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OxyContin is a helpful opioid painkiller that is one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the US. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most abused prescription medications. In fact, OxyContin is often the center of conversation whenever the topic is opioid abuse and addiction.
A drug that’s only available by prescription is one of the most problematic substances around, and so it is important to talk about why. Here we will shed more light on the addictive side of OxyContin: the extended-release version of the popular oxycodone.
Why is OxyContin addictive? How powerful is it? And if it’s so dangerous, why is it still being prescribed? Let’s take a closer look.
What is OxyContin?
Just like other opioids, OxyContin works by binding to the opioid receptors in the central nervous system. It is prescribed for chronic and severe pain because it is able to block incoming pain signals. OxyContin, in particular, has an extended release mechanism, which means it stays longer in a person’s system, and it provides longer-lasting pain relief.
The controlled release is what sets OxyContin apart from other opioids, including oxycodone itself. If you take one dose, the pain-relieving effects will last for up to 12 hours, whereas other opioids will only relieve pain for a few hours.
So on paper, this is definitely a beneficial drug—like most legal narcotics.
However, it is a Schedule II controlled substance because OxyContin has a high potential for abuse. A person who takes this drug recreationally will easily get addicted. It is a controlled substance because it is effective when used properly, but dangerous if misused.
Does OxyContin Make You Feel High?
If the person taking it is really in pain, then there usually isn’t a high that comes with it. The controlled release design makes it less likely for the user to get high. But a high does happen every now and then, and the likelihood increases if one misuses the drug deliberately.
The euphoric sensation is one of the side effects of the pain-relieving benefit: it makes the user feel good. They will feel relaxed while under the effects of OxyContin, with a feeling of well-being and joy.
Recreational users will chew on the drug to experience the effects immediately. They will crush or break it, and then snort it. Some even dissolve the crushed OxyContin and inject it directly into their bloodstream. Of course, doing this releases the drug into the system all at once instead of gradually, increasing the risk of an overdose. After all, OxyContin is very potent.
What is an OxyContin High Like?
The OxyContin high is frequently compared to what people feel when they take heroin because heroin is also an opioid. It impacts the brain and body in a similar way. It also takes hold of the user very quickly, which is why the OxyContin high is very intense.
However, the euphoric effects are short-lived, because afterward, the person will feel very drowsy. You will notice that the user is either very sleepy or disoriented. This effect lasts for several hours and happens right after the high.
With continuous abuse, the user will start developing a tolerance for OxyContin, meaning that it won’t have the same effect as it used to. It would take much larger doses to get high, and the person will soon become drug dependent or addicted.
When a person develops a dependence on OxyContin, their system will continue to crave for the drug even when it is no longer pleasurable. At some point, the drug will stop making the user feel high.
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At any point, the user may also experience an overdose. Taking OxyContin with other substances is extremely dangerous, especially alcohol. The overdose can be fatal.
If you know someone who is struggling with OxyContin addiction or addiction to any kind of prescription drug, look for a drug rehab facility near you. A comprehensive treatment plan will go a long way in treating this condition. With a combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy, they can get back to living a sober life.
Your road to recovery starts today!