What is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a synthetic analgesic drug prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. It is a highly potent opiate and often goes by the nickname “oxy”. It was originally developed in Germany in the early 1900s, but found its way into the U.S. pharmaceutical market in 1996 by the pharmaceutical giant, Purdue Pharma. Since then, the need for OxyContin addiction treatment has skyrocketed.
Upon its release, Purdue Pharma highly understated its addictive potential and marketed it as a safe means of pain management. Doctors became very lenient with prescribing the drug to patients and its sales quickly skyrocketed. Over a decade later, pill mills, where morally-questionable doctors would recklessly prescribe the drug and make large profits off of its high demand, became a large problem and painkiller prescriptions and overdose deaths both rose 400 percent.
Due to the disturbing rise in OxyContin addiction, the makers released a reformulation of the drug in 2010. This new formula came in a gel form and was much harder for users to abuse. As a result of the already high demand for opiates, many users switched over to using heroin and overall heroin use has since tripled. Since these people didn’t seek out OxyContin addiction treatment, they ended up with even more dangerous addictions.
Symptoms of OxyContin Addiction
Once OxyContin is converted into Morphine, it enters the brain. It then binds to cells in the brain that are involved in the perception of pain, called the opiate receptors. It produces intense feelings of relaxation and euphoria and is among the strongest and most widely available painkillers on the market and on the streets. There’s a variety of tell-tale signs that someone is abusing the drug and if they are noticed consistently, it is important to seek medical attention and find an OxyContin addiction treatment provider immediately, before the condition progresses and gets worse. Some symptoms of OxyContin addiction include:
- Slurred or incoherent speech patterns
- Decreased performance in school or work
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Loss of interest in hobbies or relationships
- Isolating from family and friends
- Erratic or hostile behavior towards friends and loved ones
- Borrowing or stealing money from family and friends
- Lack of motivation
- Shortness of breath
- Constricted “pinned-out” pupils
- Constant fatigue (nodding off)
- Dramatic weight loss
- Needle marks or abscesses on skin where they shoot up
- Constant itching
OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
People who use OxyContin consistently for a prolonged period of time will eventually develop a tolerance for the drug. They will need more and more of the drug to get the same effect as they did before, which puts them at a higher risk for overdose and other health complications. They will also develop a strong physical dependence on the drug and will likely need to seek medical attention if they try to stop.
Once a heavy OxyContin user abruptly stops using the drug, they will experience some very intense and painful side effects. OxyContin withdrawal is physically and psychologically very painful. It will often leave the addict in agony and struggling to refrain from using again. These symptoms are typically not life threatening, but are highly painful and those who experience them should seek out medical attention. Some signs of OxyContin withdrawal include:
- Severe anxiety
- Cognitive impairment
Medical Side Effects of Long-Term OxyContin Addiction and Finding OxyContin Addiction Treatment
OxyContin is highly addictive carries a long list of side effects. These side effects can vary from person to person depending on genetics, how frequently the person has been using the drug and for how long they have been abusing it. Like the disease of addiction, these side effects can be progressive and get worse with time if addiction is left untreated. Some medical side effects of prolonged OxyContin addiction include:
- Cardiorespiratory issues
- Pulmonary disease
- Liver disease
- Infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C (spread through sharing needles)
It may seem hard to find OxyContin addiction treatment, but it doesn’t have to be. The professionals at Morningside Recovery are ready to work with you to help you overcome your addiction. Through addiction treatment services, addiction therapy services, and dual diagnosis treatment, our specialists are ready to help you get to the root of your problem and learn how to overcome it. If you’re ready to take the next step in recovery, call Morningside Recovery today at 855-416-8202.