Oxycontin is a powerful painkiller which can quickly take hold of an addict’s life. Although clinical studies have shown it to be useful for pain relief in cancer and other chronic-pain patients, its illicit use is part of the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse in America. Like other opium derivates, Oxycontin is commonly abused by stressed workers, hospital patients, and even teens. Because of its widespread availability and rapid onset of addiction, more people need to be aware of the dangers and treatments for Oxycontin addiction.
The Dangers of Oxycontin
The primary danger of Oxycontin abuse is the rapid formation of severe addictions. Even hospital patients can experience severe withdrawal symptoms if they suddenly discontinue prescribed dosages. Withdrawal tends to involve anxiety, memory loss, and flu-like symptoms, but some addicts have also experienced heart palpitations, seizures, and even heart attacks. Other dangers of using Oxycontin include:
*Nausea and vomiting
*Impotence (rare cases)
Finally, some Oxycontin users will crush their pills, dilute them in water, and inject them. The undissolved particles can become stuck in veins and arteries, causing blockages and long-term damage. Sharing needles also leads to the transmission of AIDS and other blood-borne pathogens.
Signs You Need Help
Although Oxycontin is a legal drug, it causes people to form addictions in exactly the same way as they would become hooked on heroin and other opiates. Frequent users develop tolerances, and continued use causes the formation of chemical dependencies. If you can’t make it through a day without taking Oxycontin, you have an addiction. Additional signs of addiction include denial, purposeful social isolation, and obsessions over getting high.
Beginning with Detox
For many drugs, detox is a painful but simple process of deprivation which weans users of their physical dependencies. However, most opiate addictions cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms which should be mitigated. One way doctors reduce the risks is to induce rapid detox. They administer specialized medications which allow patients to experience days of withdrawal in a matter of hours. The process is still painful, but the duration of risk exposure is drastically reduced.
Methadone treatment is a more gradual but highly controversial alternative. Methadone is another opiate which some clinics offer to patients in slowly decreasing dosages. Over a period of several weeks, people addicted to Oxycontin or heroin can ease their way out of physical dependency. However, methadone is known to be far more habit-forming than other opiates, and people who become hooked on it during treatment often end up with even more severe addictions. Most rehab specialists recommend that addicts exhaust all other options before using methadone – or that they never use it at all.
Effective Therapies for Treatment
Clinically-administered detox is especially important for opiate addicts, but it is only the first step in treating Oxycontin addiction. Most patients move on to residential inpatient care for thirty to ninety-day programs. They live at their clinics and spend ten or more hours per day undergoing counseling, family therapies, biofeedback, and a variety of other proven treatments. Overall, these therapies are designed to help addicts manage the cravings they will inevitably experience for years to come.
If you are struggling with Oxycontin or other drugs, there is no time to waste. Addiction can ruin your life, so seeking treatment as soon as possible is crucial to your long-term recovery. Pick up the phone and call the number at the top of your screen now for a confidential consultation, and get started on a drug rehab program today.