Oxycontin is the brand name of one of the most powerful pain killers available today. Usually prescribed for cancer patients and people with chronic pain problems, Oxycontin is a synthetic opiate (opioid), whose main active ingredient is oxycodone. Like morphine, Oxycontin has mood altering effects. Specifically, it can reduce anxiety, encourage mental relaxation, and even induce a state of euphoria.
Oxycontin is currently a favorite of medical practitioners, being the most frequently prescribed opioid pain killer in North America. A controlled substance that requires a prescription in order to obtain it, the beneficial side effects of Oxycontin have made it a popular choice of recreational drug users as well. Since the drug was introduced in 1995, Oxycontin addiction has become a serious problem, so much so that its unlawful possession is subject to criminal prosecution.
Addiction to the drug tends to develop rather quickly. Most recreational users of the drug become addicts wittingly, with full knowledge of the effects of Oxycontin. However, there are many individuals who were prescribed the drug for legitimate pain reasons and who over a period of time formed a dependency to the drug. A person who takes Oxycontin repeatedly develops a tolerance to the drug's effects. To achieve the original effects, higher doses are required. If the patient stops taking the drug, withdrawal occurs and this creates the typical symptoms of prescription drug abuse.
Some effects of Oxycontin abuse are:
- Small, pinpoint pupils
- Clammy, cold skin
- Tiredness or weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nodding in and out of consciousness
- Detachment, bewilderment, confusion
- Slow and shallow breathing
- Slow heart rate
Respiratory depression is a serious short-term effect of Oxycontin. As breathing becomes slower and shallower, less oxygen is available to the person's vital organs. The risk of respiratory arrest leading to death is increased in addicts who short-circuit the time release properties of the pill in order to get a more intense high. To achieve this, they crush the pill, mix the crushed powder with water, and inject it intravenously.
Equal or surpassing the physical effects of Oxycontin are the emotional and personal toll on the addict. Oxycontin abuse often leads to deteriorating interpersonal relationships, loss of productivity, financial difficulties, and sometimes legal problems.
The withdrawal symptoms of Oxycontin may include restlessness, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, weakness, teary eyes, runny nose, excessive yawning, hot or cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping, diarrhea, muscle spasms, and muscle and bone pain, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, and increased respiratory rate.
Withdrawing from Oxycontin overuse or abuse is difficult to do alone. The pain that accompanies the process often leads one to giving up. Oxycontin treatment centers are the best places to seek detoxification from Oxycontin dependency.
Oxycontin detox centers assist the individual to gradually withdraw from their physical dependence on the drug while easing the painful withdrawal symptoms. Once detoxification has been accomplished, in house treatment in an Oxycontin rehab follows during which time the individual undergoes therapy and is taught strategies to diminish and control cravings for the drug.
When looking for an Oxycontin rehab center, it is advisable to look for one with a comprehensive Oxycontin addiction treatment programs not only starts the detoxification process but also puts the addict back on the road to recovery and a productive lifestyle. Browse a directory of prescription drug rehab centers.