OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic prescribed for chronic or long-lasting pain. The statistics concerning abuse for OxyContin and other related prescription drugs are rising dramatically. OxyContin's active ingredient is oxycodone, which is also found in drugs like Percodan and Tylox. However, OxyContin contains between 10 and 160 milligrams of oxycodone in a timed-release tablet. Painkillers such as Tylox contain 5 milligrams of oxycodone and often require repeated doses to bring about pain relief because they lack the timed release formulation. OxyContin also referred to as "Oxy," "O.C.," and "killer" on the street, is sometimes legitimately prescribed as a timed-release tablet, providing as many as 12 hours of relief from chronic pain. It is often prescribed for cancer patients or those with chronic, long-lasting back pain. The benefit of the medication to chronic pain sufferers is that they generally need to take the pill only twice a day, whereas a dosage of another medication would require more frequent use to control the pain. The goal of chronic pain treatment is to decrease pain and improve function.
OxyContin is designed to be swallowed whole; however, those individuals who wish to abuse OxyContin can ingest the drug in a variety of ways. Users who want a more potent effect from OxyContin to get high often chew or crush the tablets and snort the powder. Because oxycodone is water soluble, individuals who abuse OxyContin know that crushed tablets can be dissolved in water and the solution injected. The latter two methods lead to the rapid release and absorption of oxycodone. OxyContin addiction is a physical dependence that is almost unavoidable when an individual is exposed to high doses of the drug for an extended period of time. The body then adapts and develops a tolerance for OxyContin. The addiction is so powerful that it produces cravings. These cravings for OxyContin are the result of its impact on the individual's memory with feelings of pleasantness and euphoria which the individual has come to associate with the taking of OxyContin. The subconscious memory then motivates the individual to seek this drug because of its false imprint of OxyContin. This is why the abuse of OxyContin is so widespread; it is the perfect set up for addiction.
In addition to the psychological addiction of OxyContin there is also a physical addiction. Overtime the individual no longer experiences the same feeling of euphoria they once did but still continue to use because of the pain of withdrawal that they would suffer without OxyContin present in their system. Individuals addicted to OxyContin suffer: cold sweats, diarrhea, insomnia, muscle pain / bone pain, restlessness, involuntary leg movement, vomiting, nausea and severe stomach cramps. Many times, without the benefit of drug rehab support, the individual abusing Oxycontin will give in and take the drug, just to keep from being physically sick. Individuals who want to abuse OxyContin can obtain the drug in a variety of ways, including "Doctor Shopping". Individuals who may or may not have a legitimate ailment requiring a doctor's prescription for controlled substances, visit numerous doctors, sometimes in several states, to acquire large amounts of OxyContin which they abuse or sell to others who share their addiction.
Abuse of prescription pain medications is not new. The reason that OxyContin abuse is often much greater than other prescription medication is twofold. These primary factors, however, set OxyContin abuse apart from other prescription drug abuse. First, OxyContin is a powerful drug that contains a much larger amount of the active ingredient, oxycodone, than other prescription pain relievers. By crushing the tablet and either ingesting or snorting it, or by injecting diluted OxyContin, abusers feel the powerful effects of the opioid in a short time, rather than over a 12-hour span. Second, great profits are to be made in the illegal sale of OxyContin. A 40-milligram pill costs approximately $4 by prescription, yet it may sell for $20 to $40 on the street, depending on the area of the country in which the drug is sold. The fact is abuse of the drug Oxycontin leads to addiction, and drug treatment leads to recovery. If you or someone you love is addicted to OxyContin, get the support of professionals involved at a drug rehab center with treatment that works.