One of the most common addictions these days is the addiction to prescription drugs. One of the most frequently abused of those is the opioid Oxycontin. Sometimes referred to simply as “oxy”. Just like morphine and heroin, it is made from the poppy
Oxycontin is one formulation of the drug oxycodone and is designed to provide slow-release or time-release effects to the user. It can release its dose for up to 12 hours from the time it is taken, differing from many other opioids that only last up to about 6 hours.
This extended duration is one of the reasons that Oxycontin addiction has skyrocketed. Originally prescribed for pain relief, particularly of chronic pain. This level of chronic pain would be for illnesses like cancer. This leads to it being taken for long periods, however, giving it a high potential for abuse.
Generally, the pills are simply taken as pills, but that may not be the case in cases of severe abuse or addiction. In more extreme cases, the user may crush up the pill to bypass the time-release function. This can include not only chewing it but crushing it up and either snorting it or injecting it like many other opioids.
What is an Oxycontin High?
Oxycontin changes how your body and brain respond to pain. When someone is prescribed Oxycontin for legitimate pain control, they usually do not experience the same type of “high” that an addict does when they abuse it. However, once the user has developed a dependency on Oxycontin, they will receive an immediate euphoric effect, and a pleasant and relaxing high that follows and lasts for 8 to 12 hours.
If someone is abusing Oxycontin, they will often display signs that are similar to those of other opioid addictions. Some of the commonly seen effects are mostly related to the function of the opioids as central nervous system depressants. The user may display slow or weak movement abilities, often coupled with very powerful sleepiness or drowsiness. Feeling of extreme detachment and escape that forms powerful psychological ties. When a user speaks, they may slur their speech to varying degrees.
Users also begin to feel a reduced appetite while they are using, and with the long release period of Oxycontin, it can quickly become a chronic issue. If the user takes too much it can cause acute vomiting and persistent nausea while active in the system. This can contribute to both sudden and long-term undesired weight loss. Other symptoms include lethargy, dizziness, a state of confusion, and itching that is not explained by any other illness or skin issue.
Side-Effects of an Oxycontin High
There are a significant number of dangerous and unhealthy side-effects that can occur with acute, long-term, or heavy use. Some of these are reversible, but sometimes there are adverse health effects that cannot be stopped or reversed.
When the drug is crushed to a sufficient degree, it can then be snorted and inhaled in a similar fashion to cocaine. When Oxycontin is insufflated, it is absorbed much more quickly than through digestion. The speedy passage of the Oxycontin into the bloodstream allows for a much faster onset of the effects.
When users are frequent abusers of Oxycontin and use it in this way, there is a greatly increased chance of chronic sinus infections. Also with prolonged use, the sensitive nasal tissue can be damaged over longer periods. This breakdown of nasal tissue can lead to significant damage to the nasal cavity itself. Sometimes, tissue death, or necrosis
In users that inject Oxycontin, there are even more dangerous effects. These users crush the pills and mix the residue with water so that it can be injected directly into their bodies. Oxycontin is often injected into skin, muscle, or veins.
This injection drug use is incredibly dangerous and carries unique and possibly deadly risks with it. Injecting Oxycontin can lead to blood-borne pathogens being introduced to otherwise healthy people. This includes the risk of hepatitis, HIV, and other diseases. The World Health Organization estimates that up to ten percent of all new HIV/AIDS infections can be directly linked to injection drug use
The danger of overdose is also much higher with injected drugs. Dosages are much harder to estimate if the drug is being injected instead of swallowed, this can lead to overdoses in new users in particular. Another risk comes from the small bits of crushed pill that can cause circulation problems and even kidney damage.
If you believe that you or a loved one may have overdosed on Oxycontin, there are some signs to look for in the user. These signs may include:
- Racing heart
- Excessive or unexplained sweating
- Muscle weakness
- New or sudden difficulty in breathing
- Pinpoint pupils
- Blueish coloration to the fingertips or lips
During an Oxycontin overdose, it is essential to get medical intervention immediately. The person overdosing will need significant medical help, and will likely need to be admitted to the hospital for more observation.
What to Do If Addicted to an Oxycontin High
When Oxycontin is taken without medical supervision, and sometimes even when taken as prescribed, it can lead to a powerful addiction and dependence. When this dependence begins to take over your loved one’s life or begins to take its toll on their health or finances, it is crucial that they are able to rely on a support network.
It is important that the users know that when this sickness is confronted and addressed without shame or judgment, the chances of success are much greater. When the user understands the dangers and the eventual results of their abuse and accepts help, the chances are raised even more.
Working with an experienced and professional treatment facility may be the most beneficial for everyone involved. Not only do many facilities offer tailored inpatient and outpatient treatment plans, but they will also help teach the user effective strategies for staying sober.
If you are ready to take to dismantle the powerful grip that addiction can have on your life and well-being, the time to get help is now. Reach out to a premier inpatient rehab who can give you the support, encouragement, and guidance you need to create the future you’ve always dreamed about today.