Strong Pain Reliever Can Lead to Abuse and Addiction

Although OxyContin is a major weapon against chronic or severe pain, its use can lead to addiction and drug abuse. The synthetic opioid works in the body much like morphine. An unfortunate similarity is that OxyContin can prove highly addictive.

OxyContin, known as oxycodone when given as a generic drug, is a controlled substance. Doctors who prescribe it to relieve pain want their patients to keep a close eye on their intake. OxyContin abuse has increased dramatically in recent times in spite increased medical and legal scrutiny.

Two years ago the National Institute on Drug Abuse studied American high school students. The NIDA reported that greater than five percent of twelfth graders abused OxyContin, taking it without prescription. OxyContin abusers are not limited to the young; its use continues throughout all parts of the population.

Doctors have become more cautious about prescribing strong pain relievers. They must walk a fine line between appropriate prescribing and holding back from those caught in the web of abuse. Addiction can creep up on people, taking them by surprise.

Some people may be on the drug for months or years before they realize they have crossed the line into addiction. Others may not be able to admit that they have a problem. They may try to convince themselves and others that they are only occasional drug users who take OxyContin only when they need to relax.

It is easy to convince oneself that drug abuse is not in play when one is actually addicted. Some people are just as good at convincing themselves as they are at convincing others that they do not have a problem. For awhile at least they maintain the illusion that they choose when they take OxyContin, that the drug does not have control of them.

Signs of OxyContin addiction can be observed so that addicts themselves as well as loved ones can become aware of growing trouble. Having to take more OxyContin for the same results is one warning sign. If people get into legal trouble or come close to a legal problem because of drug use, then that should be taken as a signal.

Drug use will sometimes replace other activities in a person’s life. When taking drugs becomes more important than other people other events, then abuse should be suspected. Dependency on drugs for pleasure is not a good sign.

For an addict, withdrawal symptoms will arise when the drug dose gets reduced or eliminated. Getting over an addiction is often not a simple matter of quitting. Dependency makes leaving the drug behind a difficult matter.

In spite of promises to themselves and loved ones, OxyContin addicts face a battle in getting over their drug dependency. Another sign of addiction is the arrival of withdrawal symptoms when the user skips taking the drug. Withdrawal itself can scare drug users back into the vicious cycle of abuse.

One symptom of OxyContin addiction is the experience of blackouts. Forgetting events that the drug taker has lived through or knowing that he or she has passed out can signal addiction. Loved ones calling attention to the drug users’ blackouts can help the user ultimately face the addiction.

Abuse of OxyContin destroys people’s emotional and physical well-being. Depression and social alienation can set in, ruining the drug abuser’s sense of self. Insomnia or a major increase in the need for sleep may haunt the lives of addicts.

Other signs of a drug abuse problem include changed eating habits that result in sudden weight loss or weight gain. Slurred speech and lack of coordination may set in when people step over the line into drug abuse. OxyContin is an important medicine for the treatment of pain, but users need to know that it can lead to drug abuse.