OxyContin Addiction Treatment
OxyContin is a prescription painkiller that can be extremely beneficial to those who suffer from chronic illnesses that can not be treated or managed by anything else.
Individuals do not have to take OxyContin every few hours to function normally – it is a medication that is normally only required every 12 hours.
Due to its high dosage, OxyContin is therefore considered a highly addictive drug and throughout history, users have become addicted to the euphoric effect that the drug can create.
Unfortunately, as people use the drug, they develop a tolerance which can lead to stronger withdrawal symptoms and dependency on higher dosages of the drug.
When Does Drug Use Shift to Addiction?
Not everyone who uses OxyContin for medical reasons is addicted. In fact, there are lots of people who use it and do not have any issues because they follow the doctor’s instructions.
The problems occur when someone takes the drug outside of the directions given to them by a doctor. Additionally, a person who takes OxyContin that they got from the street or online is a drug abuser the first time they take the drug.
Abuse turns into addiction only when a person can no longer control how much they are using the drug. Someone with an addiction will have a physical and or psychological need or compulsion to use the drug.
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Use – Dependency – Addiction
Here is a breakdown of recreational use, turning to dependency, and resulting in addiction.
When someone is using OxyContin for recreational use, they will take more than the amount prescribed by a doctor, or perhaps take it when it was never prescribed in the first place.
They may take at with friends or at parties for fun. They may use OxyContin as a relief from the stresses of life on bad days. Finally, they are taking it for the feelings of intense euphoria.
When someone begins to become dependent on OxyContin, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not use the drug. They will need to take more of the drug to get the desired effect and will crave it when they are not under the influence of it.
Finally, a person dependent on the drug may claim that they do not feel okay or normal when they are not using the drug.
Finally, dependency becomes an addiction when a person starts to prioritize it about everything and anything else. They may be willing to endanger themselves and/or others so that they can use the drug and will not care about the fact that they are doing it.
They may spend money that they do not have on the drug and, therefore, are not able to pay bills and buy other necessary purchases. They will also be willing to allow their own health and their relationships with others to fall away.
Symptoms of OxyContin Use and Abuse
Below, we have listed a number of physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that are commonly associated with OxyContin use.
While these listed symptoms are expected and normal for an individual to experience while safely using the drug, if you believe the signs are exaggerated or worrying, it’s time to seek advice.
Physical Symptoms When Using OxyContin
- Dry mouth
- Slow breathing
- Constricted pupils
- Changes in eating habits
- Changing in sleep patterns
- Worsening hygiene
- Bad coordination
- Slurring of speech
- Shaking or jerky movements
- Bloodshot eyes
Emotional Symptoms When Using OxyContin
- Reduced anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Worsening mental disorders
Behavioral Symptoms When Using OxyContin
- Mood swings
- Volatile temper/lashing out
- Episodes of mania (really active and higher energy episodes followed by a crash into depression)
- Worsening performance at work or at school
- Absent from obligations or events without any explanations
- Acting dismissive or secretive
- Isolating from friends and family that would not approve of drug use
- Financial problems
- Borrowing and stealing money from both friends, families, and possibly strangers
Side Effects of OxyContin
Side effects of OxyContin are physical, interpersonal, emotional, and more. Here are some of the common side effects of OxyContin abuse:
- Legal problems
- Swelling of the throat (can lead to death)
- Consequences due to risky decision making
- Worsening mental, emotional, and physical health
- Ruining relationships
- Domestic abuse
- Respiratory problems
- Cold and clammy skin
- Circulatory system collapsing
Risk of Overdose
OxyContin binds to opioid receptors in the brain, which increases the production of endorphins and neurotransmitters, such as dopamine. These chemicals then send signals throughout the entirety of the central nervous system.
Eventually, a person with an addiction is dependent on the drug, and their brain can no longer send normal signals without the OxyContin.
The brain becomes so used to depending on the drug, and it can no longer function without it though it can learn to again with detox and therapy.
People abusing OxyContin and other opioids are at a high risk of overdose, higher than some other forms of drugs.
Opioids suppress the central nervous system, respiratory system, and circulatory system, both of which can result in serious health problems and death. Additionally, people develop tolerance to these drugs, which makes the likely hood of overdose even greater.
Like many drug detoxication processes, desisting the use of OxyContin can produce some side-effects which are listed below.
At Rehab Recovery, our dedicated team of staff is here to aid you, or a loved one, with treating these withdrawal symptoms and making the process of recovery easier with our expert knowledge and resources.
Early withdrawal symptoms:
The most common and immediate withdrawal symptoms include:
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
- Muscle aches
- Cold and flu symptoms
- Runny nose
Later withdrawal symptoms:
Once these symptoms have started to ease, some other side effects which have been reported include the following:
- Stomach cramps
- Lack of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Blurred vision
- Elevated heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
Timeline for withdrawal
Although the withdrawal process seems daunting and unpleasant, in comparison to other common drug detoxifications, the withdrawal symptoms only occur for a relatively short period of time.
Here is an estimated timeline for withdrawal symptoms from frequent OxyContin use:
- 4-8 hours: withdrawal starts
- 12-24 hours: minor symptoms will set in as medication wears off
- Day 1: severe flu symptoms
- Day 2: typical and severe withdrawal symptoms begin to set in
- Day 3: most people peak around day three and then symptoms will begin to lessen
- 1-2 weeks later: the withdrawal process is complete
Treatment for an OxyContin addiction or dependency can be found, and here at Rehab Recovery, we promise to support you every step of the way.
We recommend contacting our referrals team on 0800 088 66 86 for a confidential discussion about which treatment style would be best suited for you.
Listed below are some options which are readily available:
Residential treatment is when a patient stays overnight at a treatment center. This kind of treatment can be voluntary (when someone checks themselves in), or at times, it can be court-ordered.
During residential treatment, a person will be able to detox safely off the drug and receive therapy for both their substance abuse issues and any other mental or psychological problems they have that are related to their addiction problems.
Usually, a person will receive several kinds of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or group therapy. Residential treatment can allow a person to focus completely on recovery as they will have access to 24/7 care and support and can avoid environmental distractors and temptations that are in the outside world.
Outpatient treatment allows a patient to sleep at their own home and continue to do outside activities such as going to work or school. When someone is a part of outpatient treatment, they will generally go to therapy or a treatment center for several hours a day, several days a week.
Most of the time, people go for up to eight hours every single weekday. During those hours, a person will go to various forms of therapy, meet with doctors, partake in support groups, etc.
Some people prefer this, especially if they have already completed some residential treatment because it allows them to continue their life outside of treatment but is still intensive enough that they are able to avoid relapse. For other people, residential treatment is a better choice.
Behavioral therapy can be a part of both inpatient and outpatient therapy, but it can also be done on its own. Whether it is cognitive behavioral therapy or another kind of therapy, the goal is to teach a patient how to cope with withdrawal syndromes, the effects of their addiction, and other mental and psychological problems they may have.
Therapy also gives a person the space needed to vent and talk about various issues. Behavioral therapy can be done in a group or individual setting.
In order to take OxyContin safely, you must follow the direction of a doctor. This means you cannot safely take it without a prescription. If you get a prescription, there are still some things you can do to make sure that you stay safe.
First, do not take the drug for longer than your doctor says you need to, Second, do not take the drug more often than you are supposed to. And third, do not take a higher dosage than the doctor prescribed. If you believe you are building a tolerance to the drug, talk to your doctor, do not simply take more.
Similar Drugs To Look Out For
OxyContin is derived from Oxycodone, a powerful ingredient in many painkillers that come in both pill and liquid forms. Other drugs with Oxycodone are some times used interchangeably by users and addicts. Here are some of the other common oxycodone drugs:
Percocet: This drug is made up of primarily Oxycodone and acetaminophen and is generally more common than OxyContin as it is prescribed for various conditions with various pain levels. People abuse this drug by snorting it, taking more than prescribed dose, taking it for longer than they are supposed to, chewing it, or injecting it.
Roxicodone: This drug is a form of Oxycodone that is more rapid, releasing than Percocet or OxyContin. It is most commonly used for patients before surgery to sedate or calm them and also for consistent pain management.
People who use this drug for recreational purposes do so for the quick high that they receive. Usually, people crush or melt Roxicodone to smoke or inject it.
There are also some various street names for Oxycodone drugs, including oxy, OC’s, oxycotton, hillbilly heroin, berries, killers, percs, and roxi’s.
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