OxyContin, the name brand version of oxycodone, is one of the many prescription painkillers being abused in the US. Although it’s commonly prescribed for pain relief after surgery or accidents, oxycodone can also be prescribed for chronic pain. Its addictive nature, however, makes OxyContin use especially dangerous.
Who Uses OxyContin?
OxyContin can be abused by everyone, but teens are especially vulnerable to pharmaceutical abuse. A study conducted as recently as 2010 indicates that five percent of high school seniors have used OxyContin without a prescription. In the state of Texas, seven percent of children 12 to 17 use prescriptions for non-prescription use.
Often, people don’t realize the seriousness of their drug use. They may think that, because OxyContin is prescribed, that it cannot be dangerous. This is not the case.
What Makes OxyContin Dangerous?
OxyContin is a synthetically derived narcotic that has some of the same characteristics of morphine or heroin. Thus, addiction is a great risk of OxyContin use. Your body and brain enjoy the pain-relieving qualities of the drug, and eventually crave more and more. This increased desire puts you at risk of respiratory or heart failure, as increased dosages magnify the original sedative-like effects of the drug. Confusion and motor impairment can occur when under the influence of OxyContin, making you more likely to harm someone if driving.
The immediate effects of OxyContin are not the only negative experiences you can have when using the drug. The extraordinarily addictive nature of oxycodone makes withdrawal likely. Opioid withdrawal can be a dangerous, painful experience.
What Is OxyContin Withdrawal?
Withdrawal is the body’s physical response to the OxyContin leaving your system, punctuated by nausea, sweating, tremors and depression or mood swings. If you have a severe OxyContin addiction, these symptoms can occur soon after you stop taking the drug, and can be life-threatening in some cases. Self-rehabilitation is not usually recommended for oxycodone abusers because the withdrawal experienced can lead to relapse.
For that reason, oxycodone addicts are encouraged to seek treatment for their dependency. When treated properly, the effects of OxyContin withdrawal are monitored, and you’ll learn how to manage your pain in ways that allow you to continue to live your life.
How Is OxyContin Addiction Treated?
It’s best to treat OxyContin addiction as soon as possible because less severe addictions are likely to experience less severe withdrawal periods. A drug detox period is typically recommended for oxycodone addictions because physical withdrawal is experienced. After drug detoxification, you will undergo therapy to help you understand and overcome the mental aspects of your addiction.
If you have an addiction to oxycodone and you’d like information about drug treatment, call our helpline.