Prescription drug abuse is currently one of the biggest drug challenges for law enforcement and addiction recovery specialists.  At the forefront of the prescription drug abuse problem is OxyContin, a powerful opiate painkiller.  OxyContin is the brand name for oxycodone hydrochloride, a synthetic opiate pain medication that is manufactured by Purdue Phara.  This powerful narcotic drug has a time-release formula that allows a single dose to provide pain relief for up to 12 hours.  This formula sets OxyContin apart from other prescription pain medications which typically are effective for only 3 to 4 hours.  While OxyContin’s formula has helped many people who suffer from chronic pain, it also brings an increased potential for abuse.

OxyContin Abuse and Addiction

Since its introduction in 1995, recreational drug users have found that crushing OxyContin tablets and then injecting, snorting or ingesting the powder allows them to experience a feeling of intense euphoria.  When OxyContin is abused, it can quickly become both psychologically and physically addictive.  Despite the negative side effects of OxyContin abuse, those who are addicted will continue to use the drug.  As they build a tolerance for the effects of OxyContin, they will require larger and larger doses.

OxyContin is classified as Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high risk of abuse.  Its sale is under strict control and it can be obtained legally only by prescription.  OxyContin abusers often visit multiple doctors to obtain prescription or buy tablets from illegal drug dealers.  As addiction takes hold, every aspect of the OxyContin abuser’s life will be affected by addiction, including employment, finances and relationships.

The euphoria provided by crushed OxyContin is compared by many users to heroin.  Like heroin, the initial euphoric rush is followed by lethargy and depression of the respiratory system.  Death from overdose is possible due to respiratory failure.

OxyContin Addiction Recovery

Very few people who have become addicted to OxyContin are able to recover without assistance.  Because it is a narcotic drug, stopping its use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms including potentially fatal seizures.  Thanks to recent advances in narcotic addiction recovery treatment, the pain and severity of withdrawal can be decreased.  With rehabilitation therapy, the chances of relapse are also decreased.