OxyContin | Abuse & Addiction
A legitimate painkiller, OxyContin became newsworthy as reports of its abuse and fatalities became public; even celebrities are not immune to its draw and unfortunate consequences. A synthetic opioid, the morphine-like drug can help relieve pain of a variety of ailments and circumstances, including arthritis, injuries and cancer, for up to 12 hours, thanks to a time-released formula of oxycodone. It is prescribed frequently to address moderate to severe pain. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), oxycodone has been abused for more than 30 years, but it was the introduction of OxyContin in 1996 that marked an escalation in abuse, a problem that is now nationwide and its this abuse that leaves many to wonder Do you have an OxyContin Addiction?
OxyContin increases dopamine activity in key brain regions. The brain’s reward system values the sensations of less physical pain, release of muscular tension, the desirable feelings of joy and happiness, and mental calm and relaxation and will try to repeat them in the future.
OxyContin abusers often crush the table and swallow or snort it, or dilute it in water and inject it, experiencing the full effects of the drug immediately. The high achieved is compared by users to that of heroin. Like heroin addicts, those addicted to OxyContin may take more than they are used to because the dose is no longer effective. They may prefer to take drugs more than do anything else. They may lie to others about their drug use, being secretive about activities. Responsibilities of work and school may suffer, with unexplained absences. They may isolate themselves from friends and family members who do not use drugs and seem to lose interests in hobbies that they once found pleasurable. Things may be forgotten, blackouts occur and withdrawal symptoms experienced when not using. It is not out of the realm of possibility to experience financial and legal problems as a result of drug use.
OxyContin abuse will have a profound effect on brain chemistry and quality of life. Addicts may experience anxiety, confusion, euphoria, hallucinations, and memory loss and mood changes.
Physically, you may notice the following telltale signs of drug addition in a person:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Change in sleeping habits
- Decrease in attention to personal hygiene and physical appearance
- Dilated or constricted pupils
- Drowsiness, fatigue
- Flushed skin
- Impaired coordination
- Muscle limpness, loss of control and weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Slurred speech
Among the serious effects of abuse needing immediate medical attention:
- Decreased testosterone production
- Dizziness, faintness and light-headedness
- Changes in heart rate
- Circulatory collapse
- Enlarged prostate
- Slowed or difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the eyes, tongue or throat
OxyContin Detox and Withdrawal – The Process:
There are six stages to withdrawal, each with its own symptoms, including agitation, gastrointestinal problems, inability to sleep, increased pain sensitivity, and restlessness. It is recommended that those entering recovery seek professional treatment through a supervised detox program. An in-patient setting ensures the safety and comfort of the addict, who will be tended to by medical professionals.
Following detox, options include residential rehab, outpatient treatment, and mental health treatment.
Conclusion: The effects of an OxyContin addiction are reversible. The physical problems associated with abuse will not be long-term following withdrawal, but the psychological addiction can remain throughout one’s life. Treatment provides a toolkit for continued success.
You or a loved one start the recovery process today and enjoy life again – drug-free!