Oxycontin is a trade name for Oxycodone hydrochloride, an opioid agonist, prescribed for treatment of chronic pain. The drug has the ability to alleviate pain for up to 12 hours, but also has a high potential for abuse. Often, addicts who are addicted to prescription pain killers will administer these medications in alternate ways than which they were prescribed. They will inject, crush and snort, or chew the medication and, since Oxycontin is meant to be controlled released, these methods have caused abusers to quickly become addicted. With frequent abuse, the addict develops a tolerance that requires larger doses to gain the desired effect and the addiction gets stronger over time. Oxycontin addiction affects millions of people annually and despite the attempts to control its distribution, addicts are able to obtain the drug illicitly through purchases off the street, “doctor shopping”, or other fraudulent means. Prescriptions for Oxycodone products such as Oxycontin, are, too easily, obtained from unscrupulous doctors who provide the prescriptions regardless of laws and medical standard guidelines. Many Oxycontin addicts will go to extremes to gain access to the medication and they eventually become obsessed to the point that they will use the drug regardless of the impact their abuse has on their health, family, or ability to function in normal life circumstances. These negative consequences are far reaching and affect the general society in ways of theft, crimes, abuse, and neglect. Several deaths have been associated with overdose on this medication prompting an increased legislation to control its distribution.
Oxycontin Addiction Symptoms
Oxycontin addiction presents symptoms of withdrawal when use is discontinued. The withdrawal symptoms may appear like the flu and may be more severe in chronic cases. Avoidance of these symptoms can be recognized as addiction. As the addiction progresses, physical and mental health changes become apparent with behavioral changes reflecting the addict’s willingness to continue using regardless of negative consequences. Oxycontin addiction requires the addict maintain a level of the drug in their system and they often become obsessed with getting the next “high” before their current “high” is over. They exhibit fear of running out of medication, they create schemes to obtain more medication,and they become overly emotional when they feel their usage is threatened. Behavioral changes are most notable with abuse or neglect of relationships, finances, and social functions.