OxyContin is a powerful prescription drug that is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. It is the brand name for the drug Oxycodone. The drug is a strong synthetic opioid. OxyContin can be incredibly helpful for those suffering from chronic pain. It is often prescribed for those suffering pain as a result of cancer, bone pain, heart attack, and severe burns. Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain the limits their abilities to function normally. OxyContin can help those individuals live a normal life with limited or no pain at all. The time-release function of the prescription drug allow for hours of pain relief. This drug is a schedule II narcotic that I only available from a physician for pain management. On the street, OxyContin is referred to as “Oxy”, “OC”, “OxyCotton”, “Hillbilly Heroin”, and “kickers”. The drug is used as a substitute if heroin or morphine is not available.

Common Ways OxyContin is Abused

OxyContin is a prescription pain killer that comes in the pill form. The drug is created to deliver a time-sensitive release, which provides the user with long term pain relief. Individuals abusing the drug will take it in higher doses or more frequently then they should. Some individuals will crush the pills and snort the drug, which forces the drug into the bloodstream faster. Some people chew the drug, which has similar effects. There are other individuals who will crush the pills and then dissolve them in water for injection. Crushing the pills eliminates the time-release function of the drug, which increases the likelihood of overdose. In response to the rising numbers of abuse, addiction, and overdose the manufacturer has created a pill that is harder to crush. This drug is commonly abused with other drugs; downers in particular. Combining Oxy with alcohol or benzodiazepines can be deadly. The downers lead to respiratory depression, which can lead to death. Combining this drug with stimulants such as amphetamines, cocaine, and Meth can subdue the unpleasant side effects of stimulant abuse, but this practice can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Co-Occurring Disorders

It is rare that substance abuse is not part of another mental issue. The most common co-occurring disorders are depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, and other substance abuse. These issues can be a major contributing factor for the cause of the addiction or could be a result of the addition. In either case, co-occurring disorders help the addiction grow stronger. It is imperative that individuals receive treatment for all issues involved in substance abuse.

Statistics

Prescription drug abuse is a major problem in the United States. Prescription drugs are responsible for more injuries and deaths last year than motor vehicle accidents. Prescription drugs are now the most common gateway drug in the country as well. It is estimated that 9% of the adults in the country will abuse opioid narcotics. Records from the US Department of Justice state that over 13 million people used Oxycodone for recreational purposes. The United States is also the leader in consumption of prescription medications.

Symptoms of OxyContin (Opioid) Abuse

The mood symptoms of OxyContin abuse are: depression, euphoria, anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. The behavioral symptoms of OxyContin addiction are: lying to others about amount used, hiding use, borrowing pills, stealing pills, doctor shopping, forging prescriptions, consistently losing prescriptions, hiding the drugs, drowsiness, track marks, financial problems, legal problems, and neglecting responsibilities. The physical symptoms of OxyContin addiction are: ‘nodding out’, dizziness, itching, nausea and vomiting, constipation, papillary constriction, hypotension, respiratory depression, headache, sweating, dry mouth, and physical tolerance. If you or anyone you know is suffering from one or more of these symptoms because of OxyContin use, then speak with a professional about getting help.

Five Reasons Individuals Become Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse is a problem in this country for good reason. There are several ways that individuals become addicted to OxyContin, or any other prescription drug. Citizens should be conscious of the danger that prescription drugs cause. Patients who understand that danger of prescription drugs will be more prepared for their prescription or any issue that may arise. Here are five important facts that contribute to prescription drug addiction.

1. Safety

The first way prescription drugs become a gateway to addiction is the common misconception that they are safe. Prescription medications are not only legal, but they are advertised for in every facet of society. An individual cannot miss a prescription drug commercial on television if they tried. The combination of being advertised and labeled ‘safe’ by the FDA creates a false sense of safety in consumers. Unfortunately, this is not true. While prescription drugs are safe, they are only so when taken as prescribed. The problem is that consumers do not take the medication as recommended. Several young adults have admitted to using a fellow student’s medication as a substitute of their own, when they were out. When prescription medications are taken over the dose they are prescribed or not as recommended, crushed and snorted for example, individuals feel the unintended effects. This type of consumption is done out of recreation and leads to drug abuse.

2. Doctor Prescribed

Prescription medication can lead to addiction because doctor gives them the medication. Over prescription is a problem in the Nation that has only recently been discovered. Many prescriptions have no limit in the amount or length of time they can be prescribed. Therefore, patients are able to fill and refill medications unnecessarily. When a medication does not achieve its intended effect patients and their physicians will increase dosage or length of dosages. Due to the addictive nature of prescription drugs, and the related relapsing chronic illness characteristics, prescriptions can lead to addiction.

3. Surgery, Injury, and Back Pain

Surveys have found that most individuals are introduced to prescription medications as a result of surgery, injury, and back pain. This is the most obvious of gateways into prescription drug use turned to addiction. More and more Americans are turning towards prescription medications to decrease their discomfort. Alternative treatments for surgery, injury, or back pain include, but are not limited to chiropractics, massage therapy, and acupuncture. By substituting prescription medications for alternative treatments, individuals are more likely to suffer from addiction.

4. Tolerance

Repeated use of prescription medications over time can cause individuals to build up a tolerance. The human body is an incredible organism and as such adapts to changing conditions. Taking prescription medications over a length of time enables the body to build a tolerance to the drug. Unfortunately, this increase in tolerance can happen rather quickly which results in increased consumption. In conclusion, the consumer becomes addicted to the medication and increases their likelihood to abuse other drugs.

5. Pain and Withdrawal

A major problem with prescription drugs is that, while they are prescribed by certified physicians, they are to be administered by patients. As such, as an individual feels increased pain and discomfort they take more of the medications. Unfortunately, what they do not understand is that the pain and discomfort can be a result of withdrawal. As the body builds a tolerance to the medication, the brain and body change. Reduced intake can cause pain from withdrawal symptoms, that the individual mistakes as injury, surgery, or back pain; leading to addiction.