A drug dependency is the last thing on the minds of people who are in a desperate search for chronic pain relief. OxyContin is a powerful medication that can be taken safely for a period of time, but regular use over a longer period can cause a tolerance that requires higher doses to achieve relief. OxyContin is an opioid painkiller that can also cause sedation and euphoria. It is intended for chronic or severe pain and has the potential to cause dependence that can progress to addiction.
The drug has gained a bad reputation due to its contribution to opiate addiction, overdose and accidental deaths. The criminal and social impact that OxyContin addiction imposes certainly doesn't help matters. But there are plenty of people who rely on this medication for pain relief and say that a physical dependence is better than the alternative.
Opiate Withdrawal Is One of the Best Indicators of Physical OxyContin Dependence
A physical dependence is evident if withdrawal symptoms develop when use is stopped. OxyContin withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, cravings, agitation, depression and insomnia. Most people who take this medication for pain, as it's prescribed, will eventually become physically dependent. This means withdrawal will set in if a person stops taking the medication or runs out.
At this point, a doctor or pain specialist may consult with the patient and determine the next course of action. This can include tapering the dose and switching medication. People with conditions such as cancer may decide to continue OxyContin therapy indefinitely.
OxyContin Treatment Should Be Compassionate and Supportive
People who become dependent upon the medication they need are not at fault. OxyContin has become vilified in recent years due to the problems surrounding addiction and opioid overdose, and related crime and social problems. But chronic pain can be hard to deal with and is a reality for millions of people around the world. They should not be made to feel guilty or shameful for their situation. Instead, this is a time in their lives when they will need support from family, friends and the medical community.
The right OxyContin treatment program will deal with patients compassionately. After all, they did not ask for this. This physiological problem can cause patients to feel depressed, which can actually fuel the pain. A physical OxyContin dependency can be treated medically and will involve detox to rid the body of its reliance on the medication. This can help give patients the greatest prospect for a safe, healthy and lasting recovery.