OxyContin, or oxycodone hydrochloride, is an opioid pain reliever. It comes as a tablet, and is regularly prescribed by physicians for patients needing moderate to serious pain relief. It is commonly used after surgery, after injury, or to manage chronic pain. Even though OxyContin has many beneficial qualities, it is very addicting, and for the past decade has been part of the prescription drug abuse epidemic.
Effects of OxyContin
OxyContin is designed to provide 12 hours of pain relief. When abused, the user crushes the tablet and swallows or snorts it, or injects it after diluting it in water, causing the user to feel the full effects of the drug at once. The high the user experiences is often compared to heroin, which is from the same family of drugs as OxyContin.
This drug gives the user a rush of euphoria, followed by slowed breathing and relaxation. Other side effects can also occur, such as dizziness, vomiting, headache, mood changes, reduced appetite, and muscle weakness. Long term use of OxyContin can cause tolerance for the drug, requiring the user to take larger amounts to feel the same effects. Because OxyContin is so addicting, many individuals develop drug-seeking behavior and will lie, cheat, and steal to get more of their drug.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 5% of high school seniors have abused OxyContin non-medically in the past year. OxyContin abuse is also a common problem among older adults, as these individuals more frequently take the drug for pain relief. In order to prevent dependence on OxyContin from occurring, it is important to take this medication as prescribed, and only under the care of a trusted physician. Those who are taking this drug as prescribed should be careful to keep their pills in a safe place, locked away or hidden from anyone close to them that might be tempted to abuse the drug.
Treatment for OxyContin Abuse
Treatment for OxyContin addiction is available and is effective. Individuals going through treatment must first detox from the substance, which can cause flu-like achiness, restlessness, and anxiety. Because the drug is so addicting, it is also imperative that the person in recovery receive proper counseling and therapy to help them overcome their cravings and learn how to manage triggers to use. Living a life free from relapse usually means the person in recovery must steer clear of opiates like prescription painkillers for the rest of their lives. Participation in support groups and long term therapy are also beneficial for helping the person remain sober.
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to OxyContin, don’t wait any longer to get help. Contact My Recovery Helper today to learn about treatment programs that are right for you.