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Oxycontin Addiction and Abuse
Oxycontin is a pain relieving drug that is available by prescription only and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. When used under the supervision of a physician it is very effective and is used by cancer patients and those with long-term chronic pain.
Oxycontin targets the receptors in the brain that are responsible for pain and turns them off. This drug also stimulates the pleasure area of the brain which causes the user to feel happier than normal. A person may think that if they feel better with a small dose, then a larger dose will be even better, thus beginning their addiction or dependence on the drug.
There are some people who will get a prescription from their physician for an injury or long-term chronic pain. They will then take a few of the pills themselves and sell the rest to others who are hooked on the drug. Sometimes, physicians themselves are also hooked on the drug and write prescriptions for themselves.
The fact that many people think prescription drugs are "safe" is one of the reasons these medications are so widely abused. Oxycontin is the most widely prescribed painkiller and therefore is one of the most abused prescription drugs. With an increase in Internet pharmacies OxyContin can often be obtained without a prescription and without identification. The drug can cost between $1.25 and $14 a tablet depending on the strength at a pharmacy with a prescription. On the street it can be sold for $5 and up. This may seem high, but the cost of heroin, cocaine and speed is much higher. Oxycontin is a suitable substitute for heroin because it produces the same effects but at a more reliable dose and a cheaper price.
Teenagers are one age group that uses Oxycontin to get high. Often they will steal the drug from their family's medicine cabinet. First time users think they can not die from an overdose due to the fact that they start out with a small amount. After once trying it they will think that they have never felt better in their lives and then want to experiment with higher and higher doses.
The tablet is meant to be swallowed whole, however, an abuser will often chew it, crush the tablets and snort it or mix it with water and inject it. These methods release the Oxycontin faster.
Withdrawal symptoms of Oxycontin can range from restlessness, a runny nose, irritability, and insomnia and weakness. A person may experience these symptoms if they try to quit the drug without the help of a medical professional or some form of substance abuse treatment.
Drug treatment centers will often use methadone, which is a synthetic opioid that alters the effects of Oxycontin, reduces drug craving and lessens the withdrawal symptoms. Daily treatment of methadone is required but it has been used for 3 decades and many addicts now lead productive lives.
Rehabilitation is the key to overcoming drug addiction. A person who receives help has a much better chance of overcoming their addiction to a prescription drug.