OxyContin Helps Pain Suffers But Can Lead to Addiction

by Dr. Rich on October 29, 2012

The narcotic medicine Oxycontin has helped many people with pain problems. Its powerful narcotic effects mimic those of morphine. It has proven extremely useful for people with severe or chronic pain problems.

It is often prescribed for round-the-clock use. Patients may be on the medicine for extended periods of time. It is one of modern medicine’s gifts to mankind.

People who find themselves addicted to OxyContin, however, feel differently about this “old friend.”  The drug is highly habit forming. Many people who start taking it for legitimate reasons end up addicted.

Abuse of OxyContin is widespread. Government surveys report extensive use throughout the population. It is a drug that has spread across cultural barriers.

In one way, this is helpful for those who want to break their addiction to OxyContin. Everyday people as well as celebrities, people from poor and wealthy backgrounds, and individuals from all walks of life have developed addictions to the powerful narcotic.

OxyContin is linked chemically to other narcotic medicines. Examples include codeine, Darvocet, hydrocodone, Percocet and Vicodin. Some people have allergic reactions to narcotics and should be careful taking OxyContin prescribed or otherwise. Older adults are especially susceptible to side effects from the medicine.

For anyone already taking the drug, it is important to avoid it during asthma attacks. People who have a bowel obstruction called paralytic ileus should also avoid OxyContin. Caution is the watchword when it comes to OxyContin use.

Other conditions the doctor needs to hear about before prescribing OxyContin include: adrenal gland disorders, brain tumors or head injuries, COPD, epilepsy, sleep apnea, gallbladder problems, liver or kidney disease, enlarged prostate, underactive thyroid, low blood pressure, acid reflux and curvature of the spine. Anyone with a history of mental illness needs to make the doctor aware of this. Also, people with a history of other drug or alcohol addiction should talk frankly with the doctor.

For expectant mothers, the news on OxyContin is good. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed the drug in pregnancy category B. This means that the medicine is not expected to cause harm to an unborn baby.

Once the baby arrives, however, mothers taking OxyContin need to avoid breast-feeding. The drug can pass into breast milk and harm nursing infants. The FDA recommends that women taking OxyContin do not breast-feed.

People already addicted to OxyContin know about its habit forming tendencies. Like other narcotics, OxyContin leads quickly to drug dependence. Abuse can quickly follow.

It is prescribed frequently these days so many people are exposed to its use. For those taking OxyContin, they should be careful to keep it to themselves. Selling it or giving it away is illegal and can lead others into addiction.

At home, the medicine should be hidden from children and other household members who might be tempted to try it. It is hard enough physically and emotionally to break free of OxyContin addiction without having to watch loved ones go through the same thing. Prescription drug abuse has become widespread so it is appropriate to protect family members from it.

When under a doctor’s care for pain treatment, OxyContin should be taken only as prescribed. People suffering the throes of pain are eager for relief. They may take larger doses of their medicine, hoping for relief from their suffering.

It is understandable that people are weary of pain. Today’s culture has much empathy for those in pain. This is shown by the thousands of pain treatment clinics that have sprung up across the nation.

Treatment of pain is crucial to those enduring it. Help is available at clinics and from private physicians. Following doctors’ guideline is very important for those under the pressure of pain so that they can avoid taking on a new problem of drug addiction.

Some people develop a tolerance for OxyContin and require larger dosages or different medication to continue pain abatement. Explaining to the doctor about the medicine’s lack of effect is an important step in finding the right answer for pain control. Self medication with larger doses of OxyContin is a subtle form of abuse that puts a person in physical and emotional danger.

Other things to avoid include crushing, chewing or breaking open an extended-release tablet. Swallowing the entire tablet is important to avoid taking the wrong dose. Breaking the tablet can release too much or not enough of the drug.

People prescribed two or more tablets per dose need to take the tablets one at a time. It is important not to let the tablets get wet and avoid licking them before placing them in the mouth. Plenty of water will make swallowing much easier.

Addicts should avoid crushing OxyContin tablets and mixing them into a liquid for injection into the veins. This practice is spreading. OxyContin and other prescription meds taken in this way can cause overdose and death. Seeking help from a confidential medical professional can help an addict start down the road to recovery.

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