What is the difference between Oxycontin and oxycodone?

OxyContin contains oxycodone, but includes a time-release mechanism so that the pain-killing effect lasts longer (meaning the drug does not have to be taken as often). But do oxycodone and OxyContin differ in other ways, also? We review here.

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By Dominica Applegate

Both oxycodone and OxyContin is used for pain relief. Basically, the main active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone. However, Oxycontin has been manufactured to include a time-release mechanism to increase analgesic (pain-killing) effect. Essentially, producers have changed how long OxyContin lasts, which means that OxyContin users do not have to take the medication as often.

Does OxyContin work for everyone? Not always. Here, we review this and other considerations when deciding between the two.   Then, we invite your questions about oxycodone vs. OxyContin use at the end.

The differences between OxyContin and oxycodone

Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise, especially pain pills. In fact, pain pills are highly addictive and rather easy to get your hands on. Plenty of doctors are prescribing them for real (or imagined) pain, and plenty of drug dealers on the streets have them handy for those who are in need. Two of the most frequent prescribed pain pills are OxyContin and oxycodone.

You may think that these two pain pills were the same thing, but there are differences. OxyContin was developed in 1995 for those suffering from mild to moderate pain and needed pain relief around the clock. Basically, OxyContin has oxycodone in it, but it has a time-release factor so that the pain-killing effect lasts longer (meaning the drug does not have to be taken as often).

Oxycodone is an opioid narcotic painkiller that, when taken, has an immediate painkiller effect. It is oxycodone that people believe is the lesser of two evils because it is actually combined with Tylenol or ibuprofen. In fact, Percocet, Tylox, Percodan, and OxyContin all contain oxycodone.

The effects of OxyContin vs. oxycodone

OxyContin has a much stronger effect on pain because it is has a high concentration of oxycodone in it. Medications that have oxycodone added may relieve pain for between 4 to 6 hours, but OxyContin can relieve pain for about 12 hours.

Dangers of OxyContin abuse and overdose

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that oxycodone has been abused for over three decades, but when OxyContin was introduced, the abuse escalated greatly. In fact, OxyContin is not only highly addictive – it is also lethal. The euphoric feeling that it gives can cause people to want to use more and more of it, which can lead to respiratory failure. If used with other drugs like alcohol, the risk increases greatly.

What is OxyContin called on the street?

There are various names for OxyContin on the street, such as:

  • OC
  • Oxycotton
  • Kicker
  • Hillbilly heroin

Risks of OxyContin addiction

Experts state that OxyContin is the most abused opioid in the United States because of the strong dosage. It is easier to abuse because many people sell such opioids on the streets and still others find plenty of opioids in medicine cabinets of family and friends.

Prescription drug abuse via pain pills is quite high, as many people like the euphoric and relaxed feeling that painkillers give them. There are various ways that those who abuse the drug do so. Some crush the pill and either snort or swallow it. Others may dilute the pill in some water and inject it. What this does is destroy the time-release mechanism so that the person gets a strong euphoric feeling right away. In fact, some users state that they get just about the same feeling when they use heroin.

What to do for prescription drug abuse

If you feel like you are addicted to prescription pain pills, it is important that you reach out for help. You can talk to a therapist, attend a detox, rehab, and find some support through 12 step recovery groups. The statistics on prescription pain pills are alarming; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that in 2011 more people died from using pain meds than from using illegal drugs.

Reach out today for help if you feel you are addicted to pain pills as there is abundant help available. You do not have to live a life of addiction, but rather get free and live a life of freedom, peace, and joy. Take the first step toward freedom today by reaching out for help.

About the author: Dominica Applegate is an author, writer, personal development and relationship expert. She has a deep passion for discovering and sharing authentic spiritual truth. She has been discovering herself under all sorts of odd layers and loves to share her stories and lessons learned with anyone that will listen. She loves reading, contemplating, nature, family time, and traveling. Read her ongoing guest blog at Pat Moore Foundation or connect with Dominica through her website.
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
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