Oxycontin is a brand name for the prescription drug with its major component being oxycodone-hydrochloride. It is an opioid. Opioids resemble morphine and other opiates in their pharmacological effects.  They are derived from the natural occurring substances found in the Asian opium poppy flower. Heroin and morphine are common names for drugs most widely known to come from the poppy plant.

Oxycontin addiction is troubling because it is so often the unintended consequence of taking a prescribed drug offered by a medical doctor for the primary purpose of persistent pain relief.

An addiction recovery and drug rehab program can begin to heal what has become a devastating scourge of prescription overdose death and addictions worldwide. Like the opioids hydrocodone and oxycodone, the brand name drug “Oxycontin” is made from some of the same opiate derived substances found those and many brand name prescription medicines.

All addictions, including the addiction to prescription drugs like Oxycontin, are treatable. This page details some of the dangers and ways to receive treatment. The Action Recovery Group’s rehab center for alcohol and drug addictions is ready to help you and your loved one struggling with the insidious addiction to Oxycontin and other drugs.

Call 1 (801) 475-4673 to begin the process of freedom from drug dependency today!

Dangers of Oxycontin Addiction and Abuse

Addictions from prescription pain medications can be insidious. Oxycontin related overdoses and deaths have spiked dramatically over the past decade and a half. Often prescribed for pain relief, people may tend to overuse; seeking greater doses for the euphoric and short-term pain relief effect the medication provides.

Medical professionals, aware of the tendency for an opioid type drug to create dependency, have been more cautious in their prescriptions of Oxycontin. Nevertheless, the risk exists to become addicted and dependent upon Oxycontin and drug medications like it, including those containing oxycodone and hydrocodone.

The mixing of other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, and prescription drugs derived from opium such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, may exacerbate the situation of casual use to permanent dependency. This temptation to mix drugs stems from a desire either for a quicker effect on the brain and to avoid withdrawal symptoms which can be intensely painful. This has further led to high rates of accidental overdose and death even among casual first time users.

Drug abuse with Oxycontin and other prescribed medications occurs when a person seeks the “high” or euphoric effect which accompanies the pain killing properties of the drug.

What is Oxycontin?

Oxycontin is a brand name prescription drug most often prescribed for pain relief.  Its main components are classed as “opioids” and also “opiates.”  Street names for Oxycontin include “Oxycotton,” “OC,” “Killer,” and “Hillbilly Heroin.”

The main opioid substance which makes up the prescription bran Oxycontin is “oxycodone” and includes hydrochloride.  The terms “opioid” and “opiate” sometimes confuse people. They are essentially referring to compounds derived from the Asian poppy flower and can be explained as follows from NAABT.Org:

“Opiates are drugs derived from opium. At one time “opioids” referred to synthetic opiates only (drugs created to emulate opium, however different chemically). Now the term Opioid is used for the entire family of opiates including natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic.” www.naabt.org/education/opiates_opioids.cfm

From www.drugabuse.gov we read the following:

“Opioids, mostly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, include drugs such as hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin) and oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin). Opioids act on the brain and body by attaching to specific cell surface proteins called opioid receptors, which are found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract and other organs. When these drugs attach to certain opioid receptors, they can attenuate the perception of pain and its attendant suffering. These drugs also can induce euphoria by indirectly boosting dopamine levels in the brain regions that influence our perceptions of pleasure. This feeling is often intensified by abusers who snort or inject the drug, amplifying its euphorigenic effects and increasing the risk for serious medical consequences, such as respiratory arrest, coma, and addiction. Combining opioids with alcohol or other CNS depressants can exacerbate these consequences.” http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2010/09/prescription-drug-abuse

Oxycontin – also known as oxycodone-hydrochloride – is obtained legally by prescription only. Its purposes are to reduce severe and chronic pain. It is prescribed in twelve hours doses rather every three to six hour dosing as other opioid derived prescription drugs. Cancer patients, those suffering from injury, after-surgery pain, and from chronic conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, have been prescribed Oxycontin to help the persistent pain dilemma. Like other opioids and central nervous system depressants a tolerance to the dosage of Oxycontin may occur over time, requiring stronger doses. This can often lead to an addiction and dependency.

Oxycontin is a time released prescription drug which was first introduced by FDA approval in 1995. It has become a preferred drug of use and misuse because of its powerful euphoric effects. As a result of oxycodone-hydrochloride’s ability to attach to what is called “opioid receptors” in the brain – the body receives a pleasure response.

When taken for pure pleasure the drug Oxycontin may turn into drug abuse. When the craving for the drug becomes an obsession a drug rehab treatment center is most often needed to reverse the user’s obsessive desire for the opioid drug.

Opioid Class of Prescription Drugs

Opioids are a class of drugs that are prescribed for relieving pain. Pain in all its forms destroys the quality of life.  Pain relief is always a temporary reprieve and benefit to chronic sufferers.  Some of the pain sufferers may have a terminal illness. When prudently dispensed, opioids can help in the treatment of pain while seeking to avoid addiction.  Some of the brand name prescriptions classed as opioids include:

  • Oxycontin
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Lortab
  • Vicodin
  • Lorcet
  • Roxicet
  • Darvon
  • Demerol

Short and Long Term Effects of Oxycontin Addiction and Abuse

Misuse, abuse, and unintended addictions create both long and short term effects in the body. Because a tolerance builds in the body to prescribed doses it takes stronger dosing to get the same effect. Addiction then, is the main short and long term effect of Oxycontin and other drug abuse.

Because Oxycontin and other opioids can suppress breathing, when overdosing and mixing with other central nervous system drugs occurs – including alcohol – respiratory failure and death may occur.

Some of the ill effects occurring in the body from Oxycontin and opioid addiction include:

  • Heart, liver, and kidney damage
  • Respiratory failure
  • Cardiac arrest and cardiovascular damage
  • Brain and nerve damage
  • Overdose and possible death

Withdrawal from Opioids:

A person with a dependency or addiction on opiate drugs will suffer withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop abruptly. Withdrawal symptoms may peak anywhere between 24 and 48 hours and last for many days.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms from drugs considered opioids include:

  • Severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shakes and shivering-chills
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Runny nose and teary eyes

Action Recovery Group Oxycontin Rehab

Recovery from opiate addiction takes time but is possible. An addicted person will need to reframe dependency through learning of coping skills that help deal with the challenge of dependency and underlying motivations for opiate abuse.

At Action Recovery Group in Ogden, this begins with an individualized approach to healing addictions created by Oxycontin and other opioid drugs. Specific treatment designed with the individual in mind is created with dedicated staff, medical, and counseling professionals.  Drug rehab is the positive first step in reclaiming independence and freedom from any drug or alcohol addiction.

Action Recovery Group of Ogden, Utah offers a highly effective program for long-term sobriety and recovery. For more information about prescription drug addiction, please contact our drug treatment center today at 801-475-4673.