Home » Opioid Addiction » OxyContin Addiction: The Dangers of Oxycodone
OxyContin (oxycodone) is a powerful opioid painkiller that can be highly effective but is also associated with abuse and addiction.
This guide outlines the dangers of oxycodone abuse. Discover how addiction to OxyContin can develop rapidly and learn how to detox and recover from opioid abuse.
OxyContin is a branded form of oxycodone, an opioid and the primary ingredient in many painkillers designed to manage moderate and severe pain.
One of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States and one of the primary drivers of the U.S. opioid epidemic, OxyContin goes by many street names, including:
OxyContin is available in tablet form. The size and color of the tablets varies to reflect dosage. OxyContin comes in the following strengths:
The tablets are intended to be swallowed whole to ensure that the controlled-release feature of OxyContin remains intact. Those who abuse OxyContin often bypass the time-release action of the opioid by crushing the tablets and snorting the powder. Alternatively, the tablets may be dissolved in water so that the solution can be injected intravenously. Both forms of abuse can be deadly with the full effects of the drug coming at once.
Oxycodone is a Schedule II controlled substance. Despite the medical utility of the substance, it also has a high abuse and addiction potential.
Oxycodone is a strong pain management drug used to treat discomfort after medical procedures. The drug typically prescribed is Oxycontin, which contains a large dose of oxycodone that is gradually released into the system over 12 hours.
Oxycodone (by way of the Oxycontin drug) is commonly used to ease the following types of pain:
While there are a great number of benefits to this drug for pain management in a medically supervised/prescribed setting, oxycodone belongs to the opioid family of drugs, meaning that it has a high potential for addiction.
In many cases, addiction can develop even under the supervision of a prescribing physician, making it incredibly important to reach out for help if you or a loved one are struggling with oxycodone or Oxycontin addiction.
Taking opioids like oxycodone causes tolerance to form rapidly. This will diminish the effects of OxyContin. If you take more OxyContin or more frequent doses of the opioid in order to counteract tolerance, this will accelerate the development of dependence. Becoming physically dependent on oxycodone will lead to the presentation of intense withdrawal symptoms if you discontinue use.
OxyContin addiction can develop quickly, with the risk rising sharply after one month of use. The risk of OxyContin addiction is further heightened if you use more than one opioid like OxyContin.
The main factors that influence the development of OxyContin addiction and the rate at which it develops include:
If you are concerned about oxycodone addiction, consult your prescribing physician.
OxyContin addiction is clinically diagnosed as opioid use disorder according to the criteria in DSM-5-TR. DSM-5-TR is the revised text of the fifth edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This benchmark diagnostic tool contains the diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders (drug addictions) including opioid use disorder.
These are the eleven symptoms of opioid use disorder:
OxyContin addiction (opioid use disorder) is diagnosed according to the number of criteria that present as mild (2 to 3 criteria), moderate (4 to 5 criteria), or severe (6 criteria or more).
OxyContin addiction signs will vary from person to person. Some markers for opioid abuse may be detectable soon after the initiation of opioid therapy. Other signs may not become apparent for months.
If you notice a cluster of these signs in a loved one, monitor for the development of addiction in the form of opioid use disorder.
These signs may indicate OxyContin abuse:
If OxyContin is abused, there is a risk of respiratory depression and seizure. Other side effects of opioid abuse may include:
If you need to take opioids like OxyContin long-term, you are likely to develop physical dependence on opioids. This means that dosage may need to be increased to manage pain over time.
A long-term effect of OxyContin in some people is hyperalgesia – heightened sensitivity to pain. If this occurs, consult your physician so that your dose can be tapered gradually to mitigate these symptoms.
Perhaps the most damaging of the long-term effects of oxycontin is addiction in the form of opioid use disorder.
The short term effects of OxyContin are much less damaging, even though they are aggravating. They may include:
Don’t Let OxyContin Addiction Hold You Back
If you have been using oxycodone products like OxyContin long-term, it is probable that you are physically dependent on the substance. When you moderate or discontinue use, uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will present.
OxyContin withdrawal symptoms are a physical and psychological response from your system as it struggles to cope in the absence of opioids.
Factors such as the scope and severity of OxyContin abuse will influence the onset and duration of OxyContin withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms will typically manifest from six hours to thirty hours after the last use.
Complications from dehydration, vomiting, and diarrhea can be dangerous in a non-clinical environment. There is also a high risk of relapse during home detox. Oxycontin withdrawal treatment at a supervised medical detox will mitigate the intensity of OxyContin cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while also providing continuous clinical and emotional care.
Oxycontin withdrawal symptoms include:
OxyContin detox is the first vital stage in the recovery process, and it is always advisable to withdraw from oxycodone under medical supervision.
An OxyContin detox program can help in the following ways:
The most effective Oxycontin drug rehab involves a combination of FDA-approved medications and behavioral interventions.
Detox addresses the issue of physical dependence on OxyContin. Ongoing treatment allows you to tackle the psychological component of opioid use disorder. What happens during OxyContin treatment, then?
OxyContin addiction treatment can be a life-saving intervention for many struggling with it, as this dependence can be challenging to unpack. The overarching goals of OxyContin addiction treatment include improving both physical and mental health while encouraging ongoing abstinence from opioids.
Treatment begins with detox, a process that typically lasts for one week. Treatment then continues in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
MAT (medication-assisted treatment) is proven effective for treating opioid use disorders like OxyContin addiction. MAT is likely to be a central component of most people in recovery from OxyContin addiction. Methadone or Suboxone may be effective for alleviating the intensity of withdrawal symptoms during OxyContin detox. Methadone may also be beneficial throughout ongoing treatment for opioid addiction.
Medication-assisted treatment will be combined with behavioral interventions like counseling and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). You will learn how to identify what triggers you into using opioids. You will also discover how to implement positive coping mechanisms, guiding you toward the positive behavioral change you can achieve by moving beyond opioids.
Drug and alcohol detox should be accessible to everyone. At Gratitude Lodge,we work with most insurance plans to cover the costs of treatment.
If you need Oxycontin addiction treatment, we can help you at Gratitude Lodge in Southern California. We have pet-friendly rehabs located in San Diego, Long Beach, and Newport Beach.
All Gratitude Lodge treatment centers offer supervised medical detox programs. Take advantage of this to withdraw from OxyContin at our accredited opioid detox center. You can then move directly into ongoing treatment. Choose from the following treatment programs:
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All Gratitude Lodge opioid addiction treatment programs involve personalized treatment that may include:
Due to the high relapse rates of opioid use disorder, your treatment team will equip you with a comprehensive aftercare plan.
Call admissions today at 888-861-1658 for immediate assistance with OxyContin detox and ongoing inpatient or outpatient treatment in Southern California.
Opioids like OxyContin, morphine, heroin, and fentanyl work similarly in the brain. Opioids bind to receptors in the spinal cord and brain. These receptors are known as:
When these receptors in the brain are activated, perception of pain is reduced and feelings of euphoria are triggered.
OxyContin is a time-release formulation of oxycodone that contains higher concentrations of oxycodone than immediate-release formulations. If OxyContin is used in ways inconsistent with the intended use – snorting or injecting the substance, for example – this will intensify effects, and will also accelerate the development of tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
When comparing OxyContin vs oxycodone, OxyContin is a branded version of the generic oxycodone. OxyContin is a long-acting formulation, with the active ingredient being gradually released, providing up to 12 hours of pain relief from a single dose. Oxycodone is a generic opioid medication that comes in many formulas, including immediate-release, extended release, and combination products.
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