OxyContin is a timed-release formula of the opiate product, oxycodone. Physicians prescribe OxyContin for patients who are experiencing severe chronic pain and who need something to address that pain continuously over a period of time. Because of growing problems with OxyContin abuse and addiction to OxyContin and other opiate-based pain medications, the US Food and Drug Administration has classified OxyContin as a Schedule II drug. This means that, among other restrictions, means that physicians will prescribe OxyContin in limited quantities, and they will not refill those prescriptions apart from an in-person consultation with the patient. Unfortunately, as the opioid epidemic testifies, that has not been the case.
With repeated exposure to OxyContin, an individual will develop a tolerance to the drug and will not experience the same level of pain relief with lower doses. Tolerance is an expected consequence of longer-term OxyContin use. It is also a precursor to dependence and addiction, and physicians will carefully monitor patients for signs of a developing addiction, which can include using the drug to experience euphoria rather than as a means of controlling pain, and seeking OxyContin without a prescription or using it at dosages or in a manner other than as prescribed.
The timed-release aspect of OxyContin makes it particularly useful for chronic pain, but that aspect can be defeated by OxyContin abusers who crush pills in order to swallow or snort the resulting powder. These ingestion methods can create a sense of euphoria that is similar to a heroin high, with an equal risk of rapidly developing an opiate addiction. OxyContin is a useful and effective pharmaceutical product for patients who suffer from chronic pain, but anecdotal stories about OxyContin abuse and opiate addiction are creating a backlash against the drug among a patient population who can still benefit from it without an addiction risk. Physicians are being trained to address these concerns and to be selective in their decisions over whether to prescribe OxyContin or some other analgesic to manage chronic pain. Other opiate-based pain medication, such as Percocet and Percodan, blend oxycodone with aspirin or acetaminophen. Patients who are sensitive to those other analgesics will be limited to OxyContin for pain relief.
Oxycontin is a dangerous opiate which has contributed to the nationwide opioid epidemic claiming over 50,000 lives to overdose. If you are struggling with opiate addiction, the time is now to ask for help. Call Design For Change today for information on our detox and treatment programs, which are helping clients change their lives one step at a time. (877) 267-3646