OxyContin is an opioid pain medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. It is one of the most popular pain medications in the United States today, and only available via a prescription. Misuse of the drug can lead to addiction, overdose, or even death. When combined with alcohol or other drugs, OxyContin can be incredibly dangerous.
How is OxyContin Prescribed to Patients
When controlling moderate to severe pain, OxyContin works by modifying the way our bodies and brains perceive pain. This is due to the active ingredient in the drug, oxycodone. It works by interacting with opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Beyond pain relief, oxycodone can cause intense feelings of euphoria.
Doctors typically prescribe OxyContin in a dosage of 10mg tablets. It can also be prescribed in 15mg, all the way up to 80 mg. Doses of 40 mg or higher can be lethal to those who have never taken OxyContin before. Depending on the insurance carrier and coverage, OxyContin prescriptions can be incredibly expensive to fill, but there are generic medications available for less money.
Because of the high OxyContin often produces, people who use the drug—even for legitimate reasons—can become addicted quite easily. Signs of abuse can include:
- using OxyContin to experience its euphoric effects
- using OxyContin in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed
- using OxyContin without having a prescription for it
When abusing the drug, psychological compulsions to find the drug and take more may signify an addiction. In other cases, using the drug can lead to a tolerance and a physical dependence, but doesn’t necessarily mean an addiction is present. When one develops a tolerance to the drug, it takes more and more of it to achieve the original amount of pleasure experienced. The user will experience withdrawal when they stop taking it, thus creating cravings to take more. OxyContin withdrawal can include:
- muscle pain
- trouble sleeping
Other behaviors accompanied with OxyContin abuse include crushing and chewing, or crushing and snorting the drug before taking it. Some even dissolve OxyContin in water and inject it, which can cause other problems such as life-threatening infections or diseases due to sharing needles.
After developing a tolerance and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, getting off OxyContin may be more difficult than usual. It is recommended to seek professional help when detoxing in order to be safe. For help with this, or any other addiction questions, contact Treatment Now today at xxx-xxx-xxx.