OxyContin Addiction and Dependency
Oxycodone has been a go-to pain reliever for medical practitioners for a hundred years. First created in 1918 as an alternative to the highly addictive analgesics morphine and heroin during World War I, oxycodone was considered a safe alternative.
While early use for the oxycodone was reserved for short-term management of moderate to severe pain, the 1995 introduction of OxyContin, a time released version, became available for chronic pain management. A dramatic increase in recent years followed, as doctors prescribing OxyContin for long-term use resulted in a spike in OxyContin dependency. OxyContin has become a widely abused drug and helped fuel the prescription opioid crisis that has contributed to nearly 18,000 deaths in 2015, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
OxyContin Abuse and Addiction
Developing an OxyContin addiction is not reserved for only those who abuse the drug recreationally. Yes, this prescription opioid is abused, being crushed and snorted, injected, stolen out of medicine cabinets and purchased on the street. Doctor shopping and forging prescriptions are other channels users can access to feed their recreational OxyContin addiction.
However, many people grappling with OxyContin dependency arrived at drug dependency quite innocently because the Oxycontin is highly physically addictive. Chronic pain management using OxyContin allows these long-term patients to slowly build up tolerance to the drug, resulting in increased dosing. Because OxyContin will alter brain chemistry that triggers euphoric sensations in addition to the pain relieving properties, addiction can develop.
Common Physical Sign and Symptoms of Oxycontin Addiction
Regardless of how the addiction to Oxy came about, there are certain signs and symptoms that a dependency to the drug has taken hold. Physical symptoms include:
- Euphoria that alternates with apathy
- Drowsiness, can nod off
- Excessive itching
- Low blood pressure
- Pinpoint pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Profuse sweating
- Dry mouth
- Slurred speech
- Sleep disturbance
- Reduced respiratory rate
Common Mental and Social Symptoms of Oxy Abuse
There are specific behaviors that may indicate a drug addiction has developed. These might include:
- Neglects daily responsibilities and makes excuses as to why
- Items or money are missing
- Avoiding friends and family
- Strangers visiting the house
- Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Interpersonal problems
- Problems at work
- Illegal activities to acquire drug
Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
Detox and withdrawal: Detox is the first phase of treatment where the body is purged of the presence of the opioid. A medically supervised detox will provide medications to help minimize withdrawal symptoms, as well as emotional support throughout the detox process. Withdrawal symptoms can be very uncomfortable and may include:
- Muscle, joint, and bone pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nodding off
Inpatient treatment: A residential or inpatient treatment program offers 24/7 monitoring and support during the treatment process. These comprehensive programs offer a combination of treatment protocols, including one-on-one talk therapy using such modalities as cognitive based therapy and psychodynamic approaches, group therapy, addiction and relapse education, guest speakers, recovery group meetings such as 12-step or non 12-step programs, and adjunct therapies such as acupuncture, massage, yoga, meditation, and art therapy. Medication assisted treatment can be included, which would include certain drugs that help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Outpatient treatment: An outpatient program benefits those with less severe OxyContin addictions who would be free to live at either their own home or a sober living home while continuing to work during treatment. Outpatient programs offer a variety of levels of care determined by the individual’s specific needs and whether there is a co-occurring mood disorder. Treatment involves individual therapy, group therapy, relapse prevention, life skills classes, and case management.
Receiving Treatment for OxyContin Addiction and Dependency
The Treatment Specialist connects you to a treatment center who is able to guide you and offer you with treatment options. Receive a free insurance benefit check is also provided, call to speak to a Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911 to begin the process of recovery.