What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is a form of oxycodone. It is a opioid pain reliever with similar properties to morphine. OxyContin is used to treat moderate to severe pain in patients expected to experience pain over a long period of time.

OxyContin is available by prescription only. It is not used on an as needed basis but as an around-the-clock treatment option for pain. OxyContin is a controlled-release oral formulation of oxycodone hydrochloride that works by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to pain.

OxyContin is a Schedule II controlled substance with a high abuse potential. Patients taking the medication, as well as those taking OxyContin illegally, are at risk of developing a tolerance, physical and psychological dependency that results in withdrawal syndrome.

OxyContin use

OxyContin is a controlled, time-release formulation of the medication that can be taken every 12 hours for pain relief. Patients taking OxyContin are expected to need the drug on a 24-7, continuous basis for the long term treatment of moderate to severe pain. When taken as prescribed OxyContin is a very effective pain reliever. However this drug does hold a high abuse potential. Patients can easily develop a tolerance, increasing doses without the Doctors knowledge. This can result  in a psychical and psychological dependency. When attempting to stop the use of OxyContin the patient may experience symptoms of withdrawal.

OxyContin is known to produce euphoric effects, lessen anxiety and create a sense of well being. This makes it a desired recreational drug by abusers. These abusers will remove the time release casing, crush the pil or chew it for an immediate high. Others will inject the drug for a rush high. In fact, OxyContin is the most commonly abused narcotic pain reliever in the United States. More people have become first time abusers with the use of OxyContin than Marijuana or Cocaine.

Signs of OxyContin Abuse

OxyContin can be abused by both those using the medication for legitimate medical conditions, with a prescription from the licensed Doctor, and those who use the drug illegally for recreational purposes. This drug has a high risk of abuse. If you are concerned a loved one is abusing OxyContin they may exhibit the following signs:

  • Visiting multiple Doctors and Pharmacies for new prescriptions
  • Purchasing the drug off the streets
  • Stealing medication from friends and family
  • Trouble in person relationships
  • Lack of interest in usual activities and hobbies
  • Difficulties at work or school
  • Loss of employment
  • Financial distress
  • When attempting to stop the use of OxyContin the user will experience symptoms of withdrawal

Symptoms of OxyContin Withdrawal

Symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal will begin within 12 hours of the last dose of the medication. The symptoms of withdrawal will typically peak within 72 hours and subside within a week. However, some patients have experienced symptoms of withdrawal for weeks, even months. Common symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle aches
  • Increased tearing
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea and vomiting

OxyContin Addiction Treatment

Regardless to how the OxyContin addiction developed it is important to stop its use immediately. This can be done by returning to the prescribing physician to undergo dose reduction, gradually weening off the medication. Or by entering into an addiction treatment facility to be detoxed, receive therapy and counseling and given the opportunity to overcome the physical and psychological addiction to OxyContin before being exposed to temptation when returning back home. The treatment received will help the patient to overcome their addiction and develop the key tools needed to maintain their sobriety.