OxyContin Overview: Addiction Signs, Withdrawal and Treatment

OxyContin is a powerful opioid painkiller that can be highly addictive if abused. OxyContin abuse has grown across the country, especially among teens, thanks to the cheap, quick and powerful high it creates from snorting or injecting crushed OxyContin pills. For this reason, OxyContin is often referred to as “Hillbilly Heroin.”

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is a powerful opioid painkiller prescribed for treatment of severe or chronic pain. OxyContin is usually taken orally, but abusers will frequently crush the pills into powder for snorting or injecting.

OxyContin Addiction Symptoms

Not everyone who takes OxyContin will become addicted. If taken properly, OxyContin can be an effective painkiller. Once a patient starts using OxyContin beyond the recommended dose or in order to get high, an addiction is likely to occur. Common symptoms of OxyContin addiction are:

* High tolerance: Needing to take more and more in order to get the same or desired effect.
* Dependence:  Feeling physical withdrawal symptoms if a dose is missed.
* Compulsive use: Craving the drug and doing whatever it takes to get it, even despite adverse social, psychological or physical consequences.
* Nervousness, anxiety or irritability at the mere thought of not being able to use OxyContin.
* Financial problems associated with having to purchase more and more pills.
* Secretive or deceitful behavior in order to obtain the drug. Having multiple prescriptions from more than one doctor or buying it off the street is a good indication that an addiction has started.

OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms

Chronic abusers of OxyContin can experience severe withdrawal symptoms that are similar to the intensity of heroin withdrawal if they suddenly quit using the drug. These withdrawal symptoms can begin as soon as six hours after the last dose and can last as long as a week. OxyContin withdrawal symptoms include:

* Hot/cold sweats
* Joint and muscle pain
* Nausea and/or vomiting
* Severe stomach cramps
* Diarrhea
* Tiredness Fatigue
* Confusion
* Anxiety
* Restlessness
* Involuntary leg movement
* Heart palpitations
* Uncontrollable coughing
* Constant yawning
* Insomnia
* Watery eyes
* Depression

OxyContin Overdose Facts

Breaking, chewing or crushing OxyContin tablets results in a large dose of oxycodone to be released at once, potentially resulting in a dangerous or fatal overdose. Common symptoms of an OxyContin overdose are:

* Slow breathing
* Dizziness
* Weakness
* Seizure
* Loss of consciousness
* Coma
* Confusion
* Sleepiness
* Cold and clammy skin
* Nausea and/or vomiting
* Small pupils
* Reduced vision

OxyContin Detox

OxyContin detox is performed the same as any opiate detox process. The first step is detoxifying the body of the drug and any harmful toxins it left behind. For chronic abusers, this might include assisted medical detox using medicines such as methadone, Bupreorphine and Chlondine to lessen the severity of withdrawal symptoms. The second step of OxyContin detox is treating the mental addiction to OxyContin. Some abusers will be so mentally dependent on the effects of the drug that they will convince themselves they need OxyContin in order to survive. Undergoing OxyContin detox at a rehab facility can provide the safe and supportive environment an addict needs in order to recover from their physical and mental addiction.

OxyContin Rehab

Addiction to OxyContin is a serious condition that requires medical treatment. If you feel like youíve developed an ìaccidentalî addiction while trying to manage pain, a medical professional can discuss alternative ways to manage your pain while at the same time treating your addiction.

Treating an OxyContin addiction is best done at an OxyContin rehab facility, where both the physical and mental symptoms of your addiction can be treated. Once OxyContin detox is complete, an OxyContin rehab will provide individual and group counseling to treat the mental addiction and teach you the skills to live a drug-free life.