Is OxyContin an Addictive Medication?
OxyContin (the time-release form of oxycodone) is a highly addictive pain medication that is used to treat chronic and severe pain. OxyContin is also used when other pain medications have stopped working or do not work well enough. OxyContin is in a class of drugs called opioid analgesics; it is a narcotic. It works on the central nervous system and acts on the opioid receptors in your brain to relieve pain. OxyContin changes the way you think about pain and helps to dull your feeling of pain. It increases one’s sense of well-being and can also produce euphoria.
How Addictive is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a highly addictive medication. It is listed as a Schedule II drug by the DEA. Schedule II drugs are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, with the use that could potentially lead to severe physical and psychological dependence. These drugs are considered very dangerous. OxyContin is an extended-release medication. When taken correctly and as prescribed, the medication works slowly over several hours and very few people develop an addiction to it.
How is OxyContin Abused to Get High?
However, when it is crushed and snorted or injected, the user gets an intense euphoric rush (because they are getting the entire dose at once), which is what makes it so addictive, and it’s possible to undo the extended-release formula for faster onset and a higher rate of misuse.
Users can also quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. Once this happens they will continue to need more and more of the medication to produce the same desired effect. The National Institute of Health Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management says:
According to a government-funded survey, in 1999, an anticipated 4 million Americans aged 12 years or older used oral sedatives, stimulants, antipsychotic agents, or opioids in ways not intended by prescribers. A recently available report from the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse suggests that the use of prescription drugs in unintended ways is increasing among adolescents and adults over the age of 60, with analgesics getting most of the attention. Painkiller drugs, especially opioid analgesics, have a high potential for misuse and abuse. Some of the branded drugs commonly prescribed for the management of chronic pain are OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Dilaudid®, Darvon®, and Demerol®. (NIH)
OxyContin is an extended-release medication. When taken correctly and as prescribed, the medication works slowly over several hours and very few people develop an addiction to it. However, when it is crushed and snorted or injected, the user gets an intense euphoric rush (because they are getting the entire dose at once), which is what makes it so addictive. Users can also quickly develop a tolerance to the drug. Once this happens they will continue to need more and more of the medication to produce the same desired effect.
Signs of OxyContin Addiction and Abuse
One of the hallmark signs of an addiction to OxyContin is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the medication is stopped. Some of the classics signs of OxyContin withdrawal can include:
- Extreme bone and muscle pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Chills and cold flashes
- Runny nose
- Restless legs
Another sign of OxyContin addiction is having intense cravings for the drug and/or obsessing over it. Some individuals will also have a change in their behavior and mental state. They may become irritable, experience mood swings, avoid social interaction or lose interest in things they once enjoyed.
Once a person becomes addicted to medication like OxyContin, they are usually willing to go to any lengths to get that next fix. If they can’t get any more pills, a lot will turn to heroin use just to prevent them from having debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Also, heroin is a lot cheaper or more easily accessible.
Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to OxyContin, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness assists men, women, and families throughout the United States that are struggling with substance abuse and are searching for addiction treatment. We can help you get on the road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer. Call us today to learn about our opioid dependence-specific treatment programs and individualized opioid recovery plans.