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Opioids are a class of medications that bind to the body’s opioid receptors to produce pain relief.
Because of their effects, which include feelings of peacefulness and euphoria, they are abused and taken recreationally. A physician prescribes OxyContin to treat moderate-to-severe pain. But when the medication is abused, people become addicted and overdose or die. Unfortunately, an estimated 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses in the United States, which highlights the dangers of abuse.
OxyContin has become a significant source of our current opioid crisis and is usually the first drug of abuse before heroin.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that 80 percent of heroin users got their start using prescription opioids like OxyContin.
Although opioid prescriptions have declined over the years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 17 percent of Americans filled at least one opioid prescription in 2017.
If you or someone you know is using OxyContin, you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms that accompany addiction. Oxycodone is a dangerous drug when abused and requires proper treatment.
OxyContin addiction has the potential to be a fatal disease, but it comes with distinct warning signs to alert someone who’s worried. By learning these signs, you can arm yourself with the knowledge that can save the life of you or a loved one by getting the help needed. The first sign of addiction is known as tolerance, which is when the body adjusts to your usual dose of OxyContin. You will need to take more to reach your desired effect.
If your dose has become weaker than usual, you must speak with your doctor about cutting back. If that does not work, you may become chemically dependent, which is the next stage of addiction.
It is characterized by feelings of intense cravings or withdrawal symptoms if you stop using OxyContin.
When it comes to potent opioids, you will feel like you are coming down with a bad case of the flu.
If you continue to use despite all these signs, you are likely addicted to the drug. At this point, you will need professional addiction treatment.
The first step in treating OxyContin addiction is medical detox. In detox, you will be given medication that helps you overcome your worst symptoms of withdrawal. Although the symptoms are not life-threatening, you may experience dehydration, which can have fatal consequences if not treated adequately. You will be held in detox until you are considered stable and ready for the next step.
Once you finish detox, you will be moved to a level of care that fits your most current needs. If the doctors find that you have a severe substance use disorder and a history of relapse, they will consider a residential treatment option, which is less intense than detox but more intensive than outpatient treatment. Only a medical professional can help make this decision for you, so reach out for help today if you are concerned that you or a loved one has developed OxyContin addiction.