OxyContin is a prescription medication that is also a prevalent street drug procured illegally for non-medical use. OxyContin addiction can be dangerous in both the long and short term. Once an individual is addicted, they will seek out more of this drug, which can be accessed easily through illegal means. It is important that an individual battling OxyContin addiction seeks treatment and works to overcome their substance abuse.
OxyContin is an opiate commonly prescribed to assist with pain management. This can easily be abused, and is also a popular illegal drug on the streets. Opiates might be prescribed for pain, but due to its addictive nature, it is not traditionally used for treating chronic pain. Even if one’s use of OxyContin begins while under the care of a physician, this can quickly turn into an addiction if not monitored closely. Individuals may not realize that they have become addicted because they are taking the drug to manage their pain.
Though OxyContin was originated as a prescription drug to treat pain, it has progressively developed into a street drug because of the intense high that it provides, its prevalence, the convenience of mixing it with other drugs. OxyContin has a variety of different names on the street, but its predominant nicknames are Oxy and Kickers. OxyContin is readily available and is oftentimes easier to acquire than heroin or morphine. OxyContin derives from Oxycodone and is a Schedule II narcotic. This means it serves a medical purpose, but is also considered to be highly addictive. OxyContin can be garnered illegally through prescriptions, and then in turn, sold on the streets.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that over 16 million individuals in the United States have used prescription medications for non-medical purposes within the previous year. When OxyContin is bought or sold on the streets, it can come in various forms. Drug users might crush the pills into a fine powder in order to snort this for an immediate high. Another way to speed up the effectiveness of OxyContin is to chew the pill. An even more dangerous method for augmenting this prescription medication is to dissolve and then inject it. OxyContin is frequently combined with other drugs and can be a prevalent substitute when drug addicts might not have access to their opiate of choice. This can also be mixed with stimulants to assist those coming down off of OxyContin, so that they do not fully go through withdrawal symptoms.
According to reports from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s), the largest drug-related treatment admissions comes from opiates, at roughly 20 percent. This extreme rate of those seeking treatment shows just how addictive opiates, such as OxyContin, can be. The euphoric high that OxyContin provides creates an immediate reward in the brain. This pleasure chemical, known as dopamine, is highly addictive and can keep an individual wanting more. Tolerance levels can rise and leave a person needing more opiates in order to achieve the same high. Once an individual is addicted, it can be challenging to slow down their drug use, and many times treatment is their only option.
OxyContin requires professional treatment because the withdrawal symptoms can be severe. This is not a detoxification process that any individual should attempt on their own. It is highly recommended and encouraged that addicts are supervised by a medical professional during an OxyContin detox. Withdrawal symptoms from OxyContin may include signs of illness similar to the flu, acute anxiety, and overall bone and muscle pain. A general weakness and lethargy can cause an individual to want to stop withdrawal symptoms, and the cravings for opiates may become severe.
If OxyContin was initially prescribed for pain management, treatment will need to include dealing with long term ailments as a part of rehabilitation. Other drugs and methods of pain management will need to be made aware. The immediate release of endorphins that OxyContin provides must be retaught with different pain management techniques.
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