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:
- Slowed breathing
- Dry mouth
- 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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- Almost 10 million people misused prescription Painkillers in 2019.
- Misuse of OxyContin rose 152% between 2004 and 2008.
- Overdoses from prescription opioids accounted for more than 16,000 deaths in 2020.
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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:
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.
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.
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.
Ashish Bhatt, MD, MRO
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Learn about Dr. Ashish Bhatt
Dr. Bhatt has been Addiction Center's Medical Content Director for more than three years, providing his expertise to ensure quality and accuracy.
Doctor of Addiction Medicine
Expert in adult and child psychiatry
Over 20 years of professional experience