OxyContin Dependence – Signs of OxyContin Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance
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- Is OxyContin Addictive?
- Understanding OxyContin Dependency and Tolerance
- Effects/Side Effects
- Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
OxyContin is a brand name for the drug oxycodone, a narcotic pain relief drug. OxyContin is available by prescription and is used to treat moderate to severe pain over long periods of time. It is typically used 24 hours a day to manage chronic, long-lasting pain, but not as a single-use drug for immediate or acute pain. OxyContin is considered one of the best pain relievers available. However, some people who take OxyContin become addicted to the drug and use it in higher doses or more frequently than prescribed.
Is OxyContin Addictive?
How addictive is OxyContin? OxyContin can be highly addictive, especially for people who take it in ways other than prescribed. Most addicts develop a dependency on OxyContin after using it for a long time as a legitimate, prescribed pain reliever. Others acquire OxyContin illicitly in order to achieve a high and quickly become addicted to it. OxyContin dependence most likely occurs to a person with a history of substance abuse or mental illness. If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction to OxyContin, fill out our short contact form or call 1-888-803-9961 for help and support.
Understanding OxyContin Dependency and Tolerance
OxyContin dependence can develop after a user has taken the drug regularly for a long period of time. Physical dependence develops because the brain adapts to the changes induced by the drug and requires continual access to the drug to maintain the new brain state. Psychological dependence is another potential problem. It develops when the user becomes convinced that OxyContin is the only thing preventing the user from feeling extreme pain. The user may be afraid to stop taking the drug for fear that the chronic pain will return if he or she quits. OxyContin users may also develop a tolerance for this drug. People with a tolerance require higher doses to maintain effective pain relief.
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How addictive is heroin? Heroin is an extremely addictive drug, and the consequence of its abuse can go beyond the particular user. The social and medical consequences of heroin abuse include tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, crime, fetal effects, violence, and troubles in the workplace, family, and educational settings.
OxyContin works by stimulating opioid receptors in the brain to diminish the sensation of pain. It is considered an opioid agonist for this reason. When taken as directed, OxyContin is released slowly into the bloodstream. This causes a long-term sedative effect, which makes it an effective remedy for chronic pain.
However, OxyContin abusers often crush extended-release tablets, which contain a dose intended to last up to 12 hours, and then chew, snort, or inject the contents. This gives the user a hit equivalent to the entire dose. This excess dosage produces a euphoric sedative high similar to that felt by heroin users. However, this high can be extremely dangerous as well. The user may overdose and develop breathing problems or even go into a coma and die.
Coming down from OxyContin can cause the return of pain in those using the drug for pain relief. People who use an excess dosage to get high may experience a crash when coming down from OxyContin, and they often have extreme cravings for more of the drug to continue the high. The crash may also bring on feelings of depression.
Side effects from OxyContin use include nausea, vomiting, constipation, red eyes, flushing, sweating, mood changes, lightheadedness, dry mouth, itchy skin, weakness, and loss of appetite. Not all users will experience the side effects, though, while others will have even more serious reactions, such as difficulty breathing or seizures.
Withdrawal and Detoxification
Withdrawal from OxyContin can be an uncomfortable process, and it should only be attempted under the guidance of a physician. When a user stops taking OxyContin, he or she may experience withdrawal symptoms, including restlessness, runny nose, weakness, irritability, sneezing, yawning, watery eyes, insomnia, sweating, chills, muscle aches, anxiety, depression, cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing. In most cases, detoxification from OxyContin is done gradually, with a doctor monitoring the patient for side effects and controlling the reduction in drug dosage so that the body is slowly weaned off the medication.
Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
Users who seek OxyContin abuse treatment may choose to participate in an outpatient or inpatient treatment plan. The first step of treatment is a detoxification program to remove the drug from the system. This is followed by counseling and behavioral therapy to help the former user learn how to live without the drug. For patients who initially used the drug for pain control, another method of pain relief must be found to replace OxyContin. If you are interested in learning more about how to start a treatment program tailored to you, contact us through our short information form or call 1-888-803-9961.