Signs & Symptoms of OxyContin

Bayside Marin is a premier rehabilitation center dedicated to the treatment of OxyContin addiction in California. Bayside Marin blends evidence-based treatments with alternative, holistic modalities to comprehensively treat all aspects of our client’s life.

Understanding OxyContin

Learn about OxyContin and substance abuse

With oxycodone as its active ingredient, OxyContin is one of the most widely used and abused prescription painkillers available. When an individual is prescribed this medication for the purposes of alleviating moderate to severe pain, it poses many advantages for those who take it. Moderate to severe pain can disrupt a person’s ability to live a healthy and well-functioning life, and OxyContin can oftentimes be the key to affording these individuals a pain-free existence. Because this prescription medication has a high potential for abuse and is addictive in nature, it is necessary for a person to take this medication only as directed and under the supervision of his or her prescribing physician.

There are individuals, however, that do not adhere to their doctor’s recommendations when taking OxyContin, as well as people who consume this medication for the purposes of achieving the mind and mood-altering effects that occur when this drug is abused. Misusing OxyContin or taking it for recreational purposes can ultimately put a person at risk for a number of detriments. As an opioid, OxyContin abuse can quickly turn into an addiction that can be extremely difficult to overcome alone. Abusers of this painkiller can develop a tolerance for this medication, require more of it in order to experience the desired effects, and ultimately experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if they are unable to maintain their drug habit.

Fortunately, men and women who wish to recover from a chemical dependency concern of this kind can rest assured in knowing that there are effective treatment options for OxyContin abuse out there. There is a way to regain control over one’s life and break free from an addiction to OxyContin, and that way is by seeking and receiving care under the knowledgeable and experienced eyes of qualified professionals.

Statistics

OxyContin addiction statistics

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) nearly 330,000 people are diagnosed with an opioid use disorder each year. This number includes those who are battling an addiction to OxyContin. Additionally, it is estimated that approximately 100,000 people receive emergency medical attention each year as a result of the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for OxyContin addiction

When it becomes apparent that a close friend or family member is abusing OxyContin, concerned loved ones may wonder why or how this type of concern is occurring in that individual’s life. Experts in the fields of mental health and addiction are able to answer those questions and often give the following explanations for the causes of and risk factors for OxyContin abuse:

Genetic: Susceptibility to addiction can be influenced by one’s genetics. Substantial research has concluded that if a person has a family history of substance abuse and/or addiction, the risk for developing chemical dependency is high. This conclusion has ultimately led to the belief that genetics can be a determining factor for why and how some individuals come to abuse drugs, such as OxyContin.

Environmental: The places a person spends most of his or her time in can greatly impact the development of an addiction to OxyContin. Additionally, certain circumstances can also play an integral role in the onset of such a concern. If an individual is exposed to illicit substances or prescription drug abuse, there is an increased likelihood that that person will also abuse substances, such as OxyContin. Furthermore, if an individual is prescribed OxyContin, yet is not appropriately monitored by his or her physician when taking this medication, it is probable that this drug will be abused. Lastly, if an individual lacks appropriate coping skills and has easy access to OxyContin, the risk for painkiller abuse rises.

Risk Factors:

  • Suffering from a chronic or complex pain condition
  • Being able to easily acquire OxyContin
  • Personal history of a mental health disorder or disorders
  • Lacking a strong support network
  • Lacking healthy coping skills
  • Family history of substance abuse
  • Personal history of substance abuse

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of OxyContin addiction

Depending on the severity of a person’s addiction to OxyContin, loved ones may often be unaware that this prescription medication is being abused by someone they care about. If it is suspected that a friend or family member is abusing OxyContin, it is beneficial to take note of any of the following signs and symptoms and discuss the need for treatment with the individual who is misusing this painkiller:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Lying
  • Stealing OxyContin
  • Visiting multiple doctors in order to obtain multiple prescriptions for OxyContin
  • Forging prescriptions
  • Hiding OxyContin in various places around one’s home
  • Borrowing or stealing money from others in order to support one’s drug habit
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work or home
  • Social isolation
  • Engaging in risky behaviors

Physical symptoms:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Hypotension
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sweating

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Preoccupation with drug use
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Abrupt shifts in mood
  • Somber mood
  • Anxious feelings
  • Irritability

Effects

Effects of OxyContin addiction

The abuse of OxyContin can result in several negative consequences that can alter the course of an individual’s life. The following effects are those that are known to occur when a person remains trapped in the vicious cycle of an OxyContin addiction:

  • Homelessness
  • Coma
  • Financial strife
  • Job loss
  • Development of life-threatening health concerns
  • Vital organ damage
  • Death
  • Unintentional overdose
  • Demise of interpersonal relationships
  • Failure to meet responsibilities at work
  • Role loss in one’s personal life
  • Development or exacerbation of symptoms associated with a mental health condition or conditions

Co-Occurring Disorders

OxyContin addiction and co-occurring disorders

Individuals addicted to OxyContin are often grappling with symptoms of a mental illness or illnesses at the same time. Whether mental health condition symptoms are present prior to a person abusing this prescription medication or if symptoms become apparent after misusing OxyContin, it is possible that an individual will receive a diagnosis of one or more of the following in the event treatment is sought to treat an addiction to OxyContin:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Additional substance use disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder

Withdrawal & Overdose

Effects of OxyContin withdrawal and overdose

Effects of OxyContin withdrawal: The addictive nature of OxyContin, coupled with the fact that abusers of this medication build up a tolerance for it when it is taken over a long period of time, are contributing factors for why withdrawal occurs when an individual stops using this medication. Withdrawing from OxyContin can cause a person a great deal of discomfort and lead to the emergence of the following effects:    

  • Fluctuations in body temperature
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Bone pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Panic attacks
  • Fever
  • Insomnia
  • Weakness
  • Depression
  • Nausea

Effects of OxyContin overdose: Ongoing abuse of OxyContin puts a person at a heightened risk for experiencing an overdose. An overdose occurs when an individual consumes a substance to such an extent that his or her body is unable to process it and responds in an adverse manner. Overdosing on OxyContin is considered a medical emergency and can result in death if medical attention is not sought. The listed signs are those that should be interpreted as warnings that a person is overdosing on OxyContin:

  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Slurred speech
  • Headaches
  • Sleepiness
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Confusion
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Profuse perspiration
  • Shallow breathing

Bayside Marin was absolutely the right choice for me when I needed help overcoming my OxyContin addiction.

– Anonymous Client
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