Whether you know it by the brand name OxyContin or its component oxycodone, this drug is still a potent and highly addictive opiate. Although pharmaceutical companies have taken steps to reduce addiction risk and prevent people from misusing this prescription drug, it still poses a threat. No one starts using prescription painkillers with the intention of becoming addicted, but it can happen very quickly, even when using them as prescribed. However, OxyContin addiction is treatable and help starts by finding a detox program like New Start Recovery.
Understanding OxyContin Addiction
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate painkiller. It is the basis for prescription drugs such as OxyContin, which is typically prescribed for pain relief after major surgery, injury or illness. For those who suffer from severe pain, OxyContin can help take the edge off while they recover. But the danger comes with prolonged use. The body begins to build a tolerance to the drug and higher amounts are needed to achieve the same results. This can quickly spiral into addiction.
OxyContin is provided as a pill form, but some people crush it up and either snort or inject it to get a faster high. This can be very dangerous as it leads to risk of infection, organ damage and overdose.
How Addictive is OxyContin?
Much like heroin, another opioid, OxyContin is highly addictive. It essentially rewires how the brain perceives not only pain, but also pleasure and reward. The drug binds to pain receptors in the brain and can produce a feeling of euphoria. OxyContin is a time-release formula, but as the body builds up a tolerance or the drug is misused, people often take it more frequently and in higher doses. When it is chewed or crushed, this releases the drug into the blood stream faster, but can also exacerbate side effects such as slowed heart rate, shallow breathing, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness. If left untreated, this can be fatal.
When used as directed and under the supervision of a physician, this can help reduce addiction risk, but it does not eliminate it. Should addiction develop, undergoing drug detox at a facility like New Start Recovery and then entering a drug rehab program can help people to get on the road to recovery.
OxyContin Addiction Statistics
OxyContin addiction is a growing problem as statistics show. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) estimates that in the United States around 1.9 million people struggle with opioid abuse or dependence. This leads to around 46 deaths per day from prescription painkillers. Teenagers are not above the risk either, and this can sometimes be where addiction starts. The ASAM reports that approximately 1 in 30 high school seniors have misused OxyContin.
The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) estimates that in the United States around 1.9 million people struggle with opioid abuse or dependence.
1 in 30
The ASAM reports that approximately 1 in 30 high school seniors have misused OxyContin.
The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that at least 5 percent of all drug addicts have used OxyContin before abusing a more potent narcotic.
What are Causes of OxyContin Addiction?
While there is no single cause of OxyContin addiction, it generally stems from legitimate use for pain relief following surgery or serious injury. It may also be prescribed for those battling cancer or other illnesses. The longer you use OxyContin, the more of a tolerance builds up in your body. This means that in order to keep getting relief from pain, you end up taking more and more. This is where addiction kicks in. When people have trouble accessing prescriptions for OxyContin, they may turn to other opioids such as heroin, which can create an even more serious problem.
Though everyone’s situation is different and what leads one person to develop an addiction to OxyContin may not be the same as someone else, one thing holds true – there is help available. OxyContin addiction does not have to control your life. Undergoing supervised detox at New Start Recovery can be the first step in helping you move toward an addiction rehab program and long-term recovery. Call New Start Recovery today to learn more.
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