OxyContin is a slow-release form of oxycodone, commonly used to treat chronic and severe pain. Because it can contain large amounts of oxycodone, it has become one of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States.
OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic used to treat chronic or long-term pain.The active ingredient is oxycodone, which is also present in drugs such as Percodan and Tylox. Compared to Percodan, which is about 5 mg per day, OxyContin can contain 10 to 80 mg of oxycodone in time-release tablets.
how to use
Generally, OxyContin is taken twice a day, which is more beneficial than other pain medications that must be taken several times a day. OxyContin is available in tablet form in seven dosage levels ranging from 10 to 80 mg.
It is commonly used to help patients suffering from chronic pain, such as back and neck pain. It can also be used for cancer patients to help relieve pain and improve function.
How it is abused
People who abuse OxyContin use the drug over-the-counter or in the expected amount or manner. They can crush the tablet and swallow or inhale it, or dilute it with water and inject it. Crushing or diluting the tablet will relieve the time-release effect of the drug, but crushing OxyContin in this way can give the user a potentially lethal dose.
In 2010, the FDA approved a new OxyContin formulation to prevent such tampering. The drug maker Purdue Pharma LP made changes so that breaking down the tablet does not immediately release oxycodone. In addition, if someone tries to dissolve these new tablets for syringe injection, the liquid will become viscous.
Despite these measures, the FDA still acknowledges that the possibility of abuse and misuse of OxyContin still exists. In addition, more and more OxyContin abusers are turning to heroin because it is a significantly lower cost opioid.
According to a 2013 study, nearly 80% of heroin users in the United States reported that they abused prescription opioids such as OxyContin and Vicodin before being introduced into illegal street drugs.
Some street names of OxyContin include Oxy, OC, Cotton, kickers, Ox, OCs, beans, rushbo, Orange County, killer, and Hillbilly heroin. It is often mispronounced and spelled as “oxycotton”.
At the prescribed dose, OxyContin is an effective pain reliever. When crushed, ingested, or injected, the drug produces a rapid and powerful “sensation of excitement,” which some abusers compare to the feeling of heroin. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that OxyContin has a higher abuse rate than heroin in some parts of the country.
OxyContin, like heroin and other opioids, is a central nervous system depressant. Overdose can cause respiratory failure and death.
Some symptoms of OxyContin overdose include:
- Turbid mental function
- Cold skin
- Loss of consciousness
- Vision loss
- Slow breathing (respiratory depression)
- Elementary school student
In case of overdose
If you think someone has taken an overdose of OxyContin, please call 9-1-1 immediately. Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) is an emergency medicine designed to counteract opioid overdose. If first responders can reach them as soon as possible, they can use it to wake someone up.
If you seek medical attention in time, an overdose may not have any long-term consequences. When treatment is delayed, an overdose of OxyContin can be fatal or cause permanent brain damage.
Will it be addictive?
Like all opioids, OxyContin has the potential to be highly addictive. Due to the potential for abuse, OxyContin is a Schedule II drug under the US Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
Do not stop using OxyContin suddenly even for pain patients who use the drug as prescribed. Instead, the dose should be gradually reduced to avoid withdrawal symptoms. However, people who take OxyContin as prescribed rarely become addicted to the drug.
People who abuse drugs and take higher doses may develop tolerance to OxyContin. This may cause them to adopt ever-increasing numbers to achieve the same effect. May become dependent on drugs soon.
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OxyContin withdrawal symptoms can appear within 6 hours after the last dose and can last up to a week.People who have experienced OxyContin withdrawal compared this process with the intensity of heroin withdrawal:
- Keep yawning
- Heart palpitations
- Hot/cold sweat
- Joint and muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Uncontrollable cough
- Big watery eyes