OxyContin is a brand name for a substance generically known as oxycodone, an opiate analgesic (pain-reliever). Oxycontin is prescribed for pain and can provide up to twelve hours of relief. Though Oxycontin is highly addictive, most people who use the drug as prescribed do not develop addiction.
However, in some cases, when the medication is used over a long period of time, users inevitably develop tolerance, the need for more of the drug to experience the same pain relief, in which case they may soon abuse the drug out of fear of continuous pain. OxyContin abuse soon causes addiction, but addicts can receive help from a drug addiction treatment center.
Problems With An Oxycontin High
OxyContin fights pain by way of the brain. The drug travels into the central nervous system and brain, binds to the receptors of nerve endings and attracts chemicals that provide pleasure. This communicates an artificial message to the brain and as a result pain is no longer felt. The cause of the pain, however, is not altered. OxyContin’s power to manipulate the brain has aided chronic pain sufferers to attain a higher quality of life.
Unfortunately, higher and higher doses of Oxycontin are required to attain pain relief. This is one of the ways that Oxycontin addictions develop. Even in the controlled environment of a medical facility dependence is a risk. But the least responsible use of Oxycontin is non-prescribed, illegal use. More and more commonly Oxycontin is being used as a recreational drug.
How OxyContin Addiction Works
Oxycontin is very powerful, and consequently, difficult to abstain from using. Addicts who have already been through detox can sometimes remember their last use, and can earnestly believe that unless they use the drug, they will never be happy again. Sadly, recovering addicts who revert to abuse are at the greatest risk of overdosing. These hopeless feelings pass, but their existence proves the addictive danger of Oxycontin. Use of such a powerful and dangerous drug should be limited to medical necessity.
Combining Alcohol and OxyContin
The combination of alcohol and Oxycontin can be fatal and cause any of the following symptoms:
- Energy deficiency
- Muscle fatigue
- Clammy skin
- Small pupils
- Shallow breathing
- Reduced heart rate
Side Effects of OxyContin Abuse
Oxycontin is not safe for every patient. The following are conditions or qualifications that make Oxycontin use more dangerous than normal for both legal and illegal users:
- Breathing disorders such as asthma, COPD or sleep apnea
- Kidney disease
- Liver disease
- Inhibited thyroid
- Previous head/brain trauma
- Low blood pressure
- Mental illness
OxyContin Addiction Help
Oxycontin is more easily attained and less stigmatized than other opiates, but it is no less dangerous. The most effective way to avoid or beat addiction is to treat Oxycontin as if it were no different from other dangerous drugs. An incentive for this approach is that first time users of Oxycontin are as susceptible to overdose as longtime users. Sadly, for many it is too late to avoid an addiction.
I Got addicted to OxyContin From a Doctor’s Prescription
Addiction can surprise many people who become addicted to Oxycontin while using a doctor’s prescription. They never planned or expected to be addicted to a drug. They may feel ashamed, because they do not understand how they could have possibly developed an addiction to a medication they expected to be helpful and safe.
If you fear that you or someone you know may be addicted to Oxycontin, please don’t hesitate to seek help, because addiction is a disease that requires professional treatment. Addiction is not an issue caused by poor decision making skills or a lack of willpower. Rather, Oxycontin addiction causes brain damage to such an extent that addicts cannot stop abusing the drug on their own. Even so, it is never too early or too late to seek treatment.
How OxyContin Addiction Treatment Helps
There are many benefits to seeking Oxycontin addiction treatment. These include the fact that treatment may save your life by preventing overdose or other health complications that result from long-term drug abuse. Seeking treatment does not only benefit your physical health, however. Recovering from Oxycontin addiction can also restore relationships between friends and family members and generate an overall better quality of life.
What Happens in OxyContin Addiction Treatment?
When a person develops Oxycontin addiction, she must find alternative solutions for pain in order to achieve addiction recovery. In rehab, experts help patients discover safe methods for pain management that do not involve addictive substances, particularly opiates.
In rehab patients also undergo detox, a process that cleanses the body of toxins that resulted from Oxycontin abuse. Detox may lead to withdrawal symptoms, but fortunately, opiate withdrawal is rarely life-threatening and typically only consists of flu-like symptoms for no more than two weeks. These symptoms may even be treatable, by the medical staff at the rehab center.
After detox, patients address the psychological component of Oxycontin addiction through individual and group counseling sessions, which help patients identify the root causes of their addictions. By ignoring the psychological component of addiction, patients cripple their rehab experience, limiting their chances at long-term recovery. Patients must examine the causes of addiction, or else relapse becomes highly possible once the addict returns home. When rehab is finished, former patients maintain their recovery by attending outpatient support group sessions, known as aftercare, and by implementing their alternative solutions for pain management into their daily lives.
What Happens in OxyContin Addiction Treatment?
Oxycontin addition treatment helps addicts establish new lifestyles, free from substance abuse. This is accomplished through medical treatment in the form of supervised detox and psychological treatment through individual and group counseling sessions. Holistic methods, such as yoga, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, and equine therapy may also be offered. At the conclusion of addiction treatment, patients are able to maintain their recovery, with the aid of aftercare programs and follow up treatments. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process that requires the daily decision not to use drugs. There is no cure for addiction but with time, remaining clean becomes easier.