OxyContin abuse can quickly take over a person's life, creating serious health, relationship and career problems. The abuse of this prescription opioid painkiller can quickly spiral into addiction, which is difficult to reverse without professional help. Plenty of people start out with an OxyContin prescription for pain and begin to misuse and abuse it after a tolerance develops. This means increasingly larger doses are needed for effective relief. Others may abuse OxyContin for recreational purposes. The medication should be taken only as directed and never by a person for whom it wasn't prescribed. OxyContin contains oxycodone, a narcotic analgesic that can be habit forming when taken regularly over an extended period. This opioid medication has the ability to relieve moderate to severe pain but also can provide a sense of relaxation and euphoria. People who seek out the euphoria or "high" associated with OxyContin often abuse the medication for this purpose. Opiate receptors in the reward center of the brain may become accustomed to OxyContin and require repeated positive stimulation, possibly resulting in addiction. OxyContin addiction is very difficult to overcome because of painful and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms, which can develop within hours of last use. Signs of OxyContin Abuse and Treatment Options Abuse and diversion of OxyContin are very serious issues that have plagued law enforcement officials, addiction specialists and doctors for years. The drug was introduced in the U.S. in the mid 1990s and has been the topic of negative news coverage in years since. OxyContin was once considered a substitute for heroin. Nowadays, OxyContin addicts are increasingly turning to heroin because it's cheaper and sometimes easier to get. Signs of OxyContin abuse may not be evident right away but things to look for include: A compulsion to get and take the drug Running out of medication before the prescription is due to be refilled Crushing, breaking or chewing the tablet for rapid absorption Change in mood and behavior Lack of motivation Decrease in appetite Visiting more than one doctor ("doctor shopping") for multiple supplies Repeated excuses for why they need more medication (prescription was stolen, lost) If you notice one or more of these signs, it may be time to seek out OxyContin treatment. A person who has become addicted will need opiate detox to help manage the withdrawal phase. The transition to recovery can be more difficult to achieve for people who have abused OxyContin for a long period of time. With the right help, it can be done. Options include detox, opiate rehab, medical opiate detox and rapid opiate detox.