Oxycodone & OxyContin Addiction
What Are Opiods?
Addiction to prescription drugs is becoming increasingly problematic. One of the more widely abused medications is oxycodone. Oxycodone is commonly referred to by its brand name, Oxycontin. Oxycodone is a form of opioid, which is a drug classification that includes many substances:
- Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
There are many other medications that include Oxycodone, and these are also often abused. They include: Percocet, Percodan, Oxycocet, and Endocet. All these medications are dangerous and have extremely high levels of addictive properties.
Oxycontin is a semi-synthetic opioid that is chemically derived from codeine. It is primarily used in medicine to relieve acute pain suffered as the result of disease, surgery, or injury. These medications were originally considered to be of great value in the management of pain in terminal illnesses such as cancer, where dependence is no longer an issue. Today they are being given for all kinds of pain management, and as a result, addiction has become an epidemic.
Oxycodone Addiction Symptoms & Effects
An individual using Oxycodone will show many signs of use. Some of the short-term effects to be expected include:
- Relief from pain
- A state of detachment, contentment, and freedom from distressing emotions
- Respiratory depression
- Cough suppression
- Dry mouth
The long-term effects of oxycodone addiction will cause a breakdown of the basic functioning of the body. Abuse of the substance can cause bodily harm to liver, lung, heart, and brain function. Do not let this happen to yourself! Get help today with our proven drug rehab program in Toronto.
The use of opioids will lead to the rapid development of tolerance. As tolerance to the desired effects develops, the daily dose of the drug must be increased to compensate for decreased sensitivity. Eventually the user will reach what is called a drug plateau were they simply cannot raise the dose any higher and are not reaching the desired results. At this point, the user is simply continuing to administer the drug to avoid withdrawal, rather than to achieve a euphoric experience. Very commonly, users may switch to a more potent drug such as heroin.
Physical Dependence and Withdrawal
Almost all regular users do become both physically and psychologically dependent upon opioids. With their powerful mood enhancing, anxiety and pain-relieving effects, these drugs have a high dependence liability. Patterns of purposeful drug seeking behaviour are extremely challenging to break, and the relapse rate is significantly high.
Withdrawal from opioids, which may begin as early as a few hours after the last administration, produces uneasiness, yawning, tears, diarrhea, abdominal pain, goose bumps and runny nose. These symptoms are accompanied by an intense craving from the drug. These symptoms peak at approximately 48-72 hours and subside over a week. These withdrawal symptoms can at times be described as unbearable.
Because the dependence to Oxycontin and other opioids is so high, the withdrawal is so difficult that it is almost always the case that individuals with a dependence to these substances will need both treatment and support from a group of professionals in order to successfully abstain and stay abstinent for a lasting period of time. This process begins with a properly facilitated withdrawal management program (detox), followed by an assessment to ensure an adequate treatment plan is developed.
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