OxyContin Addiction, Abuse, And Treatment

OxyContin is a highly addictive and relatively inexpensive Painkiller that's earned a reputation as “Hillbilly Heroin” across the United States.

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Understanding OxyContin

A popular brand of the powerful Painkiller Oxycodone, OxyContin is a semi-Synthetic Opiate prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. It is prescribed to a wide range of individuals, from cancer patients to the physically injured.

OxyContin is the controlled-release capsule or pill form of Oxycodone. When used as prescribed, it is taken orally and slowly dissolves into the bloodstream over a 12-hour period. On the street, OxyContin is also referred to as Drugstore Heroin, Oxy, OxyCotton, or OC.

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OxyContin Abuse And Effects

When abused, OxyContin tablets or capsules are often chewed, crushed, snorted, mixed into a solution and injected, or smoked on tin foil. These techniques override the pills’ time-release feature and flood the brain with the drug. This engages special neurotransmitters to produce an intense “high” or euphoric state similar to that of Heroin or Opium. Since 2010, OxyContin has been manufactured in tamper-resistant, crush-proof tablets that are impossible to snort or inject. However, the drug can still be abused.

Outward physical symptoms of OxyContin abuse might include:

  • Sweating
  • Drowsiness
  • Slowed breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Itching
  • Constricted pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting

OxyContin is a powerful, highly addictive substance that can be abused to the point of overdose. Ingesting OxyContin at unsafe levels can cause permanent brain damage or depress the respiratory system to the point of failure.

Signs Of An OxyContin Addiction

One of the first signs of an OxyContin addiction is developing a tolerance, meaning a user requires more of the substance to achieve the desired effect. Someone prescribed OxyContin may become dependent on the drug due to chemical changes in the brain after prolonged use, causing the user to experience withdrawal symptoms if use is ceased or reduced. A dependency can turn into an addiction if left unchecked. In many cases of OxyContin addiction, users will turn to illicit means of obtaining the drug once the doctor’s prescription runs out.

Doctor shopping, forging fake prescriptions, borrowing prescriptions, using a friend or family member’s tablets, or purchasing the substance from a drug dealer can all indicate that an addiction has formed. Those suffering from an OxyContin addiction will seek out the drug regardless of the risky behavior and negative consequences that can accompany use.

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Abuse Statistics

  • Almost 10 million people misused prescription Painkillers in 2019.
  • Misuse of OxyContin rose 152% between 2004 and 2008.
  • Painkiller addiction led to more than 35,000 deaths in 2010 alone.
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OxyContin Addiction Treatment

OxyContin is a very difficult addiction to recover from, but there are many people willing and ready to help you get back on track. There are many different treatment centers that provide both inpatient and outpatient options to help you get and stay clean.

Featured Centers Offering Treatment for OxyContin Addiction

Although each center’s specific formula for rehabilitation may vary, the typical model for OxyContin treatment goes like this:

Inpatient Treatment

After detox, it is often most effective to engage in an inpatient treatment program that allows the addict to attend meetings, receive counseling, and focus on recovery without outside distraction. Group therapy is also a key component of inpatient treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

Following a successful inpatient program, outpatient treatment is for those comfortable enough to re-enter their social circles without fear of relapse. Outpatient treatments allow for counseling and therapy as well as groups to provide support and accountability. 

Find Help

Overcoming OxyContin addiction is possible. There are immense benefits to quitting OxyContin, including giving your life a sense of meaning and peace again. Begin the road back by getting the treatment you need. Contact a treatment provider today for rehab-related help.



Jeffrey Juergens

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  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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Clinically Reviewed:

Certified Addiction Professional

Theresa Parisi

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  • Theresa Parisi received her bachelor’s degree in Addiction Science and Psychology from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota in 2010. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager (CBHCM), and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) by the Florida Certification Board. Theresa is passionate about recovery having gone through addiction herself.

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  • All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.


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