OxyContin Addiction and Abuse

by Jo on February 17, 2012

OxyContin Addiction and Abuse


According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), prescription drug abuse corresponds with nearly 30 percent of the overall problem with drugs in the United States. This is a close second to only one street drug, cocaine. The number one prescribed drug that hits the streets most often, because doctors prescribed it more often for moderate pain, is Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin. OxyContin is a narcotic that is used for severe pain associated with Cancer, Arthritis and other long-term illnesses. However, hundreds of thousands of doctors are prescribing the Oxy for mild to moderate pain.

A Semi-synthetic Opiate

Over six million prescriptions for OxyContin are written each year and most of them are for mild symptoms of pain. When the pain subsides, several patients see an opportunity to make a few bucks and sell the Oxy on the street. The street value of Oxy pills is around $20 to $400 per pill depending on the strength and where you live. Doses range from 10 mg to 160 mg tablets. The tablets are white, green, gold and pink and each one is only slightly larger than the dosage before it so users do not realize they are taking so much by switching or mixing colors. 

Because OxyContin, a semi-synthetic opiate is highly addictive, doctors who have studied the affects of the drug rarely prescribe a small amount after a surgical procedure for severe pain. Doctors who have patients with chronic illnesses and pain will prescribe OxyContin for longer periods of time, often contributing to the addiction of their patients. The OxyContin is a cousin to the morphine class of pain relievers.

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Time-released OxyContin Caplets

Very young people are a large group of OxyContin abusers. The time-released caplets, often compared to heroine, could be crushed to gain all the medication at one time and they typically crush the tablets. When they take a dose of OxyContin, they say they feel warm and fuzzy after an extreme high or rush. When a person in pain takes Oxy, they will feel less pain – what the drug was designed to do. However people are not told the truth aboutOxy’s very addictive nature. A body in pain and a normal body react differently. 

Crushing a time-release OxyContin pill to get all the medication at one time could end in death. Some will crush or chew the pill to get a brain rush. When crushing the pill some will mix it with a little water and inject it into a vein for the quickest high, others will simply crush it and snort it. Crushing OxyContin time-release pills can cause death. If prolonged use of OxyContin continues without resulting in death, there could be harsh damage to kidneys and the liver. The number one side effect is addiction.

Only Takes One Time to Overdose

OxyContin addicts – like most addicts – are often secretive. They will hide their pills in mint tins or other candy dispensers. If they are shooting up the dangerous drug, they may have abscesses, boils or other skin lesions or infections caused by the drug. The addict will have low energy levels, often nodding off to sleep in the middle of the day and sleeping a lot. They are often confused and apathetic. As a parent; if you suspect that your child is addicted to OxyContin, it is imperative you get them immediate help. It only takes one time to overdose.

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