OxyContin Abuse Solutions
OxyContin abuse has become an all-too-familiar phenomenon across the United States—an epidemic that has taken many families and communities by surprise, arising in many cases from legitimate prescription drug usage. OxyContin, a brand name for oxycodone, is an opiate (narcotic) analgesic, or in layman’s terms, a medication for the relief of moderate to severe pain. OxyContin works by altering the way in which the brain and central nervous system interpret pain signals. It is often prescribed for conditions requiring round-the-clock pain relief since it’s formulated with a coating allowing for controlled-release over an extended period of time.
Lacking the negative stigma attached to heroin and morphine due to their long history of abuse and overdose deaths, OxyContin appeals to youth, novice drug abusers and many others who wouldn’t consider trying a drug like heroin. Partly this is due to the ease of consuming OxyContin—rather than “cooking” and injecting the drug with a syringe, OxyContin is simply taken orally or ground into powder and snorted. Other factors in OxyContin’s appeal are that, as a prescription medication, it’s available in regulated quantities and it’s manufactured according to strict standards of purity. Rehabs providing OxyContin abuse solutions have to address addictions that are fueled these by very high and very pure dosages of oxycodone.
OxyContin abuse solutions providers indicate that misuse of OxyContin began in Australia in the early 2000’s and in rural areas such as Appalachia by 2001. By 2007, 51% of a national sample of injection drug users in Australia admitted to using it, with 27% injecting it. In the United States, the 2001 survey on drug use found that 957,000 people of the age of 12 and older had used OxyContin non-medically at least once. These levels surged throughout the 2000’s, with many OxyContin abusers obtaining the drug by way of doctor-shopping (seeing multiple practitioners to get prescriptions), prescription fraud, and theft. OxyContin abuse solutions providers report that for many users, OxyContin has served as a gateway drug to heroin—as a person addicted to OxyContin runs out of money or can’t get any more prescriptions from his doctor, he will go looking for a source of cheaper heroin rather than suffer through the excruciating withdrawal from OxyContin.
The initial instructions for taking OxyContin may have encouraged its abuse since the drug’s warning label explicitly instructed users not to crush the controlled-release tablet because of the potential for rapid release, leading many people to crush and snort the drug. Manufacturers have reformulated the drug in order to stem the tide of abuse, making the tablets more difficult to crush and adding other substances to enhance the drug’s abuse-deterrent quality. But OxyContin abuse solutions providers indicate that those who are addicted to this drug still find ways to work around this new formulation.
Side effects of OxyContin use include constipation, nausea, drowsiness, sweating, headache, weakness, dry mouth, and vomiting. The single greatest risk associated with OxyContin and all opioids is respiratory depression which can be fatal. Symptoms of overdose also include seizures, dizziness, constricted pupils, loss of consciousness, coma, and of course death. It’s reported that approximately 300 people a year die from OxyContin overdoses. OxyContin is without a doubt a highly dangerous drug, and OxyContin abuse solutions are desperately needed for anyone struggling with a dependency on it.
OxyContin abuse solutions begin with the process of withdrawal from the drug, which is similar in nature to withdrawal from heroin. Even patients who use OxyContin with a doctor’s approval for legitimate medical purposes are at risk for developing withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing usage abruptly. Symptoms include anxiety, panic attack, insomnia, muscle pain, fever and flu-like symptoms, muscle weakness, and nausea. Withdrawal can begin as quickly as six hours after the abuser discontinues usage and the risk of relapse during these periods is high. It’s essential for addicts attempting to kick the habit to seek OxyContin abuse solutions providers and a medically-supervised environment in which to undergo detoxification, which is usually both painful and ridden with temptations. The severity of symptoms can vary depending on the abuser’s degree of tolerance to the drug as well as on the last dosage consumed, but undergoing the start of an OxyContin abuse solutions program is certainly never an easy process. Beyond the physical discomfort, recovering addicts experience psychological effects such as depression and even suicidal thoughts. But the most serious potential side effect of withdrawal, according to OxyContin abuse solutions providers, is simply the risk of relapse. The withdrawal itself is not usually physiologically dangerous. Resumption of OxyContin use, however, is dangerous, especially right after withdrawal, when the abuser’s body has a lowered tolerance to the drug and hence the risk of overdose is very high. The same risk occurs right after a former user is released from jail. If he returns to the dosage he was taking before being jailed, it is easy to fatally overdose.
Conventional OxyContin abuse solutions include not only detox, psychological therapy, and behavioral treatment but also replacement drug therapies with semi-synthetic opiates such as buprenorphine (under brand names such as Suboxone and Subutex). The advantages and disadvantages of this system are highly debatable. Some OxyContin abuse solutions providers consider drug replacement therapy only a continuation and prolongation of the problems of addiction. Replacing one drug with another can serve to encourage mental as well as physical dependence. The addicted person can become convinced that he simply cannot live without drugs. In addition, these kinds of treatments are all too often undergone by way of out-patient treatment immediately following detox, meaning that the recovering addict is left with an incomplete understanding of the roots of his dependence and a substitute substance on which to be hooked.
OxyContin abuse solutions that treat the underlying causes of addiction, by contrast, have been shown to have a much better chance of succeeding.