What Is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a brand name for a single ingredient, time released opiate pain reliever. The single ingredient in this drug is Oxycodone. It is often simply referred to as “Oxy”. OxyContin is normally prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Instructions given indicate that the pills should not be crushed, cut or chewed because doing so will destroy the time release protection. OxyContin is in the same class of medications as Morphine and Codeine. The concentration of Oxycodone is very high compared to other medications containing Oxycodone, such as Percocet.
While most people begin by taking OxyContin as prescribed, many become addicted. Over a period of time, they begin crushing the pill in order to obtain the full impact of the drug instead of the time release. They may also “snort” the powder for an even faster high. Obviously, this causes more Oxycodone to enter into the system, which can be extremely dangerous.
Even when using OxyContin as prescribed, there are many side effects. These include:
- · Headaches
- · Dizziness
- · Loss of appetite
- · Mood changes
- · Confusion
OxyContin may also produce the following symptoms:
- · Sweating
- · Itching
- · Difficulty breathing
- · Nausea
- · Vomiting
- · Swelling of the lips and tongue
Needless to say, when taken in a method other than that prescribed, the side effects can amplify and become very dangerous, even fatal.
Oxy is highly addictive, so anyone who suddenly stops taking the drug will experience withdrawal symptoms which may be severe. For people addicted to OxyContin, withdrawal symptoms will occur each time they need their next “fix”. Symptoms may vary, but for the most part, people experiencing Oxy withdrawal will:
- · Have joint pain
- · Yawning
- · Depression
- · Insomnia
- · Watery eyes
- · Cold sweats
- · Heart palpitations
Those who wish to beat addiction do best by obtaining comprehensive, non-medicated rehab such as the one provided by Narconon.
Withdrawal from OxyContin can be difficult, but with a natural and comprehensive treatment, like the Narconon program, a variety of methods are used to help decrease the discomfort. Along with ridding the body of drugs physically, the Narconon program helps a person to help themselves spiritually and mentally. Oxy addiction is becoming all too common, so many people have experienced withdrawal to one degree or another. OxyContin is widely considered to be over prescribed and under monitored. Oxy is also available as a recreational drug on the streets, so even more people become addicted and at one point or another experience withdrawal. Oxy withdrawal symptoms should be treated professionally as soon as possible at a reliable OxyContin addiction treatment center such as Narconon.
OxyContin Rehab Hotline: 1-877-782-7409
OxyContin and Addiction
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports: "With prolonged use of opiates and opioids, individuals become tolerant and may require larger doses, and can become physically dependent on the drugs."
One NIDA sponsored study found that 4 out of more than 12,000 patients who were given opioids for acute pain actually became addicted to the drug. In a study of 38 chronic pain patients, most of whom received opioids for 4 to 7 years, many of them became addicted, and both had histories of drug abuse.
In short, most individuals who are prescribed OxyContin, or any other opioid, can potentially become addicted. Although they may become dependent on the drug and will need to be withdrawn by a qualified physician; individuals who are taking the drug as prescribed should continue to do so. As long as they and their physician agree that taking the drug is a medically appropriate way for them to manage pain.
OxyContin Short-Term Effects
The most serious risk associated with OxyContin is respiratory depression. Because of this, OxyContin should not be combined with other substances that slow down breathing, such as alcohol, antihistamines (like some cold or allergy medication), barbiturates, or benzodiazepines.
Other common side effects include constipation, nausea, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, sweating, and weakness. Toxic overdose and/or death can occur by taking the tablet broken, chewed, or crushed. People who abuse the drug (by removing the time-release coating) will experience effects for up to 5 hours. The high that is felt is opiate like a sedate, euphoric feeling.
OxyContin Long-Term Effects
Using OxyContin chronically can result in increased tolerance to the drug in which higher doses of the medication must be taken to receive the initial effect. Over time, OxyContin will be come physically addictive, causing a person to experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present. Symptoms of withdrawal include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps, and involuntary leg movements.
What can we do?
Healthcare providers, primary care physicians, pharmacists, and patients themselves, can all play a role in identifying and preventing prescription drug abuse.
Physicians: Because most people visit their primary care physician at least once every 2 years, primary care physicians are in a unique position not only to prescribe medications, but to identify prescription drug abuse and help the patient find treatment. Screening for prescription drug abuse should be incorporated into every routine medical visit. Doctors can begin by asking questions about substance abuse history, current prescription and OTC use, and reasons for use. Further, doctors should also be aware of other potential signs of abuse, such as rapid increases in the amount of medication the patient reportedly needs, or refill requests before the refill date.
Pharmacists: It is a pharmacist's responsibility to provide clear information on how to take medications appropriately, describe possible effects, and warn of possible drug interactions. The pharmacist also can be part of the first line of defense in recognizing prescription drug abuse. By monitoring prescriptions for falsification or alterations and being aware of potential "doctor shopping" (where patients get multiple prescriptions from different doctors), pharmacists play a valuable role in prevention.
Patients: There are also steps a patient can take to ensure the appropriate use of prescription medications. Patients should always follow the directions, be aware of potential interactions, never stop or change a dose on their own, and never take another person's prescription. Patients should also inform their healthcare professionals about current prescription and OTC medicines they are taking, along with any dietary or herbal supplements they might be taking.
OxyContin Rehab Hotline: 1-877-782-7409
OxyContin Withdrawal: What Is it?
Oxycontin withdrawal occurs when a person develops physical symptoms due to a lack of the drug. Withdrawal can happen many times before the addict receives help for their addiction. Withdrawal itself is not a voluntary condition. Many addicts experience withdrawal for Oxycontin while searching for their next fix. There are symptoms which go along with withdrawal, and are often noticed by the friends and loved ones of addicts.
Symptoms of Oxycontin withdrawal include frequent yawning, hot/cold sweats, aching muscles, and fatigue and heart palpitations. Depression is also common with Oxy withdrawal. The amount of time that lapses between the last dose of Oxy and withdrawal may differ from person to person, but it is usually several hours. Withdrawal from Oxycontin and Oxycodone can be very severe. Withdrawal symptoms can last as long as a week. If the addict takes more Oxy, the symptoms subside until it is time again to feed their addiction. Going through withdrawal is difficult even once, but many go through it repeatedly for want of Oxycontin or Oxycodone.
When receiving treatment, there will be withdrawal symptoms, but there are drug-free, natural methods that can be used to reduce the symptoms - Narconon has a drug rehab program that is renowed for its drug-free and effective withdrawal methods. Oxycontin detoxification is not enough, however. Along with that, addicts must learn new methods of dealing with stress and other situations, which may trigger their desire for drugs - Narconon provides that too in its program. Without this comprehensive approach, treatment is not complete. Addicts will be condemned to suffer withdrawal symptoms repeatedly until proper treatment is received. This is because they will inevitably return to taking the drug.
Oxycontin and Oxycodone are widely prescribed. Many times, even people who do not go on to full blown addictions still suffer the withdrawal symptoms because their body has come to rely on the drug. Oxycontin withdrawal has often been compared to the severity of heroin withdrawal. Anyone who suspects that someone they care about may be experiencing Oxy withdrawal should seek help to ensure addiction ends. Without proper treatment, people go on (even after going through withdrawal) to seek out Oxycontin and continue taking it, which leads to more withdrawal later on.
Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable, physically and mentally, if done outside a professional facility or without proper assistance. The bodies perceived “need” for the drug increases during this time, but providing it only leads to further damage. Professional help should be sought for anyone showing symptoms of Oxy withdrawal of any kind. Narconon can help with this.
For more information about the drug-free withdrawal program of Narconon, call 1-877-782-7409.
More Information About OxyContin:
Even though this is grim and seems all hopeless, there is a way out. Many people who have fallen in the trap of Oxy addiction, have found their way back to a bright and drug-free life. Of course, to beat an addiction is no walk in the park, but it is still less hard than being a slave to pills for the rest of your life. Since 1966, Narconon has been helping addicts all around the world to free themselves from addiction without the use of any drug substitution.
According to a recent article 6/2/11 in the New York Times, the high incidence of pharmacy robberies is causing some pharmacy owners to take extreme measures in an attempt to remedy and reduce high levels of pharmacy robbery. It is said that in some cities, such as Tulsa, Oklahoma there are now more pharmacy robberies [...]
oxycontin and oxycodone addiction levels in Toronto are high, From 2005 until 2009, Oxy use in Toronto increased from use by .8% of the population to 1.3% , with no data available from 2009 onwards, reports the Calgary Herald in early 2011. Dr Philip Berger of St Michael’s, Toronto has lashed out at big pharma [...]
Canada is considering new laws, which will track all prescriptions for OxyContin, including those through private health care. The public outcry in the United States is demanding that stricter laws be applied to OxyContin availability. Addicts are getting desperate.
There has been a public outcry concerning the over prescribing and misuse of OxyCodone and OxyContin. Organizations and rehabilitation centers joined in the movement to encourage doctors to reduce or eliminate the number of Oxy prescriptions written. It can, and does lead to addiction, as thousands of people are learning each day. More often than not, the addiction began with a prescription. You could call it “a prescription for addiction.”