OxyContin abuse is a kind if drug abuse that is widely known. OxyContin is a narcotic painkiller that is highly effective and often prescribed for patients suffering from mild to extreme pain.
OxyContin, also known as oxycodone, is a highly addictive medication which can be easily misused leading to OxyContin abuse. While most people will be able to take it as prescribed without injury, those who engage in the abuse of OxyContin may experience an increased risk of accident, addiction, and overdose.
After being approved by the FDA, OxyContin has been praised as the groundbreaking drug in the treatment of moderate to severe pain. It has been dubbed a “miracle medicine” because it helps chronic pain patients to regain their normal lives. It’s also known as prescription heroin because it produces euphoria similar to that of heroin (US DHHS 2001). The euphoria this drug gives can make one dependent on it thereby leading to OxyContin abuse. Since its entrance to the market, the drug’s retail revenues have skyrocketed.
In 2010, the Drug Abuse and Health Care Administration estimated that oxycodone drugs, including OxyContin, resulted in 182,748 admissions to emergency rooms across the U. S due to OxyContin abuse.
By submitting sufficient symptoms, clinics can quickly receive OxyContin prescriptions. Physicians are not formally qualified to recognize abusers’ drug-seeking actions (US DHHS, 2001). Patients who are addicted to the opioid often go “doctor-shopping.” This is the term used to explain patients’ trend of receiving prescriptions for the same drug from multiple physicians. OxyContin abuse leads abusers to also go to various pharmacies in various areas to fill specific prescriptions so that they can purchase the medication without being detected. Those who engage in OxyContin abuse will also commit theft and fraud to support their addictions (US DHHS 2001), and abusers will fake prescriptions and change them. Burglaries and robberies have been recorded in pharmacies. Abusers make unintended uses of the drug by crushing the capsules.
Patients who indulge in OxyContin abuse are often concerned about their physical dependency on the drug, but this can be easily treated by gradually tapering off the dose under a doctor’s supervision. Unfortunately, detox is much more difficult for those who have progressed from OxyContin abuse to addiction to the drug (e.g., patients who are suffering from both psychological and physical dependence). A professional detox and alcohol treatment program is prescribed in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms and heal in rehabilitation more effectively – and safely.
The Signs of OxyContin Addiction
OxyContin is a long-acting pain reliever that is administered to patients who need regular pain relief. This means that every pill contains several doses that are expected to be released on a regular basis over time. Though highly helpful for patients suffering from chronic pain, OxyContin abuse occurs by those who want to take all of those doses in one big hit to get high. Crushing OxyContin tablets before swallowing, snorting, or injecting the drug is a big red flag for OxyContin violence.
Other indicators of OxyContin abuse include:
- Taking OxyContin more often or in higher doses than recommended by a doctor.
- Using OxyContin in conjunction with other mind-altering drugs (e.g., alcohol, marijuana, or other prescription medications)
- Using OxyContin without a doctor’s prescription for any purpose
- Obtaining several OxyContin or other opiate prescriptions from various physicians
- Having several pharmacies to fill a single OxyContin prescription
- Frequently claiming to have misplaced medications and requesting “emergency” replacement scripts from the doctor or the ER.
One of the first symptoms of OxyContin abuse and addiction is the development of tolerance, which means that you need more drugs to get the same effect. After repeated use of OxyContin, a person can become dependent on the drug because of chemical changes in the brain, resulting in withdrawal symptoms if use is stopped or decreased. If left unchecked, a dependence will develop into an addiction. When a doctor’s prescription for OxyContin runs out, many addicts will resort to illegal means of accessing the drug, thereby engaging in OxyContin abuse.
- Opioid drug misuse is widespread. According to Medline Plus, nearly 9% of the American population has engaged in OxyContin abuse and other opiates.
- Abuse of OxyContin is one of the most common form of abuse.
- OxyContin addiction, according to a report reported in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, is a chronic condition that starts with sporadic OxyContin abuse and develops over time, frequently to injection usage – one of the most dangerous methods of substance abuse.
- Overdose deaths have increased by more than threefold since 1990. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over 14,500 Americans died from prescription drug abuse in 2008. In addition, in 2009, prescription opiate such as OxyContin abuse resulted in nearly half a million emergency room visits.
It is not possible to take OxyContin without a prescription. OxyContin abuse may increase the risk of overdose or the development of a deadly addiction that leads to overdose.
Abuse and Addiction
OxyContin abuse happens when someone obtains the drugs for reasons other than pain relief or when they smash the tablets and then inhale the powder or mix it with water to inject with a syringe. According to the manufacturer, this procedure disables the time-release function, resulting in a sudden euphoric high, coma, or even death.
The first reports of OxyContin abuse appeared in the year 2000. Several articles on OxyContin appeared in newspapers. The Bangor Daily News disseminated details about the drug’s properties, the mechanism for undermining the drug’s time-release, diversion methods, and medical professionals’ fears about the drug’s potential for violence (Inciardi and Goode 2003). Following Kentucky’s “Operation OxyFest 2001,” media interest rose.
How do you know if OxyContin abuse has progressed to addiction? When the above habits become routine, your loved one’s life revolves around getting high and staying high. The following are some additional symptoms of addiction:
- Inability to keep one’s current job or find a new one
- Having good and stable relationships with others is challenging.
- Spending more time alone
- Old hobbies and ambitions have lost their appeal.
- Mood swings caused by drug levels in the system Financial difficulties
- Issues with the law
It is important to remember that OxyContin misuse is just as harmful as OxyContin abuse. A single use of the drug may result in an overdose. The inability to avoid using OxyContin despite noticeable side effects is a sign that it is time to seek therapy, whether or not an addiction diagnosis has been established.
Physical withdrawal symptoms connected with stopping OxyContin use are typical in people who engage in OxyContin abuse on a regular basis, and they are often a problem in people who are addicted to it. Withdrawal symptoms associated with the cessation of OxyContin and other opiate drugs may include any of the following:
- Goosebumps and/or chills
- Sweating profusely
- Vomiting and nausea
- Eyes that are watering
- Disruption of sleep
- Diarrhoea and cramping
- A stuffy nose
- Pressure in the muscles and bones
The symptoms for withdrawing from OxyContin abuse typically occur a few hours after the last dosage of OxyContin, right around the time when the person is supposed to take their next dose. They become more severe for the first two or three days of detox and then reach the highest point; after that, they level off and can last for a few weeks.
Professional Detox Is Best Advised
It is important never to forget that everybody is different, so the exact sequence of symptoms, the precise symptoms encountered, and the intensity of those symptoms will differ from one person to the next when stopping OxyContin abuse.
No one who is experiencing OxyContin detox from OxyContin abuse when they are not on the medication should try to detox independently, regardless of the circumstances. Medical emergencies caused by unforeseen complications and particularly underlying psychological or medical disorders may be problems. Relapse is possible if the patient does not receive the care needed to complete the process.
The Timetable of Detox and Treatment
It takes more than just overcoming the withdrawal symptoms of detox to recover from an OxyContin abuse or addiction crisis. Suppose long-term abstinence and a new life in rehabilitation are desired. In that case, rigorous and thorough addiction therapy that discusses all of the problems that could have influenced the person’s use and abuse of OxyContin is suggested.
Every person’s recovery plan will be different, just as their withdrawal symptoms will be different, so when it comes to recovering from addiction and OxyContin abuse, patients should expect the following sequence of events:
- Sustaining in Recovery: Detox can be exhausting for both the body and the mind in the early stages. The patient may need assistance in stabilization as they work through withdrawal symptoms to stop OxyContin abuse, particularly if they have co-occurring mental health or medical issues. This may necessitate medical attention or treatment during the detox phase.
- Assessment and Treatment: After the withdrawal symptoms have been controlled, the patient should concentrate on assessing and treating oxycontin abuse. At a recovery centre, the patient registers for treatment, which starts with assessing how to handle oxycontin abuse. Comprehensive therapy would address any problems that may influence his use and oxycontin abuse; thus, a thorough evaluation will be required for the diagnosis of all co-occurring mental health and medical conditions. after the thorough evaluation, the patient can now proceed to the treatment plan to get rid of OxyContin abuse.
- Treatment Plan: For each patient, a treatment plan incorporating conventional and complementary treatments will be formulated on a case-by-case basis to resolve all of the problems and symptoms associated with the conditions identified during the assessment process. This will be organized around meeting clear therapeutic objectives and will be changed as those goals are met. The treatment plan is always very extensive and well-detailed to capture every process that needs to be carried out as the treatment goes on so that the patient is completely off the abuse of OxyContin.
- Holistic Care and Support: Patients should have access to a wide range of complementary and holistic treatment services in addition to medical and psychiatric care. Nutritional counselling, yoga and meditation, and other therapies can help the patient continue to detox and become more physically and emotionally stable following OxyContin violence. All these combined together will be a strong force in helping the patient achieve good treatment and stay clear of OxyContin abuse.
- Practical Support: Long-term OxyContin abuse can wreck a person’s life, and merely quitting the medication and knowing how to prevent relapse will not solve any of the problems. As a result, thorough therapy should provide the patient with resources as required to resolve issues such as legal issues, financial issues, job challenges, domestic relationship difficulties, and any other area that may affect the person’s ability to stay sober after rehab.
- Medication Maintenance when Needed: Patients recovering from OxyContin abuse and addiction often seek pharmacological help to resolve a variety of issues. It may also be befitting in some cases to treat co-occurring mental health conditions (e.g., anxiety, depression). As a consequence, care can include ongoing support for drug usage, dosage adjustments, and medication changes.
- Treatment and Support in The Aftermath: A person’s recovery doesn’t end when they leave rehab. Aftercare assistance is frequently required for a patient to succeed in developing a new life of sobriety following oxycontin abuse. Patients’ aftercare plans are custom-tailored to their needs and level of readiness for independent living, ranging from comprehensive aftercare options such as sober living and outpatient therapy to a unique mix of therapies, 12-Step meetings, and other therapeutic support solutions to oxycontin abuse. Following treatment, an aftercare plan keeps the patient prepared to return to society after completing their oxycontin abuse recovery.
If you or a friend is involved in the abuse of OxyContin and has withdrawal symptoms after being off the medication for some time, OxyContin detox and recovery are suggested. To be linked to the right program for you and your family, call us today at 615-490-9376 to help you get rid of OxyContin abuse.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.