For some people, the use of OxyContin is a necessary part of a pain management treatment program. This prescription medication is intended for moderate to severe pain that is around the clock. For others, however, the use of OxyContin is a problematic and dangerous cycle that can progress quickly to abuse, opiate addiction and possible overdose.
People are dying in record numbers due to accidental OxyContin overdose. This drug is known to have a very high abuse potential and problems have dogged the manufacturers since OxyContin was introduced to the market in the mid 1990s. This drug now carries a black box label that warns about its addictive and abusive nature.
OxyContin Abuse: The Signs May Be Obvious
Some signs of OxyContin use are fairly straightforward. Someone you know or love may have a legitimate prescription for this drug, but signs may indicate that use has turned problematic. Other warnings signs may take longer to recognize. Either way, there is help if you suspect someone is abusing this medication.
Key signs to watch for if you suspect OxyContin misuse or abuse:
- Nodding off, or periods of wakefulness and sleepiness
- Pinpoint pupils
- Trouble concentrating
- Lack of interest or motivation
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Questionable or "shady" behavior
- Running out of medication before the prescription is due for renewal
- Making excuses for behaviors or missing medication
OxyContin and other opiates are known for their ability to cause constipation. A person who is abusing or fully addicted to this drug may also increase their use of laxatives or have other gastrointestinal issues.
The Price Of OxyContin On The Street Can Lead People In A Dangerous Direction
OxyContin is often diverted through various means, including pharmacy diversion, prescription fraud, theft and "doctor shopping." This is when a person visits several doctors or clinics to obtain multiple supplies of the drug. The cost of OxyContin on the street is steep, turning some users onto a cheaper alternative – heroin.
People who use heroin may have track or needle marks that indicate they have been injecting the drug. This is also possible with OxyContin. The controlled-release mechanism of OxyContin tablets can be disabled by breaking, chewing or crushing them. Some people will then snort or inject the medication, which is dangerous.
Finding Help For OxyContin Dependence
There is help for OxyContin dependence and addiction. If your use has become problematic, look around at treatment options to decide what's best for you. OxyContin detox and OxyContin rehab are options that can help patients overcome this devastating condition.