OxyContin Abuse Problem
OxyContin is an opioid drug used in the treatment of severe pain. Opioid drugs are preferable in situations with chronic or extreme pain, as there is no threshold at which the effects of the drug cease to increase, only an upper limit created by side affects. While a powerful painkiller, OxyContin has mood altering effects that can lead to abuse. The effects of OxyContin are similar to those of heroin, another opiate, and OxyContin and heroin often appeal to similar abusers. OxyContin causes pain relief, feelings of relaxation, and euphoria.
Street Use of OxyContin
OxyContin is an easy drug to abuse. While the pills are designed to be swallowed and are time-release formulated, users can get stronger and more immediate effects with the following abuse methods:
- Chewing the tablets
- Snorting ground-up pills
- Using the pills rectally
- Dissolving OxyContin in water and injecting it
Frequent use of the drug results in tolerance to its effects, causing higher doses to be required for the same sensations. The popularity of illegal OxyContin use has increased recently. It has been reported that one in twenty high school students admit to having abused OxyContin. (Watch this OxyContin video.)
Users will feign illnesses and visit multiple doctors in order to procure prescriptions. Other extremes to gain OxyContin include robbery, falsified prescriptions, and using the Internet to obtain the drug. While inexpensive for those with health insurance, individuals without insurance or whose insurance will no longer cover the drug often turn to heroin, which has a much lower street value. OxyContin can cost $80 a pill when obtained illegally.
Dangers and Effects of OxyContin Abuse
OxyContin is a controlled substance that requires a prescription to obtain. Because it is used and prescribed medically, users often view this drug as safe. This, however, is not the case. Addiction is highly likely when OxyContin is taken in doses beyond what is required to treat one’s pain, or if taken when a person is not in pain to begin with. OxyContin has many side effects. Respiratory depression is the most dangerous side effect of OxyContin. A large portion of deaths related to OxyContin are the result of using the drug along with alcohol and/or benzodiazepines.
Ceasing to take OxyContin, even just a week after beginning to abuse the drug, can result in severe withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Increased respiration and heart rate
OxyContin should only be used in cases where the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects and addiction. Those who take OxyContin as prescribed and are monitored by their doctors are unlikely to become addicted to the drug an won’t need a OxyContin support group.
Need Help Finding Treatment Centers for OxyContin Addiction?
If you or a loved one has an OxyContin abuse problem and could use OxyContin treatment help, please call our toll free number. We are here to help and can provide information about OxyContin addiction treatment and steps toward recovery. We are available to help 24 hours a day. Don’t suffer another day because of addiction; call us today.