A Highly Addictive Prescription Drug
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Oxycontin is the time-release form of oxycodone which is typically prescribed for chronic and severe pain. Due to the fact that it can contain a large amount of oxycodone, it has become one of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States.
Why Are Some People More Susceptible To Opioid Addiction
Nobody is quite sure why one person becomes addicted to opioids and not another. Typically, opioids produce pain relief, which is good after surgery. However, for some people opioids create a pleasurable effect. For example, caffeine is a reinforcing drug people like the effects.
That is true for about 80 percent of the adult population in U.S. But, some people avoid it because it makes them jittery or anxious. Early in the process of opioid use, people may take it because of the pleasurable effect, and some people actually dont like the effect of an opioid and may go on to avoid them. If you take an opioid and your pain is gone, and you find yourself saying, I feel really good, it may be a warning sign that you are vulnerable to misusing these medications.
Over time that good effect diminishes for people who like how an opioid makes them feel, and many people take more opioids because they hope to get that good feeling, and they also dont want to go through withdrawal.
Oxycodone Definition And Brands
Oxycodone is the powerful primary ingredient in many Painkillers prescribed to people suffering from moderate to severe pain. These pills come in various shapes, sizes, and colors depending on the dose and brand. Oxycodone is also sometimes prescribed in a liquid form. It is often prescribed in combination with other drugs including Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Ibuprofen. Some of the most common brand names for Oxycodone-based drugs are:
Slang or street names for Oxycodone drugs include Oxy, OCs, Oxycet, Oxycotton, Hillbilly Heroin, Berries, Killers, Percs, and Roxis.
People prescribed an Oxycodone-based Painkiller may be suffering from cancer, arthritis, or other physical disorders, or they may receive a short-term prescription after surgery or trauma. Prescription forms of Oxycodone are designed to provide around-the-clock relief.
Common Questions About Rehab
Oxycodone is made by modifying Thebaine, an organic chemical found in Opium. Designated as an Opioid or semi-Synthetic Opiate, Oxycodone shares a general classification with Heroin, Hydrocodone, and Oxymorphone. Oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that, although it has a definite medical purpose, there is a high potential for abuse.
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The Abuse Rate Of Oxycontin And Oxycodone
The abuse rate of OxyContin has increased in recent years. In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a reformulated version of OxyContin that was designed to be more difficult to abuse. However, the new formulation of OxyContin has not been shown to reduce the abuse rate.
People often abuse oxycodone and OxyContin by crushing the pills and snorting or injecting the powder. They may also chew the pills to get a quick high. When someone is struggling with an addiction, they may use the medications with other drugs or alcohol for a more intense high.
The abuse of OxyContin and oxycodone can lead to addiction. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior and use despite harmful consequences. People addicted to OxyContin may continue to use the drug even when they know it is causing problems in their lives.
Oxycodone Vs Morphine Addiction
Both morphine and oxycodone are drugs that alter the way you perceive pain. Theyre both highly addictive and routinely misused. However, their origin is different:
- Morphine, like codeine and heroin, is a natural derivative of the flowering opium poppy plant. These natural drugs used to be classed as opiates.
- Oxycodone, like methadone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl, is a synthetic drug made to have the effects of the natural drug. Lab-made drugs used to be classed as opioids.
Today, the term opioid is used to describe both natural and synthetic types of these drugs.
Regardless of their origins, both morphine and oxycodone have identical properties:
- They work by attaching to proteins called opioid receptors. Opioid receptors are found in your brain, spinal cord, and gastrointestinal tract. When opioids attach to opioid receptors, they change the way you experience pain.
- They also interact with the reward system found in your brain. The drugs activate neurotransmitters that create a feeling of euphoria.
The nature and symptoms of a dependence on morphine or oxycodone are virtually the same.
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How Is Naltrexone Used To Treat Addiction
This medicine is very different and doesnt activate the opioid receptor the way that buprenorphine and methadone do, but instead blocks the euphoric/sedative effects of opioids. Your system must be completely free of all opioids before beginning naltrexone. It can be taken orally or as a once-a-month injection.
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Behavioral Signs And Symptoms Of Oxycodone Abuse
The behavioral signs of addiction depend on a range of factors, such as a persons living arrangements, finances, assets, and the severity of the addiction. CBS News, in an effort to educate the American public in the midst of an opioid pill epidemic, provides the following five signs of painkiller abuse:
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Is Oxycodone Addictive How Do I Know If Im Addicted
Yes, oxycodone is highly addictive. There are several ways to know whether or not you are addicted to the substance. The easiest way to tell is whether you experience withdrawal symptoms when oxycodone is not in your symptom. Some common withdrawal symptoms include: flu-like symptoms, restlessness, vomiting, anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, dehydration, and dysphoria. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can start as soon as 8-12 hours after oxycodone has cleared out of your system.
Oxycodone addiction is both physical and psychological. A tell-tale sign of a physical addiction to oxycodone is the need to continuously use more in order in order to feel the same initial effects. âMoreâ could mean either higher doses of oxycodone or more frequent consumption of the drug. This is proof that your body has adjusted to abnormally high levels of oxycodone being present in your system. In regards to the psychological dependency, you can tell if youâre addicted if you are obsessed about the substance. Are you constantly wondering where your next fix will come from? Do you become anxious when you donât have oxycodone? If so, then you may be experiencing full-blown oxycodone addiction.
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Alcohol Tobacco And Other Drugs
The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSAs 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.
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Purdue’s Need For A New Painkiller
In this 1990 memo, Robert Kaiko, the scientist who would go on to help invent OxyContin, explains why Purdue needs another painkiller.
Purdue already had developed a technique to stretch a drugs release over time. In MS Contin, the technique made morphine last eight to 12 hours. Kaiko and his colleagues decided to use it on an old, cheap narcotic, oxycodone.
Sold under several names and formulations, including Percocet and Roxicodone, oxycodone controls pain for up to six hours.
With the delayed-release technique, executives theorized, the drug would last 12 hours at least twice as long as generics and the high end of MS Contins range.
Over the next decade, Purdue sunk more than $40 million into development of OxyContin, Paul D. Goldenheim,then-vice president of scientific and medical affairs, wrote in a 2003 court declaration.
Sales and marketing representatives gathered at the companys headquarters, then in Norwalk, Conn., in March 1995 to start planning the roll-out of the new drug.
OxyContin can cure the vulnerability of the … generic threat and that is why it is so crucial that we devote our fullest efforts now to a successful launch of OxyContin, then chief executive Michael Friedman told the group, according to minutes of the meeting.
This prompted a letter from Purdues medical director.
Getting Help With Hydrocodone And Oxycodone Addiction
At Pine Tree Recovery Center we believe in a whole person approach to recovery, restoring mental and emotional well-being along with physical health. Because drug cravings can be so overpowering in early sobriety and during the prescription opioid withdrawal process, we recommend an inpatient medical detox program combined with a higher level of clinical care. While helping our clients work towards physical stabilization as they undergo a safe and pain-free withdrawal, we provide them with intensive behavioral therapy, holistic approaches to recovery and a range of addiction services including case management services and aftercare planning. We are much more than a medical detox center. At Pine Tree Recovery Center, we are dedicated to setting each individual client up for lasting success in sobriety. Following detox, many individuals will transfer into our intensive outpatient program.
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How Addictive Are Opioids
It takes a couple of weeks to become physically dependent on an opioid, but that varies by individual. If you take an opioid for a day or two, it should not be a problem and, generally, you will not become addicted. However, some studies show even the first dose of an opioid can have physiological effects.
For some time in this country we believed patients werent at risk of addiction. No one knows for sure the percentage of those who are at risk. What we do know now through an annual survey of drug use in the U.S., when people were asked if they had used heroin, researchers found that 50 percent of those who had also had a longtime history of opioid use and 50 percent of those went on to have problematic heroin use.
We also know that the duration of opioid use can lead to physical dependence. If youre taking an opioid regularly for a period of time theres a chance that youll become physically dependent, and thats a risk factor for continued opioid use.
How Long Does Oxycodone High Last
How long the high from oxycodone lasts is even shorter. When taking the pills whole, the euphoric effects may last as little as two hours, at which point the craving and oxycodone withdrawal may begin. If crushed for snorting, the pills effects may fade after only 20 minutes.
Surprisingly, not everyone who uses oxycodone or opioids in general gets high or feels euphoria. That may be one reason that some people can use drugs occasionally without becoming addicted.
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The Abuse Of Oxycontin
Unfortunately, even though the drug offers a number of benefits, there are some who begin to abuse it, mainly because their body has become dependent on the effects it provides. Because it is a controlled release substance, the pain-relieving benefits last and last.
The euphoric state the substance provides is one that makes many people not only crave it, but also become addicted to it. After a long period of taking the drug, the body will become dependent on it, making it even more difficult to come off of.
Understanding Why Painkillers Become So Addictive
Opioid painkillers produce a short-lived euphoria, but they are also addictive.
Long-term use of painkillers can lead to physical dependence. The body adapts to the presence of the substance and if one stops taking the drug abruptly, withdrawal symptoms occur. Or the body could build up a tolerance to the drug, meaning that higher doses have to be taken to achieve the same effects.
Like all drugs, painkillers simply mask the pain for which they are taken. They dont cure anything. Someone continuously trying to dull the pain may find himself taking higher and higher dosesonly to discover that he cannot make it through the day without the drug.
Symptoms of withdrawal can include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes with goose bumps , and involuntary leg movements.
One of the serious risks of opioids is respiratory depressionhigh doses can cause breathing to slow down to the point it stops and the user dies.
I am addicted to prescription pain medication. I first started taking prescription painkillers years ago when my doctor prescribed them to treat post-surgical pain following spinal surgery.Over the past several years I have tried to break my dependence on pain pills and, in fact, twice checked myself into medical facilities in an attempt to do so.
recently agreed with my physician about the next steps.
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Why Are Opioids Prescribed
Opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone are most commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. In some cases, opioids can be prescribed to treat other severe symptoms like persistent and uncontrollable coughing or severe diarrhea . Prescription opioids are typically safe to use when they are used exactly as prescribed by a doctor. However, medications like hydrocodone and oxycodone have a particularly high potential for misuse. A person who misuses an opioid medication might:
- Taking medication which was not initially prescribed to you.
- Taking medication in a higher dose than was prescribed.
- Using the medication in a way other than prescribed .
- Taking the medication with an intent to get high rather than treat a legitimate medical issue.
If you were prescribed an opioid painkiller and you have been taking the medication other than as prescribed, or if you have started taking a medication which was not prescribed to you, it is a good idea to reach out for help. Contact Pine Tree Recovery Center today to learn more.
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Understanding Prescription Drug Addiction
Just because a doctor prescribes a pill doesnt mean that its safe for everyone. As the number of issued prescriptions rises, so do the rates of people misusing prescription drugs.
In a survey conducted in 2015, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that 18.9 million Americans aged 12 and older misused prescription drugs in the past year. About 1 percent of Americans aged 12 and older had a prescription drug use disorder.
Drug addiction is a component of drug use disorder. Its a disease that can affect your brain and behavior, making it difficult to control your use of drugs. Some people become addicted to illicit recreational drugs, such as cocaine or heroin. However, its also possible to become addicted to medications that your doctor has prescribed. If you become addicted to a prescription drug, you may compulsively use it, even when it causes you harm.
Some prescription drugs are more addictive than others. Most addictive drugs affect your brains reward system by flooding it with dopamine. This results in a pleasurable high that can motivate you to take the drug again. Over time, you might become dependent on the drug to feel good or normal. You might also develop a tolerance to the drug. This can push you to take larger doses.
Read on to begin learning about prescription drugs that are commonly misused.
- changes in behavior or personality
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For Over 22 Years People From All Over The World Have Chosen Waismann Method As Their Opioid Detox Provider
All opioids enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, including crossing into the brain. Normally, when you hurt yourself, a pain signal travels from the affected body part into the brain. When opioids bind to receptors in your body, they block that pain signal from traveling. This effectively prevents your brain from feeling pain.
In addition to blocking pain, opioids act directly on the central nervous system . They cross into the brain and bind to a type of opioid receptor called mu receptors.
These receptors are highly concentrated in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region associated with reward. In response to opioids binding there, the nucleus accumbens releases a flood of a brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a feel good chemical that is released when we do things that feel good, such as eating good food, having sex, or exercising. That flood of dopamine is the brains way of saying, I liked that! Do it again.