OxyContin is a narcotic painkiller, which contains oxycodone as its active ingredient. This potent painkiller was initially formulated only in extended-release tablets. The tablets contain massive amounts of oxycodone that release slowly over a 12-hour period. OxyContin has been the most commonly abused painkiller since its release because of the high amounts of oxycodone it contains. Individuals frequently dissolve and inject the drug, leading to an epidemic in OxyContin addiction and fatal overdoses. Since the explosion of painkiller abuse and addiction in the early 2000s, OxyContin has been reformulated.
The new formula is intended to decrease its abuse potential in two important ways:
- A new coating makes the pills difficult to crush and snort, whereas the original formulation could be easily crushed and turned into a fine powder.
- New OxyContin pills form a gel-like substance when an individual attempts to dissolve them in water, making it very difficult to inject.
This new formulation ordered by the FDA and DEA has decreased the occurrences of individuals injecting and snorting the drug. However, OxyContin is still a preferred drug for abusers. They can take more than the recommended dose to achieve the same effects.
OxyContin addiction is much more common among those who use the drug recreationally or non-medically. Contrary to many misconceptions, having a prescription for OxyContin does not necessarily mean that an individual is using it medically. Any time the purpose of taking OxyContin is to feel the euphoric effects of the drug, as opposed to legitimate analgesic needs, the use can be considered non-medical.
Non-medical use of OxyContin also does not mean addiction; however, it is much more likely to develop in individuals who use the drug non-medically, than in those who use it for legitimate medical purposes.
When OxyContin addiction develops in an individual, it is primarily psychological in the way it affects behaviors, decision-making, and motivation in life.
There are some very distinct differences between an individual who uses OxyContin and one who is addicted to it, as shown in the table below:
|OxyContin Use||OxyContin Addiction|
|Taking OxyContin carefully and as directed||Using more OxyContin than directed and using it in unintended ways|
|Carrying on with one’s day without constant preoccupation over OxyContin supply and use||Using OxyContin chronically, and to the point of which it is the central motivation for each day|
|Maintaining order over obligations and responsibilities||Neglecting commitments and responsibilities to obtain and use OxyContin|
|Understanding and adequately adjusting to the risks of taking OxyContin||Engaging in unsafe activities while under the influence of OxyContin (i.e., driving and operating dangerous machinery)|
|Taking responsible measures to wean off of OxyContin or medically detox when the pain has faded or lessened||Emotional use of OxyContin (i.e., taking the drug when angry, stressed, depressed, disappointed, etc.)|
OxyContin addiction has far-reaching devastation and only begins with drug-seeking and irresponsible behaviors, such as those listed above.
|Physical Withdrawal Symptoms||Emotional Withdrawal Symptoms|
|Muscle Pain and Spasms||Agitation|
|Nausea and Vomiting||Depression|
|High Blood Pressure||Mood Swings|
Because the symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal can be so uncomfortable and excruciating, detoxification from this drug is often done under medical supervision where an individual can be given medication to relieve the severe symptoms and facilitate sleep throughout the process, which is typically 5-14 days. Detoxing without any medical supervision often results in the continued use of OxyContin because the signs and cravings are too intense for most individuals to withstand when left to their willpower.
OxyContin Addiction Help
OxyContin is an effective painkiller, but it is also a very addictive and dangerous drug for millions of Americans who have struggled with an addiction to it. Because of addiction, by its very nature, is a progressive and fatal disease, treatment is imperative for any addicted individual to have a chance at survival and a healthy life free from addiction.
The most critical decision an addict can make is to get help for OxyContin addiction. The second most important decision is where to get this help. Unlike addiction treatment of 30 years ago, we now know that one approach will not work for all addicted individuals and that recovery rates vary for each person. For these reasons, open-ended programs are best.
How A Forever Recovery Can Help
This is why at A Forever Recovery, we offer a variety of treatment methodologies and spiritual tracks. Depending on the needs and preferences of each person, we can help. We have a results-based program that doesn’t confine addiction treatment to a preset period but instead assesses an individual’s progress and healing based on his or her results, no matter how long it takes. We understand the devastation of addiction, and we strive to ensure that each person who graduates from our program is truly ready to tackle the real world and has accomplished the goals and tools necessary to avoid relapse and maintain a healthy and sober life in recovery.
If you or a loved one are suffering from OxyContin addiction or any addiction, please contact us to speak with a trained counselor about how we can develop an individualized treatment program that will allow each person to determine his or her path to healing and recovery. Addiction treatment is effective, and it works, but only if it works for you. Call us now, and get on your path to health, happiness, and recovery from addiction.