OxyContin, known in its generic form as oxycodone, is one of the opioid drugs that has become a popular prescription medicine for the treatment of pain. When taken as directed, it acts much like morphine to reduce severe pain. It can be taken around the clock so that people who suffer from chronic pain are good candidates for the drug.
OxyContin is a powerful narcotic. Although it provides great help for those enduring moderate to severe pain, it can be habit forming. Only those whose doctors have prescribed the medicine should be taking it.
Like other opioids, this medicine holds the potential for abuse. People who obtain it from friends or buy it illegally from dealers on the street run the risk of addiction, overdose, and, of course, legal trouble. The legalities may pale compared to the health risks.
Taking inappropriate amounts can make side effects more likely, and possibly lead to coma or death. If someone unschooled in its use takes OxyContin with other medications or with alcohol, the narcotic effects will be heightened. People should make sure that their other medicines or foods do not contain alcohol.
OxyContin can impair thinking and reaction time. People new to taking it should wait to see exactly how they are going to react before they try to operate machinery or drive vehicles. Like other narcotics, OxyContin needs to be left behind on a gradual basis.
The manufacturer warns those taking the medicine to avoid stopping the dosage suddenly.
Abruptly quitting the drug can bring on heavy duty withdrawal symptoms. Nausea, sweating, muscle tremors, insomnia and worse can result from too hasty a leaving behind of the medicine.
Other symptoms of withdrawal from OxyContin include: confusion, cold and clammy skin, extreme drowsiness, fainting, muscle weakness, pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing and slow heart rate. Left untreated, withdrawal can lead to coma and death. Medical professionals can guide patients safely off of OxyContin use.
Since OxyContin is prescribed for pain relief, some patients who finish their treatments go through withdrawal without realizing why they are experiencing the discomfort. They are not apt to become addicted to the medicine if their pain has receded or gone away in a relatively short time. Danger of addiction and abuse enters the picture for those taking the narcotic long term.
Some people who start taking OxyContin for legitimate medical needs find themselves craving the drug after the original reason for the prescription has ended. They may seek illegal sources or try to scam medical professionals into re-prescribing the medicine. Some may visit multiple doctors to get more than one prescription. There are dangers involved in taking more of the medicine than what was prescribed.
For those with legitimate prescriptions, they should keep the medication where other people do not have access to it. In the home, the medicine needs to be kept out of the reach of children who might swallow it by mistake. It should also be secured from others in the family who might want to experiment with its use.
On the streets OxyContin has become a drug of choice. The unauthorized sale of prescription drugs has become big business in recent years. OxyContin is one of the popular fixes available out there.
Some individuals who start out with legitimate need for pain killers become dependent on the drugs for daily maintenance. As with other addictive substances, OxyContin abuse has become widespread. The shame that people feel when they get addicted is difficult for many to overcome in order to get the help they need.
Although OxyContin has mistakenly been called a white-collar drug, it is used by people from all walks of life. Just because someone becomes addicted does not mean that they have suddenly become “low-class.” Addiction is egalitarian: it affects everyone in equal measure.
Those with tendencies toward addiction in general are more likely to develop an addiction to OxyContin. Drug dependence is an all-body experience, caused by body chemistry and psychological mind-set. Some ill informed lecturers say that drug abuse can be overcome by will power alone.
It is possible. Yet resources are available to help addicts. Working with medical professionals either in individual practice or at clinics is the most reasonable approach to kicking an addiction to OxyContin.
Most doctors are aware that addiction overtakes even the best intentioned people. Individuals with a history of drug addiction are not left out of the picture. In today’s world, there is much empathy for those unfortunate to fall sway to a drug.
The media pays a lot of attention to celebrities fighting drug addiction. Although some of the stars may feel that their private lives are being encroached upon, publicity about their problems helps people not in the spotlight feel somewhat better about their own problems. It helps remove some of the stigma attached to drug abuse, prescription and otherwise. OxyContin abuse can be difficult to escape, but there is plenty of help available.