What Made My Loved One an OxyContin Addict?
OxyContin is a commonly prescribed pain reliever. Since it can produce physical dependency after a relatively short period of use, many people become addicted after regular use. OxyContin addiction can happen to anyone. People who are addicted to OxyContin fall into two broad categories: those who become addicted as a result of legitimate use and those who become addicted as a result of recreational use.
The effects of OxyContin are nearly identical to those of heroin, and it is highly sought after by recreational drug users. Since doctors prescribe OxyContin and the medicine comes in pill form, it lacks the social stigma of intravenous heroin use. It may seem relatively harmless, especially to young people whose friends are using it, which tempts people to try the drug.
Physical Addiction to OxyContin
OxyContin produces a strong physical dependence which can occur after a relatively short period of regular use. Once someone is addicted, abruptly quitting the drug induces severe and extremely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant that they overpower a person’s will to stop using, and people continue using OxyContin in order to get relief.
OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms is the surest sign of a physical dependency to any drug. The withdrawal symptoms produced by OxyContin addiction are extremely unpleasant, can be dangerous and possibly even fatal. Withdrawal symptoms can be especially severe among recreational users who typically use high doses of the drug. The withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Muscle aches and pains
OxyContin detox is potentially dangerous and should be conducted under medical supervision.
Psychological Addiction to OxyContin
In addition to a strong physical dependency, opiates can also produce psychological addiction. Opiates alter the reward center of the brain, causing it to produce elevated levels of dopamine and serotonin, the neurotransmitters responsible for mood. This produces euphoria, the high of drug use. With regular use the brain begins to produce less of these chemicals on its own, and when use is stopped depression sets in. The user will then use OxyContin to alleviate the depression that comes from drug cravings.
Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
Since OxyContin produces such a strong addiction and severe, possibly dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it is imperative that those suffering from OxyContin addiction seek professional treatment. It is extremely difficult to quit OxyContin on your own, and quitting cold turkey can be dangerous. The benefits of professional treatment for addiction include the following:
- Medically supervised detox to ensure the patient’s safety
- A supportive, secure environment in which it will be impossible to obtain or use OxyContin
- Counseling to address root causes of addiction, any co-occurring mental health issues, and provide strategies for living and maintaining a drug-free lifestyle
- Follow up counseling to help maintain long-term sobriety
OxyContin Addiction Help
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