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When prescribed and used properly, OxyContin can effectively relieve chronic pain. However, as evidenced by America’s prescription opioid overdose epidemic, it’s easy to misuse the drug and develop an OxyContin addiction, and that can result in health problems that are much more severe than the initial pain issue.
OxyContin, which is also known as oxycodone, is an opiate. This drug acts powerfully upon the brain, attaching to receptors in the brain that trigger a feeling of pleasure that blocks out other sensations. That’s what makes it an effective pain reliever, but that’s also what may lead to OxyContin abuse. Your brain will start craving that blissed-out high, which can lead you to continue taking the drug. However, it will get harder to attain that euphoric high, which means you’ll likely end up consuming more and more OxyContin, developing a dependence on the drug.
If you start abusing OxyContin, you may feel drowsy or in a stupor. You can also experience nausea or constipation. The opiate effect also slows down breathing; in the worst case, that can prevent enough oxygen from reaching your brain. The consequences are dangerous, ranging from brain damage to death.
You may be addicted to OxyContin if you find yourself misusing the drug—you either ignore your doctor’s prescribed orders or you use a prescription that doesn’t belong to you. You may reach the point where taking the pill orally isn’t enough so you turn the capsules into liquid form and inject it.
Another sign of OcyContin addiction is that you simply can’t stop taking it compulsively, and you will ignore everything else in your life to get your high. Relationships may suffer, or you may lose your job and fall into financial hardship. If you do try to stop taking OxyContin, it can throw your body into withdrawal—diarrhea and vomiting, restlessness, interrupted sleep, cold flashes and cravings are among the symptoms you may experience. Stopping your OxyContin use cold turkey on your own is often difficult and painful, requiring a range of medical and behavioral treatment tools. Because of this, it’s often best to get professional treatment for your recovery from heroin abuse and addiction.
At Sheer Recovery, we understand the magnitude of work and effort involved in treating an OxyContin addiction. Our professional and experienced staff members offer support and guidance through every stage of the process, starting with the initial detoxification stage—where you will have help around the clock—and into the inpatient and outpatient treatment phases, where you will learn the tools and strategies to recover from your addiction and work on building a sober lifestyle. Underlying contributing factors of your addiction, such as mental health issues, will also be addressed for holistic mind-body therapy.
Prescription opioids must be prescribed and used wisely, as recent news stories can attest. If you find that you have started to misuse OxyContin, it’s vital to get help to prevent long-lasting health repercussions. At Sheer Recovery, we can give you the help that you need to break the addiction cycle and start down the road to sobriety and a healthy life.