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Oxycontin & Oxycontin Rehab

What is OxyContin?

A semi-synthetic opioid analgesic containing the active ingredient oxycodone known by the brand name OxyContin. Oxycodone is also found in Percocet, Percodan, and Tylox. Used to treat severe chronic or long lasting pain OxyContin is a legal narcotic available only by prescription.

In the form of a time released tablet, OxyContin contains between 10 and 160 milligrams of oxycodone. Sometimes repeated doses of Tylox are required for pain relief because it contains only 5 milligrams and they lack the time release formulation.

Street names

On the street OxyContin carries the common names of: Oxy, O.C., OxyCotton, Oxy 80 (for the 80mg. dose), or “killer”.

OxyContin comes in tablet form

OxyContin comes in a variety of forms. It can be in capsule or liquid form. The most common form of OxyContin is the tablet form. These tablets come in 5 different milligrams. Those dosages are: 10 mg. 20mg. 40mg. 80mg. and 160mg.

OxyContin abuse

Extended relief of pain associated with cancer, back pain, or arthritis can be attained when the OxyContin in a control released form is administered correctly.

In order to disarm the time release action of the drug and produce a quick powerful high a user will either crush and ingest or snort it or dilute it in water and inject it intravenously. Some will even chew it. A quick and intense rush to the brain is the result of eliminating the time release factor in the drug. The euphoria one experiences when taking heroin is the euphoria users compare this high to. OxyContin abuse is overshadowing heroin in use, in some areas.

Releasing too much of the active ingredient Oxycodone, into the blood stream to quickly can result in an overdose. Considering that OxyContin is a highly addictive drug higher doses of the drug must be taken when a tolerance is built up. A drastic and steady number of users have increased over the last few years.

Abuse of other prescriptions doesn’t compare to OxyContin abuse.

Prescription pain medication abuse is not new to society. OxyContin abuse is set apart from other prescription drug abuse by two primary factors. OxyCodone the active ingredient in OxyContin is a much larger amount than the main ingredient in other pain killers. When OxyContin is ingested by either snorting or chewing, or by diluting it in water and injecting it abusers feel the strong effects in a short period rather than it being spread out over 12 hours. The other factor is financial gain from the illegal sale of OxyContin. There is a huge margin for profit. A 40mg. prescription tablet cost about $4, but it can quite possibly sell for $20 to $40 on the street, depending on the geographic regions.

If it is legitimately prescribed and the cost is covered under an insurance plan OxyContin can be fairly inexpensive. According to a report from the National Drug Intelligence Center, abusers whose insurance will no longer cover the OxyContin may turn to heroin to feed their addiction. The reason for this is when purchased illegally heroin is less expensive.

OxyContin abuse linked to crime

In rural areas that house labor-intensive industries, such as logging or coal mining there are many reports of OxyContin abuse. You will often find the industries located in economically depressed areas. Although the drug may have been legitimately prescribed for someone, they may be tempted to sell their prescription to make extra cash. According to the best drug rehab centers, the addiction may be so severe that the abuser will go to great depths to get the drug. Including, but not limited to robbing pharmacies and writing factitious prescriptions.

OxyContin: is it highly addictive? Yes it is…..

A person becoming somewhat physically dependent as a side effect of taking prescribed OxyContin does not necessarily become addicted (there is a difference).

Evidence of prolonged use of opiates and opioids, indicate that individuals become tolerant and may require larger dosages, but not necessarily addicted.  They may become physically dependent on these drugs, but studies indicate most patients that are prescribed opioids for pain, do not become addicted. These reports are according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

According to one study sponsored by NIDA more than 12,000 patients who were given opioids for acute pain only four out of all that were surveyed actually became addicted. Another study confirmed most of chronic pain patients that received opioids for 4 to 7 years only 2 out of 38 patients studied actually became addicted and both had a previous drug abuse history.

When OxyContin or any other opioids are prescribed individuals may become dependent on the drug, but will not be actually addicted to the drug. When a person becomes dependent on OxyContin or any other opioids, they will need to be withdrawn under supervision of a qualified physician. As long as an individual and their physician agree that taking the medication is a medically suitable way for them to manage their pain, the individual should continue to follow their physician’s instructions regarding the use of this or any medication.

Determining OxyContin dependence vs. addiction

It is not abuse or addiction when a person takes a prescribed narcotic analgesic as directed or to a point of adequately controlling their pain. Taking more of the narcotic than they need to alleviate the pain and especially taking it to get high is when it becomes abuse. Taking medication in a method that obviously opposes the physician’s instructions is probably abusing that drug.

Repeated and compulsive use of a substance even though unfavorable social, psychological, and/or physical results constitute addiction. Seeking indulgent amounts of pain medication after the pain is managed could indicate the patient is or is becoming addicted. A physical need, withdrawal disorder, and tolerance often, but not always are associated with addiction. A physiologic state of adaptation to a substance is defined as physical dependence. Symptoms and signs of withdrawal began to occur when the drug becomes absent in a persons system. Withdrawal from opioids often includes insomnia, anxiety, and diarrhea.

Developing a physical dependence during treatment using opioids is not an addiction. A patient previously suffering from pain may be brought to a drug-free point without any craving for repeated doses of the medication. This can safely be done by gradually decreasing the dosage amount over time as the pain alleviates. Inadequate treatment of an opioid addicted patient that continues to have a severe and uncontrollable craving for the drug will most always suffer eventual relapse. The detoxified but opioid-addicted patient is different from the former pain patient because they continue to have an unmanageable craving for another rush of the drug. Presumably, upon developing a physical dependence, obtain treatment within the first months before becoming addicted. A few months of abstinence-oriented drug rehab may be sufficient, but should be preceded with drug detox. However this would only work for the non-addicted patient that abuses the drugs. However, afterwards if the patient relapses to abuse that would support a diagnosis of addiction. If several relapses occur, this is evidence that the patient needs long-term drug treatment for the opioid addiction.

Short-term effects

Respiratory depression is considered to be the most serious risk known to be associated with OxyContin. Because alcohol, antihistamines (some cold or allergy medications), barbiturates, or benzodiazepines depress or slow down breathing they should not be combined with OxyContin.

The more common side effects of OxyContin are: nausea, constipation, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, headache, sweating, weakness, and dry mouth.

When taking a tablet broken, chewed, or crushed death and/or toxic overdose can occur. Effects will be felt for up to 5 hours for those that abuse OxyContin by removing the time release coating. A sedate, euphoric feeling is the kind of high that will be experienced.

Long-term effects – OxyContin Rehab

Increased tolerance to the drug will demand higher doses of medication to feel the initial effects as a result of habitual use. A physical addiction will develop over time. As a result of the physical addiction the person will experience withdrawal when the drug isn’t present. Withdrawal symptoms are: muscle and bone pain, insomnia, vomiting, diarrhea, cold flashes accompanied with goose bumps, and involuntary leg movements.