effects.
In previous years, OxyContin marketing was limited to risks and side effects associated with the drug. In addition, this drug was more prescribed than other drugs in certain states, deemed as “high OxyContin prescribed areas,” being prescribed 5 to 6 times more than the national average. To complicate matters, oxycodone and OxyContin have been linked to heroin abuse and fentanyl abuse. Because of the addiction risk for both OxyContin and oxycodone, much research has done to understand how to avoid overdoses. Furthermore, some suggest doctors prescribing non-opioid alternatives to reduce risks.
How To Know When Someone Is Using OxyContin
In some cases, using OxyContin can help with ongoing pain. Taking the recommended dosage can bring about healing for ongoing pain. Despite its benefits, there are dangers, and it is important to know the signs of OxyContin use and abuse. Seeing someone use OxyContin more than their prescribed dosage is a sign of abuse.
Increasing an OxyContin dosage due to a drug tolerance is a strong sign of misuse. An inability to stop using OxyContin is another sign of excessive use or misuse. Someone talking about using the drug in a non-medical way is another sign of use. Lastly, someone showing symptoms like depression, anxiety, headaches, drowsiness, poor work performance, and constricted pupils can indicate use.
Spotting An OxyContin Addiction
OxyContin’s addictive properties are gradual as individuals develop a tolerance before an addiction. This translates to people taking OxyContin for their recommended purpose but needing more of the drug to feel normal. At first, the drug may have been used to treat severe back pain, for example, but now is also being used to lift one’s mood. Now the intended use has been used out of its intended context. In the case of a drug tolerance, the brain and nervous system get used to the increased amount of chemical and lowering the amount one takes becomes more difficult. As a result of a tolerance, he or she may feel the original dosage is not strong enough for them to feel any symptoms, thus increasing their intake. He or she does not feel the effects as strongly when first prescribed.
Doctor Shopping And OxyContin Abuse
Behaviors such as doctor shopping and getting fake prescriptions can pinpoint an addiction to opioids. Patients can fake sickness in attempts to increase the dosage or redistribute medications. Because of OxyContin’s hold on individuals who use the drug, getting medical attention for these symptoms would be best, as going cold turkey can worsen symptoms. Not only do individuals have the access needed to fight withdrawal symptoms, they also receive monitored care while detoxing.
People who want to combine OxyContin with other substances such as alcohol or stimulants expose themselves to an increased risk of overdose. This is also a sign of an addiction. If you are suspecting someone to have an addiction to OxyContin, you may notice the following behaviors or side effects:
- Increased dosages of OxyContin
- Mixing OxyContin with other substances
- Crushing, snorting, and injecting OxyContin
- Mood changes
- Using OxyContin recreationally
- Dizziness or seizures
- Thoughts of suicide
- Loss of appetite/weight loss
- Muscle aches
- Developing an addiction or tolerance
OxyContin Treatment And Detox
Detox for OxyContin can help to reverse symptoms of abuse like depression, anxiety, nausea, and cravings. While detox is painful, certain medications help to reduce symptoms and side effects associated with it. Drugs like Clonidine make withdrawal more tolerable, easing irritability, agitation, and anxiety.
Secondly, Suboxone helps to provide a feeling of euphoria without needing to use harmful opioids. This drug can be habit forming and needs to be taken cautiously or with supervision. Naltrexone helps to reduce the effects of the euphoria associated with OxyContin. Patients are recommended to take Naltrexone a year after of detox and can also get the injectable form in Vivitrol. Taking opioids while using Naltrexone can have severe side effects.