Oxycontin is an oral version of oxycodone, an opium derivative. Oxycodone is the ingredient in some other pain relievers like Percocet and Percodan. This medication was first introduced in 1995 as a pain killer. Its focus was for more severe pain but like morphine and other powerful painkillers, Oxycontin is highly addictive. It is a controlled drug that can only be obtained with a prescription. Since it has been introduced Oxycontin has been the most frequently prescribed pain medication in North America. Illegally obtained Oxycontin has become a major problem for drug enforcement officials. The time released characteristic of Oxycontin was made so that it can manage pain for up to 6 hours. Oxycontin abusers have found that if they crush the tablet and snort it or dilute it in water and inject it will disarm the time release action of the medication, this can be fatal.
The feeling the addict’s have when abusing Oxycontin has been compared to heroin. Recent studies have proven that Oxycontin is a gateway drug for heroin, which addicts may start using as a cheaper alternative to Oxycontin. Under the prescribed dosage this medication is effective as a pain reliever. Because Oxycontin is a central nervous system depressant an overdose can cause respiratory failure and death.
Many people who become addicted to it are introduced to Oxycontin when it’s prescribed by a doctor for relief from severe pain. Anyone who takes the drug is liable to become addicted, but people who have addictive personalities or are prone to addiction are at greater risk. Like all opiates Oxycontin is potentially very addictive. Abusers of the drug who take higher than prescribed dosages will develop a tolerance for it. This will cause them to take ever-increasing larger amounts to achieve the same high; they will become dependent or addicted to the drug within a matter of weeks.
The symptoms of Oxycontin addiction can be mental as well as physical, some of these symptoms include:
• Changes in eating habits
• Changes in sleeping habits
• Lack of hygiene
• Slurred speech
• Small pupils
• Nodding out
• Mood swings
• Extreme highs in excitement for short periods of time
• Failure to perform the standard at work or school
• Being secretive about whereabouts
• Alienation of friends or family who disapprove of drugs
• Financial problems that lead to borrowing or stealing money
The withdrawal symptoms of this drug are very severe. You will most likely have to be in a medical facility to be overseen to be sure of your health and well being. Oxycontin depresses respiration, which causes a slower breathing pattern; people who suffer from respiratory problems are at risk of respiratory failure. Many times is a slow transition between recreational drug use and addiction. Some addicts spend months or even years saying that it is their choice to enjoy alcohol and/or drugs and it’s not controlling their lives. Treatment for Oxycontin addiction should not be taken lightly; it is a very difficult and long process to recover.