OxyContin is an opioid prescription drug designed to treat moderate to severe physical pain. When used as prescribed by a licensed doctor, OxyContin can effectively help manage a patient’s condition by greatly reducing, or even eliminating, symptoms of pain and discomfort. Similar to most other opioids/opiates, OxyContin has a high potential for abuse, and therefore doctors who prescribe this medication must carefully monitor their patients. However, stricter laws on the prescribing of painkillers have recently been implemented due to the incessant growth in abuse and addiction rates, which has caused physicians to become hesitant, if not opposed, to granting patients’ access to OxyContin.
Opioid drugs are one of the most common substances of abuse and addiction in the United States; as the country is currently battling an opioid epidemic. Statistics have shown that the number of overdose deaths due to opioids have hit record highs; rising by 200% since the year 2000. OxyContin is one of the top three leading causes of these overdose deaths in the nation. As a result of the euphoric effects set on by OxyContin and the rapid velocity of time in which it takes a tolerance to build, many individuals have a tendency to abuse the drug. Whether or not an addiction has developed, the probability of an overdose occurring is extreme.
OxyContin is a Central Nervous System depressant, which causes a reduction in the pace of one’s breathing and heartbeat. When too much is taken, when combined with another substance, or when taken using a method other than prescribed, such as chewing the pill for faster and stronger effects, respiratory functioning can be reduced too far, resulting in an overdose, and potentially producing permanent damage to the brain. In extreme cases, an overdose on OxyContin may lead to coma or death due to lack of oxygen.
According to the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration, about 180,000 hospital emergency room admissions are OxyContin-related. Similar to most chemical dependency’s, OxyContin addiction is not only complex, but is often a chronic relapsing disease as well. Opioids such as OxyContin have a substantial reputation for easily drawing people in and hooking them to the drug’s heavily sought after effects. The drug takes over every facet of an individual’s existence, causing them to feel insufficient and meaningless without it.
Susannah G., a recovering addict, spoke on her experience with opiate addiction in her addiction story, stating, “I became heavily addicted to opiates before graduating high school, and using became the only way I knew how to function. I thought it gave me a personality, charisma and confidence – I could talk to people. In reality, the drugs stole me from myself. I compromised every moral I had to get my next one.” This is a familiar concept and understanding amongst many individuals who have faced a battle with addiction. In order to lessen the chances of an OxyContin overdose, patients who have a prescription for a legitimate injury must have unfailing supervision, and those who abuse the medication or who have become dependent must enroll in treatment. For Susannah G., treatment and support group meetings were the leading contribution in her recovery success story, as she declared, “I am beyond grateful for treatment for believing in me when I could not believe in myself. I was taught that in order for change to occur I had to get uncomfortable. I needed to be open and honest and willing to put effort into saving my life. Being uncomfortable, to me, meant immediately getting a sponsor. It meant throwing myself into Narcotics Anonymous and reaching out when all I wanted to do was hide. It meant getting a service commitment and being held accountable at my home group. Being open and honest means sharing the good stuff, the bad stuff and everything in between.”
Accredited treatment facilities are fully equipped to help effectively and safely guide patients through the course of detox to remove the drug completely from his or her body. Following medical detox, the individual will then be able to begin inpatient treatment, and fully submerse themselves in overcoming their OxyContin dependency. In addition to tackling the addiction, clients will address every aspect of themselves, learn what their triggers are, and discover any underlying reasons that may resulted in abuse or addiction. Through the support and education provided by the trained professionals at treatment centers, patients will obtain the necessary skills and tools to have control over any cravings that may surface, and how to avoid certain situations, environments, and people that may set off triggers. This will help prevent the possibility of a potential relapse in the future, and therefore greatly reduce the likelihood of an OxyContin overdose. To read other addicts stories visit us here.
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