Who would’ve thought that a helpful painkiller can cause devastating consequences? The most common reason people abuse their prescription is because they think it’s safe to do so. But just because it’s given by a doctor doesn’t mean it’s perfectly risk-free—such is the case for opioids.
People don’t realize that abusing a prescription painkiller is just as bad as abusing any street drug. And in this case, ignorance is not bliss. Abusing a substance like OxyContin can cause addiction. It can ruin your life.
On this article we will be focusing on the good and bad sides of OxyContin: how it’s supposed to be used, and how people are misusing it.
OxyContin: Medical Uses
OxyContin is the brand name for the time-release formulation of oxycodone. Both of these substances are opioid painkillers. This controlled-release narcotic analgesic is prescribed for serious and chronic pain. Patients with serious injuries, arthritis, and cancer are given OxyContin to help them deal with the discomfort.
OxyContin provides pain relief for up to 12 hours. This substance may contain between 10 and 80 milligrams of oxycodone. The difference is that it is designed to release over extended periods of time, so that the patients will experience the pain relief for longer. This is ideal for patients who need round-the-clock relief.
This is a godsend for those who have pain all the time. If you’re not carefully watching the clock, the pain can come back. Four hours isn’t a very long time for those who have chronic pain, after all.
When used properly, this drug is beneficial, and can help the patient through the recovery process.
OxyContin: Recreational Use and Addiction
Unfortunately, there are those who misuse their medications, therefore exposing the darker side of the substance. The high oxycodone content makes OxyContin very dangerous when abused. It is a habit-forming drug, just like other opioids. If you’re not careful, you can easily get addicted to it.
People abuse OxyContin because of the euphoric high that it provides. Aside from pain relief, it can also make a person feel happy and relaxed. This high is comparable to illegal drugs such as heroin. And the fact that they are more accessible makes OxyContin quite popular among illicit users.
Recreational users will snort, swallow, or even inject the drug directly into their system. Doing so destroys the time-release mechanism, meaning that the body will absorb all the oxycodone at once. This could easily lead to an overdose.
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You’ll know that someone is abusing OxyContin by carefully looking at the signs of addiction. Though signs and symptoms may vary from person to person, there are a few common factors to look out for.
The addicted individual may display various behavioral changes such as anxiety, irritability, depression, mood swings, and inexplicable euphoria. There are also physical signs to look for: nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness, itching, headaches, and respiratory depression are among the most common ones.
If someone you love is visiting multiple doctors to get the same prescription repeatedly, then they may be abusing OxyContin. Remember that if they become addicted or physically dependent, it will be much harder for them to quit. They’ll go through withdrawal symptoms like muscle pain, bone pain, insomnia, weakness, and chills. In certain cases, overdose and withdrawal can be fatal.
Look for a rehab facility near you today and ask about possible methods of treating your loved one’s addiction. It will likely involve behavioral therapy and medical detox, but the exact techniques may vary depending on their condition. What’s important is that they receive medical attention right away.