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OxyContin is prescribed as a pain reliever for severe chronic pain caused by cancer, arthritis, and serious injury. As an opioid analgesic, OxyContin is often prescribed for patients who have developed a tolerance to other opiate pain relievers. OxyContin pills contain 10 to 80 milligrams of oxycodone. Unlike other versions of oxycodone, OxyContin’s time-released formula offers gradual pain relief for up to 12 hours.

Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that over 182,000 emergency room visits in 2010 involved the use of OxyContin and other medications containing oxycodone.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Oxycontin Use

Much like other opiate drugs, OxyContin’s main effects are noted by feelings of euphoria, physical calm, and muscle relaxation, making it highly effective as a pain reliever. Other side effects from OxyContin use include:

  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizzy feelings
  • Twitching
  • Trouble breathing
  • Cold sweats

Complications of Oxycontin Abuse

OxyContin’s easy availability and high oxycodone content make it a high risk for abuse and addiction. Addiction has an immense impact on your health, but the true damage is inflicted on your character and your relationships. Addiction causes reckless behavior, which can lead to you lashing out at your loved ones. Common health concerns associated with oxycontin addiction include:

  • Depression
  • Stomach pain
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks

Dangers of Oycontin Abuse

The potency and long-lasting action of OxyContin makes the drug highly lethal, especially if it’s mixed with alcohol and other drugs. In high doses, OxyContin can stop your breathing. Other potential dangers of OxyContin include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Irregular heartbeat and chest pain
  • Stomach pains
  • Swollen hands and legs

Symptoms of Oxycontin Addiction

While many people assume addiction is a personal choice, in reality, it is based on a chemical dependency. With OxyContin, the drug attaches to opioid receptors throughout the body, preventing other naturally produced opiates from connecting to those receptors. Your body produces fewer natural opiates as a result, forcing you to take more OxyContin to maintain a sense of normalcy.

Common symptoms include:

  • Using OxyContin for longer than your doctor prescribes
  • Taking a higher dosage of OxyContin than is prescribed
  • Grinding up OxyContin for use
  • Using the drug for its high and not for its intended pain relief
  • Strained relationships and problems at work or school


  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff joints
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cravings

Medical Intervention for Oxycontin Addiction

Medication is an effective tool in your recovery. It can help to correct chemical imbalances, curb intense cravings, and battle withdrawal symptoms. For OxyContin, doctors will likely prescribe opiate receptor antagonists. Common medications your doctor might prescribe include:
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naloxone

Oxycontin Detox Process

Detox is the beginning of your journey to recovery. The main goal of detox is to flush out the harmful chemicals that have built in your system, usually by tapering off your drug use while administering medication.

Inpatient care is the best option for detox treatment. It provides a clean, controlled setting for your treatment, ensuring you don’t get distracted or have any bad influences. Best of all, it comes with a professional medical staff who can administer medications and tend to your physical needs. This also includes counselors to provide emotional support and motivation.

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