What Is Oxycontin Addiction?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prescription opioids are the most commonly abused (used for a non-medical purpose) prescription medication by a fairly large margin.
One of the leading offenders in this category of drugs? Oxycontin.
It’s estimated that as of 2012, 2.1 million people were suffering from addiction to opioid pain relievers like Oxycontin. Between 1991 and 2013, prescriptions for Oxycontin and it’s generic siblings grew from less than 10 million to over 50 million. Between the growing ease of acquiring opioid pain medications like Oxycontin and the ability to keep getting them even after becoming addicted, addicted to opioid pain medications has reached the level of an epidemic in recent years.
If you or a loved one think you might be addicted to opioid pain relievers, you can’t afford to wait. Call Lumiere Healing Centers today to learn more about Oxycontin detox and recovery services that could save your life.
WebMD’s summary of OxyContin’s drug information reads that the drug is an opioid pain reliever prescribed for severe, chronic pain. It can be prescribed for anything ranging from pain after surgery, chronic back pain or pain associated with conditions like cancer.
OxyContin is a brand name for the popular opioid pain reliever oxycodone. Like other opioids, oxycodone builds up a dependence in its users that hacks the brain’s pleasure centers to not experience pleasure with the drug’s influence. In 2015, oxycodone, along with hydrocodone, the two most common prescription opioids, were responsible for nearly 15,000 overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Why is Oxycontin So Dangerous?
The reason so many people seek detox and treatment for addiction to opioids like Oxycontin is that these drugs are highly addictive and highly dangerous. Purdue Pharma, the company responsible for OxyContin’s release in the 1990s, has been sued multiple times for downplaying the addictiveness of its product.
In 2007, the company was ordered to pay out over 350 million dollars as part of a class action suit alleging that Purdue didn’t take into account its customers’ wellness when it released Oxycontin onto the market. Nonetheless, the drug is still being prescribed at a high rate putting more people in need of Oxycontin detox.
The Addictive Nature of Oxycontin
Prescription opioids (oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, etc.) are extremely addictive because of the way they hack the brain’s pleasure centers. When a opioid drug enters the system, it fills the brain’s opioid receptors, triggering the release and pooling of dopamine, a chemical that induces pleasure as part of the risk-reward transaction in humans.
When a person uses these types of drugs for a longer period of time, the brain starts to think that it can’t release dopamine without the presence of the drug, leading to a dependence. Oxycontin and similar pain relievers can build up a tolerance in the user.
With more and more doses, the body becomes numb to the effects of the drug, so the user takes more and more to experience the same euphoria. This can result in too much of the substance being taken on one occasion, a potentially fatal overdose.
There are hundreds of thousands of people addicted to Oxycontin in America, and almost all of them can benefit from residential treatment where medical detox is a focal point. Medical Oxycontin detox involves medical supervision while a person undergoes withdrawal from the drug. The withdrawal symptoms of Oxycontin are among the more serious of all substances, but generally are not fatal unless combined with other drugs or alcohol.
Withdrawal from Oxycontin and other opioid pain relievers can accompanied by the following symptoms.
Withdrawal begins 8-12 hours after the last dose of the drug, and begins with:
- Anxiety and agitation
- Runny nose
When withdrawal peaks at about 72 hours in, the expected side effects are:
- Cramping, vomiting and diarrhea
- Dilated pupils
- Feverish chills
Withdrawal and detox is often managed by the use of methadone, a drug that helps opioid addicts recover, but methadone is also an opiate that produces many of the same symptoms.
During medical withdrawal, medical professionals will often order tests to ensure the safety of the person undergoing Oxycontin detox. For example:
- Blood tests that measure liver function, cell count and blood glucose levels to ensure stable vitals during detox
- Chest X-Ray
- EKG (heart monitoring)
- Tests for hepatitis and HIV, conditions that often co-occur with opioid addiction
How Do You Know if Someone is Addicted to Oxycontin?
Whenever someone abuses a drug like Oxycontin, you may not be able to tell. Some warning signs are:
- If a person uses the drug for non-medical reasons or exceeds the prescribed dose
- If a person spends significant time, energy or money in acquisition of their chosen substance
- If a person has a hard time stopping the use of the drug
In addition, prescription opiates have another risk that must be paid attention to. Without a prescription, drugs like OxyContin are difficult to get and expensive, so addicts tend to turn to more dangerous substances like heroin and fentanyl, which are easier and cheaper to acquire.
Call Lumiere Healing Centers Today
If you or a loved one think you might be addicted to Oxycontin or other opioid pain relievers, you need detox and comprehensive inpatient treatment as soon as possible.
Call Lumiere Healing Centers today for more information about how we can facilitate your path to recovery from Oxycontin addiction. Call 513-909-2225.