OxyContin Addiction Affects Thousands, Addicts Cannot Face Negatives

by Dr. Rich on November 5, 2012

Hiding out from pain, both emotional and physical, leads many people to become addicted to Oxycontin . The powerful opioid has been likened to slow-acting heroin. It has the potential to cause just as much harm as the widely known street drug.

Doctors prescribe the effective pain reliever for their patients who suffer from severe or chronic pain. OxyContin has been a godsend to the many people with legitimate pain management needs. Unfortunately, when a medicine becomes well-known for its positive effects, it can leak into the illegal marketplace.

Some OxyContin addicts find their way to the medicine first through legitimate medical providers. These addicts received OxyContin prescriptions to help them handle pain symptoms. After the doctor stopped prescribing the medicine, these OxyContin users found ways to continue taking the drug.

Many visit other doctors to obtain new prescriptions. Others turn to stealing, lifting pills from co-workers’ untended handbags, for example, or snooping through medicine chests when they visit other people’s homes. Some OxyContin addicts obtain the drug illegally from family members or friends who want to help the addict but choose the wrong way to go about it.

There are of course OxyContin addicts who did not start on the drug for legitimate pain treatment. Perhaps someone else in the family suffers pain and has been given a prescription for OxyContin. A young person experimenting with drugs may try a few pills to see what effect they have.

OxyContin is highly addictive and can draw people in before they know that their bodies are now on automatic pilot. Someone who becomes addicted by borrowing someone else’s prescription meds may soon find him or herself seeking it from street dealers or stealing from strangers. The lure of the addiction overpowers societal rules.

Some uninformed people may believe that since OxyContin is a prescription medicine, it is less dangerous than heroin. OxyContin can cause severe negative reactions. It can lead to coma and death.

OxyContin inhibits brain function and slows down the respiratory system. Taken to excess, it can cause confusion, fainting, and seizures.  Some people are allergic to the drug and may have these or other symptoms even before overdose levels are reached.

Other side effects include nausea, vomiting, itching and insomnia. If someone fighting an addiction decides to go cold turkey and leave OxyContin behind suddenly, these same symptoms may rush in to attack. That is why medical supervision is important both for the taking of OxyContin and ending dosing with it.

Those seeking a high from OxyContin and other drugs tend not to worry about negative effects. Any drug has the potential to cause bodily harm. Taking an illegal drug – and that includes OxyContin obtained without a legitimate prescription – has social dangers as well.

Lying to obtain extra prescriptions or borrowing someone else’s prescribed OxyContin is illegal. Purchasing from street vendors is against the law. Addicts risk not only their health but their freedom since illegal use of prescription medicine can send someone to prison.

A person who takes someone else’s prescription cannot be sure how he or she will react to the dose that a doctor has found appropriate for a different individual.  Age, body weight and other factors figure into the formulations that doctors follow. Use of street drugs or prescription meds obtained without medical supervision can put people in harm’s way.

Strong pain relievers have a definite place in the world. Doctors walk a thin line in deciding whether or not to prescribe them for their patients. Some err on the side of holding back too much so that some pain sufferers have a hard time getting the medicine they truly need.

Other doctors may over-prescribe pain medicines such as OxyContin. It is a tough call for responsible medical personnel to decide what is appropriate for individuals. Statistics from five years ago showed more than 1.7 million people addicted to pain medicines.

OxyContin’s popularity remains strong. It is still prescribed widely. It is also sold or obtained illegally in very large numbers.

A new form of OxyContin has been released which is designed to help curtail elimination. In its original formula, the tablets can be pulverized for snorting or mixed into liquids for injection. The new form, called OxyContin OP, includes a digestible, glue-like ingredient to help hold the tablets intact until swallowed.

Chances are that whatever safeguards are created to help stem abuse, OxyContin addiction will continue in large numbers. Addicts who need their fixes will do whatever it takes to obtain and use the drug of choice or the drug that has chosen them.

For those who want to quit, there is help available at public and private clinics, from individual doctors, and through support groups for people working through narcotics addictions. People addicted to OxyContin should not punish themselves further by attempting to give up the drug on their own. There is help available.

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