OxyContin is the brand name for a time released formula of oxycodone, an opioid pain medication. The drug is available in the form of liquid, capsule, tablet, extended-release tablet and concentrated solution. The drug is primarily used to treat moderate to severe pain around the clock. It should not be used on an as-needed basis for managing pain. Doctors typically use the drug to relieve pain from injuries, arthritis, cancer, and other health conditions.
Oxycodone, a drug similar to morphine, is a derivative of the opium plant and is generally combined with non-narcotic analgesics in a variety of prescription drugs such as Percodan (oxycodone and aspirin) and Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen).
OxyContin typically contains between 10 to 80 milligrams of oxycodone in a time-released formula, which allows users about 12 hours of relief from chronic pain. When used properly, the effects of OxyContin block pain messages to the brain and induce a slightly euphoric state of mind which can slightly lift one’s mood and lessen anxiety. What sets OxyContin apart from other narcotic pain medications is its long acting formula, which is especially useful for those who require around-the-clock relief from pain.
There are multiple street names for OxyContin. Common slang names for OxyContin include:
The immediate effects of OxyContin which causes relaxation and pain blockage get users hooked initially, but it’s the long-term effects on one’s neurotransmitters that eventually foment long-term addiction that may require drug rehab.
Like many prescription pills, OxyContin is used recreationally and abused. The high content of oxycodone in OxyContin attributes to the drug’s street popularity. Recreational drug users become dependent on the opiate substance to feel normal after they have sustained damage to the brain as a direct result of extended use and abuse of OxyContin.
Typically people who abuse OxyContin crush the tablet up and swallow, snort or dilute the substance in water and inject it. By crushing the pill up, it destroys the time-release mechanism, thereby allowing the user to experience the full effects of the narcotic faster. OxyContin abusers compare its high to the euphoria of heroin.
Over the years, the rates of OxyContin abuse have significantly increased especially in the eastern United States. Abuse of OxyContin can cause users to experience many adverse effects, including health complications, financial difficulties, and neglect of family and other responsibilities.
OxyContin works in the brain by blocking pain messages from traveling over to the brain. As a result of OxyContin working positively in the brain by blocking pain messages, it provides its users relief from pain, as that is its main function in a medical setting.
On the other hand, long term abuse of OxyContin can cause adverse effects and immense damage to the brain. Not only will longtime OxyContin abusers suffer neurological issues such as memory issues or amnesia, they will also incur several psychological disturbances such as hallucinations, delusions and delirium.
The effects of OxyContin abuse can negatively impact every aspect of your life. Not only can it cause serious health complications, it can also cause problems in relationships, job loss, lowered work performance, financial difficulties, legal troubles, even incarceration. Symptoms of abuse can include:
While treatment for OxyContin abuse may help you recover from certain health complications, the damage that is done to the brain can affect you for a lifetime. Therefore, it is important to treat an OxyContin use disorder in its earliest stages to help avoid experiencing the adverse effects OxyContin can cause on your overall health and your brain.