Oxycontin Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Oxycontin Abuse: Signs and Side EffectsAccording to the most recent statistics, four million people in the U.S. misuse prescription opioids like OxyContin and three million people develop addictions to them.1 Tens of thousands of people die each year from opioid overdoses, and OxyContin is one of the most common drugs to play a role in these deaths.2 If you or someone you love is struggling with misuse of OxyContin or the generic oxycodone, it is essential that you reach out to get help before it’s too late.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Oxycontin Abuse

The signs of any type of addiction are similar. They include behaviors that prove your use of a drug is out of control, that you are unable to stop using and that you continue to use the drug even though it causes problems in your life. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders lists the criteria an addiction specialist will use to diagnose you with an opioid use disorder.3 If even just a few of these describe your current behaviors, it is important to seek out a professional evaluation:

  • You want to stop using OxyContin or use it less often, but you can’t seem to stop or cut back no matter how hard you try.
  • You regularly end up using more of the drug than you meant to, and you feel bad about it later.
  • A lot of your time is spent thinking about OxyContin, acquiring it, using it or recovering from getting high.
  • You often crave OxyContin.
  • Relationships with your family and friends are suffering because of your drug use.
  • You can’t keep up with your regular responsibilities anymore.
  • You no longer have time for many of the activities you once enjoyed, because you spend more time using.
  • You’ve used Oxycontin in situations that were dangerous, like driving while under the influence.
  • Although the drug is causing you physical or mental health issues, you continue to use it.
  • You often find that you need to use more of the drug to get the same high, or just to feel normal.
  • When not using Oxycontin you start to feel uncomfortable and experience withdrawal symptoms.

Signs of Addiction

There are also some symptoms of Oxycontin use that may indicate someone is abusing the drug. If it is someone else you are concerned about, watch for signs that he or she is using the drug. If they seem to be intoxicated regularly or often, this can be a sign of an addiction4:

  • Acting confused, or unaware of what is happening around them
  • A sense of euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Poor coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Changes in mood, depression, irritability, or agitation
  • Constricted pupils
  • Constipation

Oxycontin, like other opioid drugs, can easily cause a fatal overdose. It is important to know the signs of an overdose, as it can be reversed if you act quickly to get emergency medical help. Someone who is overdosing on an opioid may be very pale and clammy with bluish skin, unresponsive or unable to move and unable to speak. Heart rate and breathing will slow way down, and there may be vomiting or gurgling sounds.5

Reach Out For Help

We provide holistic care and treatment using an individualized approach specifically tailored to your needs. Our holistic care and treatment is based on the best scientific evidence available. Secondly, we help you lead a healthy, substance-free life with adaptive coping and problem-solving skills. Don’t let Ecstasy addiction control your life. Our addiction professionals can help you get on a path of recovery, significantly changing your life. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals, as well as our first-rate facilities.

  1. The New England Journal of Medicine. Treatment of Opioid Use Disorders.
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMra1604339
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription Opioid Overdose Data.
    https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html
  3. American Psychiatric Association. Opioid Use Disorder Diagnostic Criteria.
    https://pcssnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/5B-DSM-5-Opioid-Use-Disorder-Diagnostic-Criteria.pdf
  4. Mayo Clinic. Drug Addiction.
    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/symptoms-causes/syc-20365112
  5. National institutes of Health. MedlinePlus. Opioid Abuse and Addiction.
    https://medlineplus.gov/opioidabuseandaddiction.html
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