Oxycontin Addiction Treatment

OxyContin Addiction: Effects, Signs, Symptoms & Treatments

All over the world, many families and authorities are concerned about the increasing number and worsening issues on drug addiction. Drug addiction or drug abuse actually comes in different types and forms and a certain case is commonly dependent on the kind of drug which is being used. In Canada, OxyContin abuse is a widespread issue, causing a great deal of problems to all concerned parties.

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is a kind of drug, a branded formulation which is derived from the strong and powerful opioid pain reliever known as oxycodone. In many cases, this kind of drug is commonly prescribed by doctors to patients that require management to both moderate and severe pain issues. Ideally, OxyContin can be a safe pain remedy especially when it is taken in accordance to the doctor’s prescription. As a matter of fact, this drug has been found out to be an invaluable medication for the treatment of different levels of pain.

Unfortunately, many people abuse OxyContin so as to get high – a kind of practice that can be very dangerous and even fatal. The wrong use of OxyContin pills (for an instance, taking more than what’s recommended, or pulverizing them to be injected or snorted) can create more intense effects, increasing the risk of complications and health problems in the process.

In 2012 alone, opioid overdose deaths continued to rise in Canada despite the authority’s removal of OxyContin. In the region of Ontario alone, opioid-based drugs like OxyContin have killed nearly 2,500 persons from 2011 to 2014. Prior to this reality, authorities have made it a point to remove OxyContin from the Ontario Drug Plan. Because of this, OxyContin-related overdoses decreased by thirty percent but the Center for Addiction and Mental Health said that opioid-related fatalities increased by twenty-four percent.

Quick Facts About OxyContin/Opioid Addiction in Canada

The following are facts and figures that point out to the reality of OxyContin/opioid addiction in Canada:

  • Ontario was subjected to see 2,471 opioid-related cases (overdose) from 2011 to 2014.
  • Deaths related to oxycodone overdose decreased by 30%.
  • Overall fatalities that involved opioid decreased by 24%.
  • From 2010 to 2013, prescriptions on OxyContin lowered to 44%, hydromorphone prescriptions increased by 56% and fentanyl by nearly 15%.
  • A survey that was conducted in 2012 declared that 410,000 Canadians abused opioid-based pain relieving drugs.

According to experts, people who abuse painkillers are at the risk for eventual or concurrent addiction to heroin due to the similarities of both drugs. A study has showed that people who suffer from OxyContin/opioid addiction are 19 times more likely to begin abusing heroin in the same year. This proves to be true because heroin is more accessible and available when compared to OxyContin and other opioid-based drugs.

The Signs and Symptoms of OxyContin Addiction

If a person’s behavior changes in an unexpected manner to the point that you can no longer recognize the him in front of you, take the time to assess. Why? The person whom you are dealing with might be suffering from drug abuse.

According to experts, an opioid abuse case is a problematic pattern of opioid-based drug use that leads to clinically critical distress or impairment. When OxyContin is used compulsively, it is expected that the abuser spends much of his time or day using and abusing the painkiller. To be able to comply with his urge to use the drug, he would make a way to get multiple prescriptions. This simply means getting OxyContin prescriptions from several doctors. What’s even worse is when a person obtains the drug illegally when he can no longer get prescriptions from doctors.

OxyContin Abuse: the Physical Signs and Symptoms

The physical signs and symptoms of OxyContin abuse is much the same as the signs and symptoms that are seen in persons who are suffering from opioid addiction. These include the following:

  • Severe drowsiness
  • Lethargy
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Appearance that entails confusion and disorientation
  • Lacks interest on activities that were previously enjoyed
  • Persistent and consistent interpersonal problems
  • Negligence of work, home or school obligations
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Extreme itching of the skin
  • Vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Periodic or intermittent apathy and euphoria
  • Memory problems
  • Concentration problems
  • Sleep problem/apnea

Withdrawal Symptoms

So, what is most likely to occur or happen to a person when he is no longer able to take OxyContin? Studies showed that a reliable sign of OxyContin dependency and marker of abuse is the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms. There are many different kinds of withdrawal signs and symptoms and they are as follows:

  • Frequent yawning
  • Runny nose and watery eyes
  • Unpleasant moods
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Excessive sweating
  • Goose bumps
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea

The Key Warning Sign of OxyContin Addiction

The key warning sign of OxyContin abuse or addiction is a marked change in behavior. This is evident if you happen to observe that the behavior of a person is changing unexpectedly. The person might be abusing drugs recreationally and this can be determined when you see discarded or empty pill bottles, stains of white powder, or any missing pills from your personal supply. You may also discover that your money is missing or you have found out that the person cannot pay all his bills this month.

If you are concerned about yourself or someone who is dear to you, do not wait to get help.

The Effects of OxyContin Addiction

There are many effects that you will most likely expect from a person who has abused or has become dependent to OxyContin use. Based from research and studies conducted by the experts, the following are some of the social effects which are sometimes caused OxyContin dependence or addiction:

  • Forgery
  • Robbery
  • Arrest of distribution or possession of opioids
  • Receiving stolen goods
  • Burglary
  • Loss of employment
  • Irregular work or school attendance
  • Breakups in interpersonal relationships

While social effects are very much evident to OxyContin abusers, there are also many different kinds of physical effects that you will most like see and they include the following:

  • Difficulties in sexual functioning
  • Rigidity of muscles
  • Hormonal dysfunctions
  • Constipation
  • Fractures
  • Depression of the respiratory system
  • Sedation
  • Nausea and vomiting

So, there you have learned about the social and physical side effects of OxyContin addiction. Aside from these, such kind of addiction also comes with fatal side effects which usually include:

  • Coma
  • Difficulty in breathing

Physical Risks Associated with Method of Use

What are the risks that are associated to the use of OxyContin? For your information, OxyContin is taken or used in different ways and the level of risk depends of the method sued by a person.

  1. Needle Users (for example, intramuscular, subcutaneous and intravenous use)
  • Increased risk for contracting hepatitis or HIV
  • Cellulitis
  • Collapsed veins
  • Heart lining infection
  • Abscesses
  1. Intranasal Users
  • Sinusitis
  • Perforated nasal septum

In most cases, OxyContin pills are commonly crushed and pulverized to be snorted. But such form of the drug can also be injected sometimes. Injecting OxyContin to the body can actually lead to serious complications such as organ damage caused by the solid pieces of the drug that enter the bloodstream. Moreover, blockages may hinder or cut off blood supply to vital body parts and infection may spread throughout the body from non-sterile needles and dirty pills.

OxyContin Addiction Treatment

If you are going to look around you will be bombarded with many different procedures that allow a person to get himself treated from OxyContin addiction. It is not a good idea to use a particular treatment right away without consulting an expert. This is because a particular treatment varies from the others depending on individual needs and situations. But whatever your option is, it is more likely that you will have to undergo one of the following treatments which are specifically formulated and designed to treat OxyContin addiction of different levels.

  • Individual Therapy. This is a kind of treatment procedure wherein you are going to meet with a licensed therapist. You’ll have to spend your time discussing things with the therapist on a one-on-one basis. The therapist will also discuss to you various coping skills that you can use especially during stressful situations.
  • Group Counseling. This kind of treatment is commonly offered by a certified mental health professional that facilitates a therapy session for a group of drug abusers. Through this session, every participant is given the opportunity to share their experiences with OxyContin abuse and recovery.
  • Dual Diagnosis. For your information, many people who are addicted to OxyContin also suffer from co-occurring mental health disorder. Prior to this reality, there are treatment centers that offer treatments for both disorders, preventing potential or possible relapse in the future.
  • Outpatient Treatment. This kind of treatment entails treatment procedures that can be done while a patient stays at home. It’s something that works best for every individual schedule. Ideally, this is a kind of treatment which is commonly prescribed to persons with relatively mild OxyContin abuse or addiction cases.
  • Residential Treatment. With this kind of treatment, you can have the opportunity to escape or get rid of your ‘using environment’. It’s a kind of treatment that allows you to live in the facility of the specialist while getting the necessary treatment procedures in the process. It is specifically made for persons with moderate to severe OxyContin addiction cases.

Whatever type of treatment procedure you wish to have, be reminded that the therapeutic program or course usually follows a series of three important stages. For example, your OxyContin addiction treatment may improve and progress in the following order:

First Stage: Withdrawal or Detox – This stage of OxyContin addiction treatment is usually supervised and assisted by a professional. It should be initially done to minimize or reduce discomfort which is brought about by withdrawal symptoms, reducing the risk of relapse in the process.

Second Stage: Counseling and Therapy – This is the second stage that you need to go through when you intend to undergo OxyContin addiction treatment. Here, you will be exposed to different kinds of programs that utilize different kinds of treatment methodologies as well as therapy types. Thus, it is important to opt for the one that suits you or your loved one.

Third Stage: Sustained Recovery – This final stage for OxyContin addiction treatment is commonly accomplished with the aid of different kinds of aftercare programs. Generally speaking, the road towards addiction treatment is quite long and entails a lifelong process. However, you have to be reminded that treatment procedures are taken on a daily basis. Thus, it is expected the therapist should provide you with an aftercare plan that you need to religiously comply with after the completion of your initial treatment or rehab. You may get yourself enrolled in a twelve-step program, stay in a halfway home or other sober-living environment. Such places can give you the chance to live a life away from temptations.

Teen OxyContin Addiction

Teens are commonly vulnerable or susceptible to OxyContin addiction. This is due to the fact that OxyContin pills are often found available in their homes or in the homes of their peers. The fact is that many of these pills are diverted from persons with legitimate or legal prescriptions thus, allowing teens to get these drugs easily. In addition, there is this popular misconception that prescription opioids are much safer than illegal drugs, resulting to the increasing numbers of teenagers that abuse pain medications such as OxyContin.

Teens can get hooked on OxyContin more easily compared to adults. If you are living with a teenager and you think that he needs help for his OxyContin addiction, please feel free to contact a drug rehab professional. Initially, a comprehensive evaluation test is conducted so as to help you understand the depth or level of addiction of the teenager. Once the initial step is done, the professional will then tell you the way on how to proceed. See to it that any program you pick for your teen should include or focus on self-techniques, peer pressure, physical abuse information and education, and other subjects that are pertinent to teenagers.

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