Oxycontin abuse is a growing, and very dangerous, problemOxycontin is an opioid-based prescription painkiller. Oxycontin abuse blocks pain receptors for temporary pain relief. However, when Oxycontin is abused (e.g., tablets ground up to increase medication intensity), individuals experience instant feelings of euphoria. Once the medication wears off, users experience intense withdrawal symptoms similar to heroin withdrawal, which includes fevers, vomiting, nausea, shakes and sweats. Oxycontin is a Schedule II controlled substance.

Level 4 - Moderate Danger

Societal impact: 3

The use and abuse of prescription drugs is widespread; prescription drug abuse is one of the fastest growing drug problems in the United States. However, the dangers associated with prescription drug abuse are still not fully understood. Common personal injuries (e.g., workplace accident, sports injury, auto accident injury) can lead to use, abuse and addiction.

Recreational value: 5

When ingested or snorted, Oxycontin produces an intense euphoric high similar to heroin.

Physical/emotional impact: 4

Long-term abuse can cause organ damage and failure. Tolerance levels develop quickly, which increases the danger of accidental overdose; the danger for overdose is even greater if Oxycontin is combined with other painkillers and alcohol.

Potential for addictiveness: 4

Oxycontin is an opiate-based painkiller. Like other opiates, Oxycontin is extremely addictive and tolerance develops quickly when it is snorted or ingested; individuals who abuse Oxycontin can become addicted after just a few uses.

The Oxycontin Abuse Problem

Oxycontin produces effects similar to heroin – without the stigma of purchasing a “street drug”. Abuse can begin from recreational experimentation, doctor prescription, or a combination. Like many prescription drugs, users may over-estimate the safety of the substance since they obtained it legally from a doctor, at first. As their tolerance and dependence grows, they begin to consume lethal dosages. Combined with other drugs,accidental death is a serious possibility. If you know someone struggling with Oxycontin addiction, they need to get help. You can take our assessments and use the “Treatment Center Finder” tool to find a rehab facility that offers a program tailored to their needs.