OxyContin is used legally as a prescribed drug and illegally by recreational users seeking the highs this powerful pain reliever offers.
There are certainly valid reasons for its use, but it must also be noted that this drug has caused extensive damage to those using and abusing it.
What is it?
Introduced to the market as long ago as 1995 OxyContin is a strong, time-released drug. It is primarily used by those who require 24/7 relief from pain. Because of its slow-release qualities a dose lasts around 12 hours.
Users need to be fully aware that it contains oxycodone which is part of the opioid drug family. Other similar drugs include methadone, heroin, morphine and codeine.
Safe to use?
For those who require long-term pain relief and are prescribed it, dangers will be greatly reduced as long as guidelines for use are followed.
The caveat here is that the more regularly the drug is taken the greater the possibility of dependence. This is because the body and mind quickly build a tolerance to the drug.
Increasing tolerance means that more is required to achieve the same effects as previously experienced. If this cycle is allowed to continue then dependence on OxyContin is a possibility.
Dangers of illegal use:
Those using OxyContin in search of illegal highs are opening themselves up to a myriad of problems, not least addiction!
As mentioned, the drug works on a time release basis. Once swallowed initial effects kick-in, after this the special coating allows slow content release to ensure a consistent flow of pain relief.
Recreational users have no such time for delayed time-release. They will either crush the pill to release all of the oxycodone contained, or chew it to ensure full effects are theirs.
It is very easy to underestimate the actual strength and amount of oxycodone being taken and regular abuse is opening the door to a rapid dependence on the drug.
To add to the concerns, many observers believe that using OxyContin for recreational purposes serves as an effective gateway to moving on to heroin.
5 signs that a person is dependent:
Here are 5 signs that will stand out if you are concerned about someone who is abusing OxyContin.
- Changes in personality – As dependence grows so the need for another hit becomes all-consuming. The effects on a person’s mood, levels of energy and level of concentration become very noticeable.
- Socially withdrawn – Loved ones, family and friends will take a back-seat as more time is spent in isolation or with other users.
- Appearance and routine – Diet is disrupted, sleep sporadic, glazed eyes are a given. Many have a constant cough and look permanently run-down. As for personal hygiene, this means little.
- Avoiding responsibilities – If employed, work will often be missed and responsibilities around the home or social obligations will be neglected.
- Highly-strung – Over-reactions to minor issues will be common, as will an unnecessarily defensive attitude. It is also common to speak harshly and out of turn to those closest to them.
Don’t dabble with OxyContin:
This is a powerful drug. It is dangerous enough for those who are prescribed it. Abusing it offers a high risk of a rapid dependence and the many unwanted problems this brings with it.