Oxycontin is the trade name for a type of narcotic known as oxycodone hydrochloride. This is a painkiller that is widely available across the United States, but that you can only acquire with the use of a prescription from a legitimate physician.
Oxycontin can be acquired legitimately with a prescription for a number of different purposes, though its primary mechanism for use is in the treatment of moderate and severe pain. Some of the types of pain that Oxycontin is used to treat include:
- Pain from Bursitis
There are a number of reasons why someone might decide to abuse the drug known as Oxycontin. This medication is known for producing a euphoric effect that is similar to what people experience when they take the illicit drug known as heroin. Heroin has a lower street value and so it can be procured more inexpensively in comparison to Oxycontin, but Oxycontin is perceived to be the safer choice because of the fact that it is a legitimate medicine available from a physician rather than a street drug.
Oxycontin is available in different sized and shaped tablets containing different amounts of the active ingredient. The most common forms of Oxycontin tablets are 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg and 80 mg tablets. These tablets can vary significantly in terms of both color and size depending on the dosage amount that you are prescribed. On one side of the tablet you will find "OC" imprinted. On the other side you will find the mg dosage imprinted.
When it is used and taken properly, Oxycontin is meant to be controlled release or timed release. What this means is that when you swallow the pill whole, the formulation works over a period of time, providing a lengthy period of pain relief. In order to completely bypass this controlled release feature, however, people have found a number of additional ways that the drug can be taken including chewing the tablets, crushing the tablets and snorting the powder or dissolving the tablets and injecting the liquid into the bloodstream.
Oxycontin Substance Abuse
There are different ways that people can begin to abuse Oxycontin. The most common is that people begin taking it for a legitimate reason but they eventually begin to use it in an off label manner, which leads to addiction. When people take a powerful drug such as Oxycontin, they often develop what is known as a physical tolerance. The body begins to believe that it needs increasing amounts of the drug in order to produce the same pain relieving effect that it experienced before, which leads the user to think that they have to alter their dosage.
The fatal flaw comes in that people alter their own dosages without speaking to a physician, not realizing that mishandling their prescription is leading to an addiction. For example:
- They may begin to take higher dosages of the medication than what they are supposed to take.
- They make take dosages more frequently than what they are supposed to take.
- They may take the medication in a manner that is off-label or not recommended, such as by crushing and swallowing the powder, chewing the tablet or injecting the dissolved tablet into the blood stream.
When people take medications like these in the wrong manner, a physical tolerance can become a full fledged substance abuse problem or even a physical addiction. If you become addicted to Oxycontin, it will mean that your body is craving the drug in significant quantities and that painful or uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will result if you suddenly stop taking the medication. If you are dealing with a situation such as this one, the best thing that you can do is to choose a professional help situation to get the assistance that you need.
Recovering From Oxycontin Addiction
There are two steps to getting help for an Oxycontin addiction. The first thing that you are going to need to do is to find a local drug rehab program in your area that specializes in prescription medication abuse. Finding a drug rehab program that specializes in the specific addiction that you are dealing with is vitally essential because it means getting custom tailored help for the specific problem that you have. Once you find the right drug rehab program to meet your individual needs, the next step is simply to pledge yourself to getting the help that you need.
Most drug rehab programs offer a multi faceted approach to getting help for your addiction beginning with a physical detox and ending with a rehabilitation and recovery program that will put you on the path to truly healing. The Oxycontin detox process is designed to remove the drug entirely from your system so that you do not experience any harmful side effects of withdrawal such as dizziness, shakiness or trouble sleeping.
After you go through the detox process in its entirety, the next step in the process is going to be rehabilitation and recovery. This may involve therapy, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral modification training and similar processes to help you develop healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle. This is a necessary part of your recovery because it is going to be the part that prevents you from having a relapse or future problems with drugs.
The road to recovery can be long and sometimes difficult, but you will be glad that you went through it in the end. An Oxycontin addiction or substance abuse problem can be extremely dangerous if you do not get the help that you need. When you check yourself into a residential rehab program, you are making a vitally essential promise to yourself that you are going to overcome this problem, and surrounding yourself with the right level of help is the best way to make sure that you get that help that you need so desperately.