Oxycodone is the generic name for Oxycontin. Actually, the full generic name is oxycodone hydrochloride. The drug is a controlled substance, because it contains a derivative of opium, and is only available by prescription.
Oxycodone comes in tablet form, in strengths of 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, and 80 mg.
When the brand name, Oxycontin, is prescribed and dispensed to the patient, the tablets will have the letters "OC" printed on one side, and a number, depicting how many milligrams the dosage is, on the other.
When generic Oxycodone is prescribed, the strength will determine what color and size the tablets will be. If one is familiar with the appearance of the different strengths of Oxycodone, it is possible to tell the dosage strength simply by looking at the pill, something that can be very beneficial to medical professionals.
Why Is Oxycodone Prescribed?
Oxycodone is a pain reliever, and works on moderate to severe pain. For this reason, it can be prescribed for pain caused by such conditions as cancer, arthritis, bursitis, or other joint conditions. In addition, it can also be prescribed for pain relief after an injury or surgery.
Statistics Relating To Oxycodone
Oxycodone is one of the most widely abused drugs, and its abuse is not limited to any specific age group. Statistics provided by addiction recovery specialists show that almost one million people living in the United States have used Oxycodone, when they had no medical reason for doing so, as least once in their lifetime. While Oxycodone abuse knows no specific age group, it is very prevalent among high school students. According to addiction recovery specialists, 4% of high school seniors in the United States were shown to have abused Oxycodone in the year prior to a survey conducted by an American University.
How Is Oxycodone Abused?
Because Oxycodone produces feelings of euphoria ("all's right with the world") that are very similar to those felt by taking heroin or morphine, abuse of the drug can occur in many different ways. In a majority of cases, the method of abuse employed is the one that will ensure the drug is taken in and absorbed by the body so that it will enter the bloodstream in the fastest way possible.
One way this can occur is by a person dissolving an Oxycodone tablet in water and drawing up the resulting solution into a hypodermic needle. The needle is then used to inject the drug either under the skin. The drug can be absorbed rather fast when this is done; however, the most direct route to the bloodstream is through a vein. Abusers have been known to use this direct route, which can be extremely dangerous.
As mentioned earlier, Oxycodone produces a euphoric effect on the body. These euphoric effects are felt more quickly when the drug is injected directly into the bloodstream, but, again, this can be very dangerous.
Even when taken properly, at the precise time intervals and in the exact dosage prescribed, Oxycodone can slow down a person's breathing. When the drug is absorbed too rapidly into the body, or in a higher dosage than is prescribed, this effect can occur quicker, sometimes leading to death by suffocation.
Even if death does not occur, oxygen deprivation can lead to brain damage. This is often irreversible, meaning a person will be disabled physically, mentally, or possibly both, for the rest of his life.
Oxycodone Abuse Treatment Options
Because Oxycodone abuse is so prevalent, there are many drug rehab facilities that offer treatment for this problem. Some of these are especially designed to deal with adolescents who are addicted to or abusing Oxycodone. Because they can relate to teens on their level, seeking treatment at one of these specialized clinics can be successful.
Some of these facilities operate on an in-patient basis and outpatient basis; that is, a person remains at the facility without leaving for a specific period of time (known as the in-patient phase). During this time, individual and group counseling sessions, as well as other treatment methods, are used to help the person overcome the Oxycodone addiction.
Once the in-patient phase has been successfully completed, the patient transfers to out-patient status. He no longer remains at the clinic, but rather has scheduled appointments for continued treatment. To avoid the danger of Oxycodone abuse all together, health care professionals can prescribe non-narcotic pain relievers as soon as complete pain control or cessation has been achieved, or prescribe other prescription drugs that do not contain morphine.