Drug overdose caused 64,000 deaths in 2016. Prescription opioids and illicit drugs are equally harmful and may cause addiction. OxyContin, one of the most popular opioids, is no exception.
This widely used painkiller contributes to thousands of deaths each year. Just like illicit drugs, it creates a euphoric high and lifts your mood. Once these effects wear off, users need a new dose to feel good again.
OxyContin addiction can be hard to break, especially for those who need this drug to relieve pain. However, there are safer alternatives available. The first step is to stop this vicious cycle and get your life back on track.
What Is OxyContin?
OxyContin is the brand name for the drug oxycodone.
Along with stimulants and central nervous system depressants, it’s one of three primary types of meds that present abuse liability. In 2013, doctors filled over 58.8 million prescriptions for it.
This drug is prescribed for pain relief. Unlike other similar medications, it boasts higher doses of oxycodone.
Lortab, for instance, contains up to 10 milligrams of oxycodone. Tylox has only five miligrams. OxyContin delivers up to 160 milligrams of this ingredient per dose.
Due to its high concentration, this popular painkiller is extremely effective. Unfortunately, it also carries a greater risk of addiction. Over time, your body adapts to the drug, so you need larger doses to experience the same effects.
OxyContin is a slow-release drug. The opioids are gradually absorbed into your system over the course of 12 hours. In theory, this was supposed to make the drug less prone to abuse.
However, users have found ways to experience its effects at a faster rate. Those who are addicted to drug liquefy the pill to inject it, or crush it to snort it just like cocaine.
Another problem is that more and more heroin addicts are switching to OxyContin and other opioids. This increases abuse rates, contributing to the number of deaths.
What Causes OxyContin Addiction?
People become addicted to oxycodone for different reasons. Some are prescribed the pill for pain relief. As they increase the dosage, addiction kicks in.
Others turn to OxyContin for its uplifting effects. They’re fully aware of the risks involved, but this doesn’t stop them from abusing the drug. Stress, depression, and trauma are major contributors to addiction.
Those with a family history of drug abuse are more likely to become addicted to opioids. Genetics play a role in this process.
Plus, opioids are highly addictive. Upon ingestion, they prevent your brain from receiving signals that indicate the presence of pain. Basically, these compounds attach to your opioid receptors and block pain signals.
In addition to these effects, they induce feelings of relaxation, drowsiness, and euphoria. This causes users to abuse them.
In 2004, opiate pain relievers were responsible for over 14,800 deaths, which was more than heroin and cocaine combined. Just because these drugs have therapeutic properties, it doesn’t mean they’re safe.
OxyContin addiction begins in the midbrain.
This drug turns off the GABAergic neurons, leading to an increase in dopamine production. As a result, users experience stress and anxiety relief along with feelings of well-being.
Signs and Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction
Addiction symptoms depend on the dosage and length of abuse. They also vary from one individual to another.
Most users report feelings of euphoria and relaxation. Some experience depression and mood swings. Other common symptoms include:
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Reduced mental focus
- Impaired decision making
- Emotional numbing
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
OxyContin addicts tend to hide the drug from their family and friends. They often lie to others about the dosage used. Sometimes, they visit several doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions.
Over time, oxycodone addiction causes mental, physical, and behavioral problems. Users are no longer able to work and function in society. They neglect their responsibilities, borrow or steal money from others, and become obsessed with the drug.
High doses can lead to mental illnesses, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations. Over time, addicts develop physical and psychological tolerance to the drug, so they either take it in larger doses or switch to more powerful drugs.
If left untreated, addiction may cause seizures, respiratory failure, liver damage, and even death. It affects nearly every aspect of your life, including your health and personal relationships.
Why Is It So Difficult to Quit?
Withdrawal from oxycodone is what makes this addition so hard to break. Once you get addicted, withdrawal symptoms will kick in when a lower dosage is taken or skipped altogether.
Most addicts experience severe anxiety, insomnia, irritability, diarrhea, and migraines. Suicidal thoughts are common too. You may also sweat more than usual, develop high blood pressure, and feel intense pain.
Withdrawal symptoms affect both the mind and body. They range from bone pain and muscle aches to fever and panic. For this reason, it’s recommended to get professional help.
In general, these symptoms last about a week. However, they are severe enough to cause major discomfort. The longer you abuse the drug, the more difficult it will be to quit.
A medical detox program can help you cope with withdrawal symptoms more easily. You will receive treatment in a supervised facility, which reduces the risk of relapse.
The professionals who work at recovery centers know what it feels like to deal with OxyContin addiction. They’ve seen hundreds of patients struggling with the same issues as you do.
These experts will provide everything you need to break this habit and take control over your life.
Get Expert Help
Oxycodone addiction can take a toll on your mind and body. Without adequate treatment, it can ruin your life and affect your health in the long term.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Depending on your needs, you can opt for residential or outpatient treatment. Most recovery centers also provide therapy and group counseling.
At the Paramount Recovery Center, we care about you and can help you overcome OxyContin addiction. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact us today to regain your life!