Determining if you or a loved one is struggling with OxyContin addiction requires an in-depth examination of priorities and habits. An extremely potent opioid, OxyContin is largely considered the source of the current opioid epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 14,139 deaths from prescription opioid overdose were reported between the years 2017-2019.
In order to determine if you or a loved one is struggling with an OxyContin addiction, you will need to be able to identify the common signs of this addiction, as well as understand the dangers of OxyContin abuse if left untreated.
Signs of OxyContin Addiction
Universal signs of addiction include isolation, secretive use, and personality changes, among others. Although OxyContin addicts display these signs, there are indicators specific to OxyContin use that suggest addiction has developed. These indicators are listed below.
As a central nervous system depressant, OxyContin slows down cognitive functioning. Individuals under the influence of this strong opioid will often appear drowsy, lose consciousness or be unable to keep their balance. Speech may also often be slurred.
Neglecting family, employment, finances, or other fundamental responsibilities is a strong indicator of addiction. Once addiction has developed, the only remaining responsibility in the mind of the user is obtaining more of their drug of choice.
OxyContin targets the brain’s opioid receptors responsible for the feeling of euphoria when high. Prolonged use of OxyContin eventually causes a shift in brain chemistry, disabling the brain from organically managing mood. Because of this, OxyContin is known to cause abrupt changes in mood and demeanor.
Change in Appearance
If an individual has lost or gained a significant amount of weight, it is often a sign that addiction has developed. Indifference towards personal hygiene or grooming is also common among those battling this addiction.
OxyContin abuse causes a chemical alteration within the brain. When an individual is unable to secure more of the drug, they are faced with crippling depression as the neurotransmitters in the brain have become incapable of naturally stabilizing mood.
Dangers of OxyContin Addiction
There have been over 400,000 Oxycontin-related deaths within the last two decades.
Twice as potent as morphine, OxyContin is prescribed, on average, over 16 million times per year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 41 people died each day from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2018 alone.
OxyContin provides pain relief by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain. When ingested, opioids produce a rush of dopamine which is responsible for regulating the brain’s reward center. Prolonged opioid use eventually disables the brain from producing dopamine naturally which leads to opioid dependence. Opioid dependence ultimately results in an individual eventually requiring higher doses in order to achieve the same feelings of pleasure and euphoria.
As a depressant, OxyContin suppresses an individual’s ability to breathe. This lack of oxygen can cause significant damage to the organs when ingested for a prolonged period of time. Most OxyContin fatalities are the result of breathing cessation due to an overdose of the substance.
Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
Addiction is a devastating disease and you do not have to fight it alone. The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome on your own.
At Asheville Recovery Center, specialists have combined various therapies, treatments, and 12-step approaches to develop an effective, hybrid model of treatment designed to fit every individual’s unique circumstances.
If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828) 518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.