OxyContin is a brand name of oxycodone, a powerful opioid painkiller. It is prescribed bring relief to areas that are experiencing severe pain. When it is taken as directed, it is a safe and effective medication. However, there are a lot of people who abuse OxyContin to achieve a high, which can be dangerous and even fatal. Taking too many pills at once, injecting them or crushing and snorting them gives a more intense effect and increases the risk of complications. It’s been estimated that 1.9 million people are dependent on opioid painkillers in the U.S alone. While OxyContin can be a safe and effective way to reduce pain, it’s also important to understand how OxyContin addiction can negatively impact a person and their health.
OxyContin Signs and Symptoms
There are several signs and symptoms to be aware of to determine if someone is abusing OxyContin or not. One of the main signs is if the person spends most of their time trying to obtain and use OxyContin or attempting to get multiple prescriptions from various doctors. However, other signs and symptoms to look out for include:
Problems with concentration or memory
Appearance of being disoriented or confused
Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed
Intermittent, periodic euphoria and apathy
Persistent interpersonal problems
Neglecting important work, school or home responsibilities
If you notice any of the above signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s important to have an open and honest discussion with them about their OxyContin use. Seeking help as soon as possible is also advised.
Withdrawal Symptoms of OxyContin
When a person is unable to get their next dose of OxyContin, or if they decided to stop taking it, there are specific withdrawal symptoms that can occur. Of course, it’s important to watch these symptoms carefully as they can be intense. The withdrawal symptoms may include the following:
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
A runny nose and watery eyes
One of the most important warning signs of an OxyContin addiction is a distinct change in behavior. Therefore, if you notice an unexpected change in behavior in a loved one, to the point where you can’t recognize them anymore, it may be that OxyContin abuse is the cause. Additionally, you may notice pill bottles in the trash, white powder stains, missing pills from you or a family member’s supply or money randomly missing.
Side Effects of OxyContin Use
There are several long-term mental and physical side effects of using OxyContin. The following can be caused by OxyContin addiction or dependence:
Breakdown of interpersonal relationships
Receiving stolen goods
Arrest for possession or distribution of opioids
Nausea and vomiting
Problems with sexual functions
Also, fatal side effects can include difficulty breathing and coma. By knowing these side effects, you can detect early on when you or a loved one are becoming dependent on a drug, such as OxyContin.
Treating OxyContin Addiction
There are several different types of treatment options for OxyContin addiction. For instance, the best kind of treatment greatly depends on the individual, their needs, and their situation. Some of the types of treatments one can get include:
Group Counseling: The patients share their experiences with OxyContin addiction and recovery at a session with a certified mental health professional.
Outpatient Treatment: The patient lives at home while receiving the treatment that works with their schedule. This can be good for those who have a mild OxyContin addiction.
Individual Therapy: The patient meets with a therapist for a one-on-one discussion to talk about the reasons for their substance abuse and to learn coping skills they can use in real life situations.
Inpatient Treatment: The patient lives at the treatment facility while they receive the treatment. This can be a good option for moderate or severe OxyContin addictions.
What to Expect During Treatment
No matter what type of therapy the patient goes with, most treatment programs will follow a similar structure, which may go something as follows:
The patient does a drug detox or withdrawal while being supervised by a professional. Some treatment centers offer a medication-assisted detox, which can help reduce the discomfort associated with withdrawing.
The patient participates in counseling and therapy.
The patient attends aftercare programs to ensure they sustain their sobriety and have a long-term recovery.
Finding Treatment for OxyContin
At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we are located in an ideal area that provides a comfortable and secure environment, which is far away from the stress of everyday life. Our clients can relax and let go of the troubles of the world while they just focus on their sobriety and long-term recovery. If you or a loved on are struggling with an OxyContin addiction, we encourage you to contact us today to speak confidentially with one of our treatment advisors to see how we can help you.