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OxyContin Abuse

OxyContin is an opioid that was initially introduced in 1995. It is a Schedule 11 controlled drug generally used to treat severe pain disorders. OxyContin is a potent painkiller that is commonly used in clinical medicine. Due to its mood altering effects, Oxycontin abuse can occur. OxyContin is available by prescription only; therefore, unlawful possession can result in criminal prosecution. Over the past decade, OxyContin has seen a rise in its popularity; its mood altering effects has consequently caused a substantive increase in illegal usage.

In addition to relieving pain, OxyContin can decrease anxiety, induce euphoria, and cause mental relaxation. As is the case with all opioid analgesics, increasing doses results in more pain relief. OxyContin does not have a definite maximum dose; and the upper limit of pain control is controlled by side effects (the most perilous being respiratory depression).

Since being introduced in 1995, there has been a significant increase in OxyContin abuse in the United States. Substances such as hydrocodone have limited potential for abuse due to the presence of aspirin/paracetamol; however, OxyContin contains only oxycodone, making it highly addictive. OxyContin is easily abused and can be used by crushing the tablets and ingesting, injecting, inhaling, or rectally placing it. When injected, because of its prolonged extended action, OxyContin can have severe side effects.

A clear indicator of OxyContin abuse are individuals who “doctor shop”–individuals without legitimate illnesses who repeatedly visit many doctors solely to obtain large supplies of controlled substances. Some individuals resort to obtaining OxyContin through pharmacy diversion, robbery, fake/stolen prescription, the Internet and physicians who partake in improper prescribing practices.

Recent studies show that the use of Oxycontin for non-medical use is quite high among teenagers. This rise in OxyContin misuse has resulted in numerous emergency room visits and even deaths. Consequently, several states have introduced legislation to decrease the illicit use of Oxycontin. Additionally, many states have introduced prescription monitoring and banned the sale of OxyContin over the Internet. Nonetheless, despite all these efforts by the FDA, DEA, and state or local authorities, the illegal use of Oxycontin has peaked. Over the last 10 years, there has been a rise in the statistics for OxyContin abuse, and the detection of “fake” OxyContin pills saturating North America.

The withdrawal symptoms of abrupt stoppage of OxyContin can be severe and may include restlessness, constant crying, restlessness, anxiety, runny nose, yawning, perspiration, chills, muscle pain, dilated pupils, irritability, light pain, feebleness, stomach cramps, insomnia, and nausea,

Aware of the propensity for the illicit use of OxyContin, physicians and pharmacies have began to maintain careful record-keeping of prescription information, including quantity, frequency, and renewal requests. To minimize OxyContin abuse, patients should undergo proper evaluation by their physician before receiving a prescription.

Like all opioid analgesics, OxyContin should be prescribed and used with caution, especially in patients who are also taking other central nervous stimulant drugs like sedatives, anti depressants, tranquilizers or alcohol. Combining OxyContin with these drugs can result in

respiratory depression, hypertension, and deep sedation (which can cause a coma and even death). It is therefore recommended that patients taking other drugs with OxyContin use the smallest possible dose of OxyContin.

For the sake of their health and their loved ones, individuals suffering from OxyContin abuse are urged to immediately contact a treatment facility.