Pain is something no one wishes to live with.
Any type of pain is uncomfortable to go through but living with moderate to severe pain ups the ante on that discomfort.
Fortunately, a class of drugs was developed to deal with just that sort of pain; opioids.
Without a doubt, your mind and our collective societal consciousness race towards thoughts of the epidemic of death that opioids have brought. 128 people in the United States die every day from overdosing on opioids. Over 760,000 dead since 1999 with 2 out of 3 overdose deaths in 2018 involving an opioid.
Truly some viscerally shocking numbers.
I Have an OxyContin Prescription, Can I Get Addicted?
And here you sit with unmanageable pain, staring blankly at an OxyContin prescription, wondering if the medication you’ve been prescribed is going to make matters worse and eventually make you a potential statistic.
The question runs through your mind: is oxycontin addictive? Am I going to get addicted?
They’re sobering questions to consider in the midst of what may be unbearable pain.
The unfortunate and most straightforward answer is yes.
Yes, you can get addicted to OxyContin or any opioid for that matter.
Opioids are an incredibly powerful class of drugs and do the noble work of alleviating pain. They serve a real purpose and when used responsibly, for a short period under the guidance of a doctor work wonders. On the contrary, and as per the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA):
“All opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain…because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused (taken in a different way or in a larger quantity than prescribed, or taken without a doctor’s prescription). Regular use—even as prescribed by a doctor—can lead to dependence and, when misused, opioid pain relievers can lead to addiction, overdose incidents, and deaths.”
OxyContin, actually the brand name for oxycodone, is among the most notable of the opioids and regularly made the news. Vicodin, the brand name for hydrocodone, is equally notorious and infamous.
The Dangers of Opioid Abuse
The ability to manage and mitigate pain has, of course, been a godsend for patients but it’s not without risk. Death is the starkest danger of opioid abuse but it’s far from the only problem someone might face.
To start with, and again pulling from NIDA research, between 21 and 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain, misuse them. Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder and 4 to 6 percent end up transitioning to heroin.
Heroin, also an opioid, is the purely illegal form of the drug which has no medicinal value whatsoever which is why it’s classed as a Schedule I drug. Prescription opioids, like OxyContin, are Schedule II, meaning they have a high potential for abuse.
The biggest danger of opioid abuse is the aforementioned risk of overdosing and dying but in the lead up to that, dependency takes hold. The feeling of euphoria that accompanies the cessation of pain is one that someone prescribed opioids starts to crave, in addition to the pain relief. The body quickly adapts and adjusts to the initial dosage of OxyContin or any other opioid, so you begin to feel like you need a higher dose to get the same effect. That starts a cycle of dependency and it’s the driving force behind why a person may seek out something like heroin after their prescription runs out. That’s how powerful opioids are.
Get Help With an OxyContin Addiction Today at Valley Recovery Center
If you’re worried about the potential for addiction to a medication you’ve been prescribed recently or have a loved one currently dealing with this, reach out to us at Valley Recovery Center. After detox, we offer 30, 60 and 90-day treatment programs that can help you get back on track.