OxyContin is a narcotic pain reliever that is classified as an opiate analgesic. It contains oxycodone, a synthesized medication that mimics the effects of morphine to manage or relieve pain.
How OxyContin Works
Under normal circumstances, the brain produces endorphins, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain to create feelings of euphoria and reduce pain. OxyContin mimics the behavior of endorphins, binding to the opioid receptors and changing the way users experience pain. Doing so blocks the transmission of pain signals from nerves in the brain. Consequently, even though the physical cause of pain may remain, individuals will experience fewer pain sensations.
Doctors prescribe OxyContin to relieve moderate to severe pain, such as the pain associated with surgery, traumatic injury, or cancer. The active ingredient in OxyContin, the synthesized painkiller oxycodone, is released slowly over a 12-hour period to provide prolonged pain relief. When used correctly as prescribed, users will enjoy a steady level of pain relief.
How OxyContin is Heroin
OxyContin contains oxycodone, a synthesized pain reliever that mimics the behavior of heroin and morphine. Heroin works by mimicking endorphins and binding to opioid nerve cell receptors, which magnifies pain relief and produces a euphoric high. This drug works the same way; the medication binds to opioid receptors to block the transmission of pain signals and create feelings of euphoria.
Since OxyContin is a time-lapse medication, however, the release of its active ingredient oxycodone occurs slowly over time. Unlike heroin, which provides users with an instant rush, it offers a steady level of pain relief. However, users can bypass its time-lapse by snorting ground-up tablets or by chewing tablets. This creates instant and intense pain relief, which can be highly addictive like heroin or morphine.
Symptoms of OxyContin Addiction
The signs of OxyContin addiction are similar to the signs of other prescription drug addictions, including Percocet and Vicodin. If you think that you or a loved one might be struggling with an addiction to this drug, watch for these signs:
- Taking more than prescribed because the original dosage no longer relieves pain
- “Doctor shopping” to obtain multiple prescriptions
- Making promises to stop taking it, but failing to follow through
- Lying to friends and family about using the drug
- Taking it to alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as mood swings, volatile behavior, and bouts of mania
- Putting self and others at risk, such as driving under the influence of the drug
- Bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils
- Change in sleeping and eating habits
- Impaired coordination and slurred speech
OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
Just like with heroin or morphine addiction, physical dependency on OxyContin can result in physically painful withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the amount of being abused and frequency of abuse, some users may experience withdrawal symptoms in as little as six hours after their last dosage.
- Emotional craving for OxyContin
- Jitters, anxiety, distraction, shaking
- Pronounced depression
- Sweating, tearing up, runny nose
- Hot and cold flashes
- Overwhelming muscle pain and aching bones
- Dilated pupils
- Inability to eat, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting
- Involuntary muscle spasms, kicking and jerking
Seeking Help for OxyContin Addiction
If you or a loved one are suffering from an OxyContin addiction, it is imperative that you find treatment from a drug rehabilitation center. Just like detoxing from heroin or morphine, detoxing from it is an extremely challenging and painful process. Some withdrawal side effects may be so severe that they require medical intervention. In addition to enduring emotional cravings for more, addicts suffer through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that include muscle spasms, cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, and sweating.
Even after the physical detox process is complete, the emotional desire remains. For individuals who used OxyContin to self-medicate, the need for this drug is deeply ingrained in their minds. Individuals who have suffered a traumatic experience, such as military personnel or rape victims, may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Individuals struggling with PTSD are at higher risk for using prescription painkillers to self-medicate.
They are also more likely to become addicted after abusing these drugs. It is essential that these individuals receive therapy and counseling to address the trauma and stress that underlies their addiction. Otherwise, these individuals will continue to struggle with intense feelings of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety in addition to an emotional craving for OxyContin, which makes it incredibly difficult to remain sober.
Overcoming OxyContin Addiction
Overcoming OxyContin addiction is a challenging process. With the right treatment center, however, there is hope. Recognizing an addiction and seeking help is the first step towards recovery. With the assistance of professional treatment programs, users can successfully detox and address the emotional issues that drive their addiction.
Since this is a legal drug, remaining sober can be a challenge. That’s why it is crucial to choose the right treatment facility. Best Drug Rehabilitation knows which approaches to addiction treatment work best, and can recommend a program that is right for anyone with any addiction problem. Call today to learn more.