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OxyContin

What is OxyContin?

OxyContin is the brand name for a pain medication which contains oxycodone. Oxycodone is a white, odorless crystalline powder, which is derived from the opium alkaloid, thebaine. OxyContin is water-soluble (1 g in 6 to 7 mL) and slightly soluble in alcohol (octanol water partition coefficient 0.7). Like other opioids, there is a real potential for developing OxyContin dependence, although experts still don’t know why dependence occurs.

Why do people use OxyContin?

OxyContin is used to treat moderate to severe pain that is expected to last for an extended period of time. It’s prescribed for relief of moderate to severe acute or chronic pain. OxyContin is useful for acute pain and in some instances of chronic cancer pain. In fact, researchers report that in patients suffering from moderate to severe pain, OxyContin plays an important role in improving their quality of life.

Usually, OxyContin is used for around-the-clock treatment of pain. However, it is not usually prescribed on an “as-needed” basis. Especially for versions of the slow-release tablet, since it is a narcotic that should not be taken more often than every 12 hours.

A person is abusing OxyContin if they are taking Oxy in any way OTHER THAN PRESCRIBED. If you’re using OxyContin to induce euphoric high, this is drug abuse. Commonly, people also use alcohol, heroin, or cocaine in combination with OxyContin, in order to heighten the effects of an OxyContin high. However, mixing OxyContin with other drugs that either stimulate or depress the central nervous system is very dangerous.

Common routes of administration for OxyContin inlude:

  • oral
  • inhaling/smoking
  • intramuscular injection
  • intravenous injection
  • intranasal-crushing and snorting
  • subcutaneous injection
  • transdermal
  • rectal
  • epidural injection

OxyContin effects

OxyContin interacts with the opiate receptors in the brain and spinal cord and changes the way that we perceive feelings of pain. At the same time, OxyContin causes euphoric feelings of well-being. But other effects can occur which can be uncomfortable. This includes:

  • cognitive impairment
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • sleep disturbances
  • urinary retention
  • vomiting

While these are common effects that are expected, people who abuse OxyContin can risk overdose. If taken in high doses, or in patients not tolerant to opiates/opioids, OxyContin can cause shallow breathing, bradycardia, cold-clammy skin, apnea, hypotension, miosis, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest, and death. All these symptoms can also be the outcome of an overdose from OxyContin.

Other side-effects of OxyContin abuse include:

  • coma
  • extreme dissatisfaction with life
  • fatigue
  • liver damage
  • mood swings
  • overdose
  • seizure
  • shallow respiration

Is OxyContin addictive?

Yes, OxyContin is addictive. The main ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, which has medium-high addictive properties. But OxyContin may be habit-forming, even when taken at regular doses. The main characteristics of addiction to OxyContin are:

  • continue use despite negative life consequences
  • cravings, obsessive thinking, or compulsive use of OxyContin
  • loss of control in drug use
  • psychological dependence on OxyContin

In cases where the drug has been taken regularly over an extended period of time, the central nervous system becomes accustomed to the presence of OxyContin. So, when individuals try to quit after they become dependent they go through OxyContin withdrawal. The risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms is high if a patient has become physically dependent or addicted and discontinues OxyContin abruptly.

People who use OxyContin recreationally, and not as intended by the prescribing physician are at even higher risk of severe withdrawal symptoms, as they tend to use higher-than-prescribed doses and mix the drug with other substances. The symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal mimic those of a severe flue, and they also include anxiety, panic attack, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, muscle weakness, fevers.

If you want to explore more specific information on OxyContin, check out the following:

OxyContin

3 Is OxyContin addictive?

Is OxyContin addictive?

September 30th, 2011

Yes, OxyContin is about as addictive as morphine. But what’s in OxyContin and when do Oxy’s become really addictive? Are you at risk of OxyContin addiction? Learn more here.

4 OxyContin addiction statistics

OxyContin addiction statistics

August 28th, 2011

Top 5 annual .gov reports with statistics on OxyContin use, abuse and addiction facts. Plus, where to find OxyContin addiction statistics on the web.

210 OxyContin withdrawal timeline: How long does OxyContin detox last?

OxyContin withdrawal timeline: How long does OxyContin detox last?

July 29th, 2011

Acute symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal are over in 10 days or less. But what about withdrawal symptoms that persist months later? We present the facts on withdrawal from Oxy’s here.

17 OxyContin withdrawal symptoms: How to find treatment, relief and help

OxyContin withdrawal symptoms: How to find treatment, relief and help

July 16th, 2011

Withdrawal from oxycodone (OxyContin) can be hell. Tips on finding help, getting treatment and managing OxyContin withdrawal symptoms here.

71 Is OxyContin cold turkey withdrawal dangerous?

Is OxyContin cold turkey withdrawal dangerous?

July 9th, 2011

Cold turkey withdrawal from OxyContin can be done. But doctors think it inhumane and therapeutically unrealistic. Learn what meds can help during OC withdrawal, and how medical detox for Oxy Contin withdrawal can help you.

7 Top 10 prescription drugs medical professionals use or abuse

Top 10 prescription drugs medical professionals use or abuse

March 5th, 2011

Ever wonder what pills your doctor or nurse is popping? Here, a recovered nurse describes the medications most likely to be abused by health care workers. Learn more about the Top 10 drugs most likely to be used and abused by doctors, nurses, and medical specialists here.

3 The history of OxyContin reformulation

The history of OxyContin reformulation

February 28th, 2011

Dr. Jana Burson reviews the market surrounding OxyContin, including manufacturer Purdue Pharma’s false marketing scandal, and the eventual new formula that makes the drug harder to snort or inject. But does the new OxyContin formula / OxyContin reformulation successfully deter addicts? Yes. More here on OxyContin reformulation.

8 OxyCotton/OxyCotin/OxyContin: Does time release inhibit abuse?

OxyCotton/OxyCotin/OxyContin: Does time release inhibit abuse?

February 21st, 2011

Oxycotton is a common misspelling of the brand name drug “OxyContin.” Do addicts abuse Oxy’s? And how can this opioid drug be less attractive for misuse? More on time release and addictive qualities of OxyContin from Dr. Burson here.

1 Prescription drug abuse: What pills are we popping?

Prescription drug abuse: What pills are we popping?

August 27th, 2010

Americans currently abuse three classes of medications: depressants, pain killers, and stimulants. But what’s the difference between Ambien and Adderall? Learn more about subclasses and medication brand names here.

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Leave a Reply

2 Responses to “OxyContin
kris
12:44 am June 1st, 2017

I was on Oxycontin for 4 years(20mg 4x daily) due to a back injury. I quit cold turkey 3 years ago and went through intense withdrawal for 10 days and moderate/light symptoms for another 10-15 days. The major issue I had, and still have, is the depression and anxiety never went away. When I decided to quit I was also going through some serious life changing events that were causing a lot of stress. 1 year ago I finally convinced myself to go see a mental health professional. I was diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, and generalized anxiety. Is there any possibility that this was all caused by my use of Oxycontin? I always took it as prescribed and never abused it. Now I am on my 4th antidepressant(all of which make me sick and mimic the withdrawal symptoms I had with Oxy). Any information would be greatly appreciated as I was let go from work due to the side effects I have on my current medication.

Lydia @ Addiction Blog
1:08 pm June 6th, 2017

Hi Kris. OxyContin withdrawal may trigger your depression from unresolved past. Have you considered therapy sessions? Also, I suggest that you try some alternative therapies for treating anxiety. Here’s suggested reading:
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/anxiety
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4270108/

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