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OxyContin

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is the brand name for a pain medication which contains oxycodone. Oxycodone is a white, odorless crystalline powder, which is derived from the opium alkaloid, thebaine. OxyContin is water-soluble (1 g in 6 to 7 mL) and slightly soluble in alcohol (octanol water partition coefficient 0.7). Like other opioids, there is a real potential for developing OxyContin dependence, although experts still don’t know why dependence occurs.

Why do people use OxyContin?

OxyContin is used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. It’s prescribed for relief of moderate to severe acute or chronic pain. OxyContin is useful for acute pain and in some instances of chronic cancer pain. In fact, researchers report that in patients suffering from moderate to severe pain, OxyContin plays an important role in improving their quality of life.

Usually, OxyContin is used for around-the-clock treatment of pain. However, it is not usually prescribed on an “as-needed” basis. Especially for versions of the slow-release tablet, since it is a narcotic that should not be taken more often than every 12 hours.

A person is abusing OxyContin if they are taking Oxy in any way OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED. If you’re using OxyContin to induce euphoric high, this is drug abuse. Commonly, people also use alcohol, heroin, or cocaine in combination with OxyContin, in order to heighten the effects of an OxyContin high. However, mixing OxyContin with other drugs that either stimulate or depress the central nervous system is very dangerous.

Common routes of administration for OxyContin inlude:

  • oral
  • inhaling/smoking
  • intramuscular injection
  • intravenous injection
  • intranasal-crushing and snorting
  • subcutaneous injection
  • transdermal
  • rectal
  • epidural injection

OxyContin effects

OxyContin interacts with the opiate receptors in the brain and spinal cord and changes the way that we perceive feelings of pain. At the same time, OxyContin causes euphoric feelings of well-being. But other effects can occur which can be uncomfortable. This includes:

  • cognitive impairment
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • sleep disturbances
  • urinary retention
  • vomiting

While these are common effects that are expected, people who abuse OxyContin can risk overdose. If taken in high doses, or in patients not tolerant to opiates/opioids, OxyContin can cause shallow breathing, bradycardia, cold-clammy skin, apnea, hypotension, miosis, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest, and death. All these symptoms can also be the outcome of an overdose from OxyContin.

Other side-effects of OxyContin abuse include:

  • coma
  • extreme dissatisfaction with life
  • fatigue
  • liver damage
  • mood swings
  • overdose
  • seizure
  • shallow respiration

Is OxyContin addictive?

Yes, OxyContin is addictive. The main ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, which has medium-high addictive properties. But OxyContin may be habit-forming, even when taken at regular doses. The main characteristics of addiction to OxyContin are:

  • continue use despite negative life consequences
  • cravings, obsessive thinking, or compulsive use of OxyContin
  • loss of control in drug use
  • psychological dependence on OxyContin

In cases where the drug has been taken regularly over an extended period of time, the central nervous system becomes accustomed to the presence of OxyContin. So, when individuals try to quit after they become dependent they go through OxyContin withdrawal. The risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms is high if a patient has become physically dependent or addicted and discontinues OxyContin abruptly.

People who use OxyContin recreationally, and not as intended by the prescribing physician are at even higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, as they tend to use higher-than-prescribed doses and mix the drug with other substances. The symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal mimic those of a severe flue, and they also include anxiety, panic attack, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, muscle weakness, fevers.

If you want to explore more specific information on OxyContin, check out the following:

OxyContin

OxyContin rehab cost

OxyContin rehab cost

July 31st, 2017

Oxycontin (generic oxycodone) is also a very addictive drug. Overcoming an addiction to Oxycontin often requires some time in rehab. To learn more about Oxycontin rehab costs, read on.

OxyContin effects

OxyContin effects

May 12th, 2017

What changes occur in your body and brain as you take OxyContin for pain management? Find a break-down of the medication’s effects on body organs, effects on behavior, and fertility and pregnancy implications, here.

5 Physical addiction to OxyContin

Physical addiction to OxyContin

April 13th, 2017

There are a number of physical signs and symptoms that can suggest someone is addicted to OxyContin. More on how to recognize and treat OxyContin addiction here.

How to help an OxyContin addict

How to help an OxyContin addict

February 24th, 2017

There are many ways you can help an OxyContin addict. Show support and encouragement. Stage interventions. Or, research treatment resources in your local area. More about what you can do to help a loved one here.

8 Oxycodone vs. Buprenorphine: The addiction paradox

Oxycodone vs. Buprenorphine: The addiction paradox

July 26th, 2016

How can opioid or opiate dependence be treated with a prescription for another opioid? More here.

3 Signs and symptoms of OxyContin addiction

Signs and symptoms of OxyContin addiction

July 10th, 2014

You can become addicted to OxyContin even after prescription use? How can you tell that you or someone you love is addicted to OxyContin? 15+ signs and symptoms of addiction to Oxy here.

16 What is the difference between Oxycontin and oxycodone?

What is the difference between Oxycontin and oxycodone?

March 27th, 2014

OxyContin contains oxycodone, but includes a time-release mechanism so that the pain-killing effect lasts longer (meaning the drug does not have to be taken as often). But do oxycodone and OxyContin differ in other ways, also? We review here.

9 OxyContin withdrawal side effects

OxyContin withdrawal side effects

October 15th, 2013

OxyContin withdrawal side effects include nausea, sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety. More on what to expect during OxyContin withdrawal here.

20 What happens when you snort OxyContin?

What happens when you snort OxyContin?

September 9th, 2013

When snort OxyContin, you increase the intensity, quickness, and duration of action of oxycodone on the system. What do you risk? And what are the side effects? More here.

2 Help for OxyContin addiction

Help for OxyContin addiction

August 14th, 2013

Help for OxyContin addiction includes detox, psychotherapy, and continued support services. Where to start looking for Oxycontin addiction help here.

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Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “OxyContin
kris
12:44 am June 1st, 2017

I was on Oxycontin for 4 years(20mg 4x daily) due to a back injury. I quit cold turkey 3 years ago and went through intense withdrawal for 10 days and moderate/light symptoms for another 10-15 days. The major issue I had, and still have, is the depression and anxiety never went away. When I decided to quit I was also going through some serious life changing events that were causing a lot of stress. 1 year ago I finally convinced myself to go see a mental health professional. I was diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, and generalized anxiety. Is there any possibility that this was all caused by my use of Oxycontin? I always took it as prescribed and never abused it. Now I am on my 4th antidepressant(all of which make me sick and mimic the withdrawal symptoms I had with Oxy). Any information would be greatly appreciated as I was let go from work due to the side effects I have on my current medication.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:08 pm June 6th, 2017

Hi Kris. OxyContin withdrawal may trigger your depression from unresolved past. Have you considered therapy sessions? Also, I suggest that you try some alternative therapies for treating anxiety. Here’s suggested reading:
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/anxiety
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270108/

Charlie
2:18 pm October 10th, 2017

Morning I have 9 spine surgeries ,2hip replacement,2 knee replacements and suffer from spinal myoclouns. I have been on OxyContin 40 mg 3 times a day along with 30 mg oxycodone 3 times a day. For 12 yearsI was thinking about try to come off on my own .in your oppion do you feel this is something o should try and how horrible would it bee
Thanks Charlie

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
4:47 pm October 18th, 2017

Hi Charlie. First, I suggest that you consult with your doctor to help you plan an individualized tapering schedule. Also, download our free e-book ‘How To Quit Opioid Painkillers’ here: http://addictionblog.org/ebooks/how-to-quit-opioid-painkillers/
Moreover, if you have any problems, call the helpline you see on the website to get in touch with a trusted treatment consultant.

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