Oxycontin is the brand name for oxycodone hydrochloride, and it is a drug that is known as a controlled-release form of oxycodone. Normally, this drug is prescribed for the treatment of chronic pain, and when taken according to doctor’s orders it can be very effective in controlling pain for up to 12 hours at a time. The problem is that many people do not use the medication as prescribed, and it has become one of the most popular prescription drugs being sold on the black market to recreational drug users. Currently, there are millions of people all over America using prescription pain meds like Oxycontin for non-medical purposes.
How It Works
The medication oxycodone is called an agonist opioid, meaning it is in a group of analgesics that are some of the most effective on the market, but unlike many other painkillers, opioids exhibit larger quantities of painkilling effects when the dosage is increased. What this means is that when you take more of the drug, you will feel better and better, where with other painkillers like acetaminophen and aspirin have an effectiveness threshold that once it is reach, the drug produces no additional pain relief.
Just like with other opiates, Oxycontin is dangerously addictive when used recreationally, and the majority of individuals that abuse it do not take it orally in order to bypass the controlled release aspect of the medication. Many people will either chew, inject, or snort it so that they can reap the benefits of an immediate intense high. The more the drug is taken, the more of a tolerance gets built up, and this will almost always lead to an addiction or dependence to the substance. Once the addiction or dependency gets to be severe, professional help is needed in order to get the drug out of their system and to come off the medication.
What You Should Know
It was only in the past few years that Oxycontin has hit the drug scene with such an immediate popularity, and once it did, it became a favorite among recreational drug users that had the cash to buy it off the streets. The problem is that when the drug is used improperly it is an extremely dangerous substance, and by ingesting it by methods of chewing or snorting it, averting the controlled release mechanism, there is an increased risk of death and overdose – neither of which are uncommon when taken in this way.
Oxycontin users are getting younger and younger all the time, and it is unfortunate that many children get into the habit or practice of raiding their parent’s medicine cabinets when they decide they are interested in experimenting with prescription medications. This drug is more powerful than many people think, and it often ends up being a gateway drug to heroin once the user can no long get their hands on or are unable to afford the drug. In many cases, one single Oxycontin pill will go for around $80, but an addict can get a bag of heroin for $10. This is the reason why heroin use and overdose has become rampant in many places in America.
Many people that abuse Oxycontin will start to cheat, lie, and steal, and will do anything to get their hands on the drug once they become addicted. This often includes exhibiting criminal behavior if they feel it is necessary to find more pills. If they cannot get more drugs or attempt to quit suddenly, an addict will usually experience terrible withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms occur quickly and can be quite unpleasant and the cravings that result can cause the person to relapse if not dealt with efficiently.
Signs of Oxycontin Addiction
There are 2 main signs of addiction to Oxycontin, and these are ingesting the drug by either injecting or snorting it instead of taking it orally as prescribed, and a constant pre-occupation with trying to figure out how they will get more of the drug. Once people who are suffering from addiction stops taking the drug abruptly, they will usually succumb to physical withdrawal symptoms as their bodies cope with the cravings of the drug. These signs or symptoms may include anxiety, chills and fever, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, insomnia and restlessness, joint or muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, sweats, tremors, twitching, and weakness.
Even though there are so many adverse side effects of Oxycontin addiction, many people will continue to take this drug and will stop at nothing to get their next high, even if it affects their health or the people around them.