What are the Signs of Oxycontin Addiction?
OxyContin is the trade name for the controlled-release narcotic oxycodone hydrochloride, with oxycodone as the active ingredient. It is legally prescribed for severe pain when continual pain control is required around the clock. It is designed to be swallowed whole. The National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) reports that nearly one million people of all ages in the United States have abused OxyContin by chewing or crushing the tablets and snorting or dissolving in water for injection. This illegal abuse puts an unsafe level of drug into your body and can lead to death.
What Will I See?
When you are suffering in pain, you just want relief. You don’t enter into a pain control regimen with the intent of becoming addicted. It is likely, however, for your body to develop a tolerance and dependence on OxyContin as it is a highly addictive narcotic. Some of the signs you may notice that indicate an addiction include your physical reactions when you can’t get the drug or when you have developed a tolerance to the drug. These include:
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
Look for indications that you or the one you suspect of addiction is taking more of the drug than prescribed, or taking it in ways other than intended, such as crushing or chewing the tablet. You may observe irritability and irrationality when access to OxyContin is denied, or you may see a loss of energy and apathy. A loss of appetite is common for an addict to OxyContin.
Behavioral Signs of Addiction
Addiction to a prescription medication, such as OxyContin, may be harder to recognize or prove than one to illegal substances. The general signs of addiction, however, are the same, such as:
- An obsession for more. Addicts of OxyContin may resort to “doctor shopping” where they make multiple doctor visits for the same condition or frequent emergency room trips to obtain more prescriptions.
- Making excuses. OxyContin addicts may make up pain symptoms without cause just to obtain a prescription. Some may cause purposeful injury for the sake of getting the drug.
- Illegal sources. OxyContin is available illegally from sources other than pharmacies, such as the Internet and street sources.
- Activity changes. As OxyContin addiction takes hold, you may notice a change in attitude toward routine activities, such as work or school. Sluggishness or a lack of motivation is common in addiction. You may also see mood changes, such as violence, if access to the drug is denied. Addicts may begin to withdraw from family and social meetings, or prefer to sleep rather than interacting with others.
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Since OxyContin is designed as a slow-release medication, abuse by crushing or chewing the tablet can cause severe overdose symptoms, such as seizures, confusion, clammy skin, loss of consciousness, respiratory distress, and coma or death. If any of these signs are present, get immediate medical help.
If you suspect OxyContin addiction is present in yourself or someone you care about, don’t wait to get help. Our staff is available to help you through the process one step at a time until you reach recovery and a life without addiction.