OxyContin became a legal prescription drug less than 20 years ago. The narcotic pain reliever is a derivative of opium; its active ingredient is Oxycodone. [ref] http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/ucm207196.htm[/ref]
When used correctly, OxyContin provides extended relief from pain associated with cancer, back pain or arthritis. However, this drug is often used for purposes unintended by those who prescribe it. OxyContin is a dangerous drug gaining in popularity and availability.
Why is OxyContin Abused?
If used incorrectly, OxyContin can give its users a brief sense of elation, happiness and well-being. This euphoria demonstrates the key reason people abuse OxyContin. Prolonged and chronic use of the drug can easily develop an addiction or dependence to OxyContin.
Though the new form of the drug makes it harder for addicts to crush and abuse, OxyContin remains widely available. The drug does requires a prescription to be obtained legally, but illicit channels have developed a huge market in India, making it easy to get ahold of the drug without a doctor's consent.
How is OxyContin Abuse?
When used correctly, OxyContin is taken exactly as prescribed. Typically this means swallowing one pill every 12 hours. Drinking plenty of water aids the drug as it slowly releases the Oxycodone into your body.
Those abusing OxyContin admit the drug into their bodies a couple different ways. Pills are usually administered one of three ways:[ref] http://injury-law.freeadvice.com/injury-law/drug-toxic_chemicals/oxycontin_side_effects_uses.htm[/ref]
- Injecting OxyContin: When Addicts chose to inject OxyContin, usually into a vein in their forearm, they grind up the pill and dissolve it by heating.
- Chewing OxyContin: A less common way addicts abuse the pill is simply popping it into their mouths and chewing.
- Snorting OxyContin: Some addicts like to crush the pills into a fine powder and sniff the drug through their nose.
The Dangers of OxyContin
OxyContin pills are designed to release their active ingredient into the person slowly, usually over 10 to 12 hours. When addicts choose to break the rules and speed up the process by chewing or grinding up the drug—problems arise.
The high from an overdose (by chewing, snorting or injecting) is usually immediate and intense, but the long term effects are terrible:
- Addiction can easily begin. And OxyContin is very expensive.
- Dependence can quickly develop through a chemical changes in the brain urging you to take the drug again and again.
- If you begin to use OxyContin regularly and attempt to stop, withdrawal effects including severe flu-like symptoms, muscle and bone pain and acute nausea often overtake the body. Withdrawals of from OxyContin are similar in form to those of Heroin.
- OxyContin abuse often cause respiratory failure, and can lead to death.
- OxyContin can also cause damage to the brain as it often changes the brain's chemical structure.
Of course there are many other dangers of abusing OxyContin like contracting HIV from contaminated needles, or developing clinical depression. The main point we'd like to communicate is: please stay away from drugs like OxyContin.
But if you're addicted, there has never been a better time to get help than right now.