OxyContin is a powerful prescription opioid that has rapidly become one of the leading drivers of the opioid epidemic. But what is it about this drug that makes it so likely to be abused, and how can OxyContin addiction treatment help? This article answers these questions and will help you to understand the nature of opioid addiction and treatment.
OxyContin is a prescription opioid that was developed by Purdue Pharma. Marketed as an effective treatment for people experiencing severe, chronic pain, this drug has quickly become one of the most widely misused and abused medications in decades.
OxyContin is a powerful synthetic opioid, making it very similar to Vicodin, morphine, and fentanyl. The key OxyContin ingredients are the active drug, called oxycodone, and a time-release coating that helps the body to absorb the opioid slowly over several hours.
OxyContin has a bit of a sordid history. As part of the marketing campaign to promote their new drug, Purdue Pharma attempted to hide the addictive potential of OxyContin. Their primary reasoning was that since OxyContin was slow-release, it had less addictive potential than other prescription opioids.
Unfortunately, this was a gross mischaracterization. How long OxyContin stays in your system does not change its addiction potential, and the opioid epidemic began in earnest shortly after this medication’s release.
OxyContin rapidly became the most abused prescription drug in history, and the thin time-release coating was easily defeated by people looking to misuse the substance. According to National Public Radio, members of the family that owns Purdue Pharma, the Sacklers, ultimately settled a lawsuit regarding the company’s deceptive marketing campaign and paid $6 billion in damages.
Using OxyContin, even as prescribed, is not without risks. There are several well-known side effects of OxyContin, including:
If you experience any of these effects while taking OxyContin, you should seek medical attention straight away.
Perhaps the single greatest side effect of OxyContin use is the risk of developing an addiction. As an opioid, OxyContin falls into the same drug class as commonly abused drugs such as heroin, fentanyl, morphine, and codeine. Developing a substance use disorder can cause significant physical and psychological harm, and somebody who has become addicted may need professional help in order to stop.
According to information from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, nearly 3.3 million adults in the United States misuse prescription painkillers like OxyContin. While this number is down slightly from previous years, it is still one of the most commonly misused substances. Only alcohol and marijuana have higher rates of substance use disorders, showing the severity and prevalence of OxyContin abuse.
Recognizing that a person has a problem with OxyContin isn’t always easy. Many people with substance use disorders attempt to hide their addictions, but there are a few signs that an outside observer can recognize. These signs include:
These are some of the outside signs of an OxyContin addiction, but the person experiencing it will have several internal symptoms as well.
Symptoms of OxyContin Abuse
The symptoms of OxyContin addiction can be devastating. Addiction can break apart families, lead to job loss, and cause catastrophic damage to both physical and mental health. People who become addicted to OxyContin may have difficulty stopping on their own and may require professional addiction treatment services in order to achieve recovery. Many people who develop an OxyContin addiction will go on to misuse other opioids, such as heroin or fentanyl, when they can’t find or afford OxyContin.
The symptoms of an opioid use disorder include:
These symptoms and more can amount to severe deficiencies in functioning and low quality of life. But recovery is possible, provided that these people seek help at an OxyContin addiction treatment center.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a recent report outlining the number of deaths due to prescription opioids in the last several years. In 2020, prescription opioids were involved in over 16,000 overdose deaths. This was down from the peak of 17,000 in 2017, but it was still remarkably high.
Part of the high number of overdose deaths is due to contamination of “pressed pills” that resemble OxyContin and are sold on the street. OxyContin that does not come from a pharmacy can contain lethal amounts of the dangerous synthetic opioid, fentanyl, and without extensive testing services, it is impossible to know the exact makeup of a pill purchased on the street.
Recovery from Suboxone addiction is hard to accomplish on your own, and trained addiction professionals can make the process much easier.
People suffering from OxyContin addiction do have options that can help them to overcome their substance use. Recent developments in the medical treatment of opioid use disorders make recovery more approachable than ever, and targeted counseling can help people to maintain this recovery long-term.
The first step in OxyContin addiction treatment is medical detoxification. At a medical detox center, people who are addicted to opioids can receive targeted treatments that vastly reduce their withdrawal symptoms. Drugs such as Suboxone or methadone can turn the painful withdrawal process into a much simpler, easier experience, and they can start people out on the right foot in their recovery.
In addition, people who attend medical detox have the benefit of receiving around-the-clock care to help manage their symptoms and cravings. These facilities are designed to be short-term and can help anyone break through the first stages of abstinence. But detox alone is not enough; it has to be followed by quality addiction treatment in order for a person to truly achieve recovery.
At an addiction treatment facility, people struggling with a substance use disorder can receive evidence-based treatments proven to help people overcome substance use disorders. These treatments include:
Together, these treatments can serve to help people manage their cravings, learn healthy coping mechanisms, and sustain their recovery into the future. Furthermore, they can vastly increase a person’s quality of life and free them from the chains of addiction they have been burdened with.
No matter how far along your addiction is, recovery is possible. With expert care, effective therapies, and compassionate support, anyone can achieve sobriety that lasts a lifetime. Take the first step and make the call to start receiving care today.
We are proud to offer a broad range of amenities and services so that you can focus on what matters most: healing. Take a virtual tour of our facilities online or reach out to us by calling 866 552 6557 to arrange a visit. We know how difficult it can be to struggle with Oxy addiction — but you don’t have to do it alone. Our team can support you through this difficult time and show you the path to long-lasting recovery.
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