Addiction is a dangerous disorder and one that is easily concealable. While strong indicators may only be present during advanced stages of an OxyContin addiction, some early signs can be overlooked by those unaware of what to look for. According to a recent study, approximately 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for a substance use disorder within the past year, with approximately 10 percent reporting a substance use disorder at some time in their lives.
While many signs of addiction are universal, some drugs produce specific symptoms within the user. Such is true with OxyContin abuse. As a prescription drug that is thought to be a large contributor to the ongoing opioid epidemic, OxyContin abuse is life-threatening when left untreated. Because of this, it is important to understand the common indicators of substance addiction in general, as well as the unique signs of OxyContin abuse. By understanding these symptoms, you will be equipped to discern if you or a loved one is battling an OxyContin addiction.
Common Indicators of Addiction
Many signs of addiction are universal. These common indicators may be applied to any substance addiction, from cocaine to opioids to alcohol. They include:
- Change in Appearance
If an individual has lost or gained significant weight, it is often a sign that substance addiction has developed. Being indifferent towards personal hygiene or grooming is also common among those battling addiction.
- Neglecting Responsibilities
Neglecting family, employment, or other fundamental responsibilities is a strong indicator of substance abuse. Once addiction has developed, the only remaining responsibility in the mind of the user is obtaining more of their drug of choice.
- Financial and Legal Troubles
Those struggling with a substance addiction are frequently involved in legal issues, such as arrests or receiving citations. Due to the cost of maintaining a supply of their drug of choice, financial stress is another common indicator of abuse.
Once an addiction has fully formed, individuals often lose interest in hobbies and relationships they once enjoyed. The addiction eventually becomes the sole interest of the individual.
Signs of OxyContin Addiction
OxyContin has a profound impact on an individual’s life and health. These signs are unique to OxyContin abuse. Along with the previously listed common indicators, the following side effects are indicators that OxyContin use has become an addiction.
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.
- Poor Immune System
Prolonged or excessive opioid use weakens the body’s immune response significantly. As opioids target opioid receptors in the brain, they can potentially affect receptors on immune cells as well. This poses a very real threat to users of Oxycontin. If an individual is increasingly susceptible to illness, it is an indicator that OxyContin addiction has formed.
Opioid use chemically manipulates neurotransmitters and receptors within the brain. After an extended period of opioid use, the brain becomes irreversibly altered. This alteration in chemistry frequently causes mental disorders to develop. According to a study conducted by the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, patients on chronic opioid therapy have been shown to have relatively higher levels of comorbid clinical depression of up to 38%. The development of a mental disorder, commonly depression, is a strong indicator that OxyContin is being abused.
Asheville Recovery Center Can Help
OxyContin is a highly addictive and extremely potent substance that is life-threatening when abused. It is important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with this addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation.
A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more. 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 alone.If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with OxyContin addiction, 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.