The most common long-term effect of abusing OxyContin, and perhaps the worst effect, is the addiction itself. Addiction ruins a person’s life bit by bit, becoming worse over time. In this way, OxyContin abuse is no different from heroin, cocaine, or alcohol abuse. The addict changes his or her entire lifestyle to allow for more and more drug use.
Some OxyContin abusers begin their abuse with a prescription written for them, either for real pain or faked pain. Some of these people have access to insurance benefits that will pay all or most of the cost of their prescriptions. During this period, an OxyContin abuser can go downhill quickly because there is no financial barrier to increased consumption. Sooner or later, however, the person’s doctor determines that there is an abuse problem going on, and won’t prescribe more. The addict then begins buying the drugs on the black market. The street price of OxyContin is very high. Addicts begin stealing, robbing, and even going into prostitution to raise the money they need to service their addiction.
The most serious risk associated with OxyContin, is respiratory depression. Common opioid side effects are constipation, nausea, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, headache, dry mouth, sweating, and weakness. Taking a large single dose of an opioid could cause severe respiratory depression that can lead to death.
Chronic use of OxyContin can result in tolerance for the drug, which means that users must take higher doses to achieve the same initial effects. Long-term use also can lead to physical dependence and addiction -- the body adapts to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped. Properly managed medical use of pain relievers is safe and rarely causes clinical addiction, defined as compulsive, often uncontrollable use of drugs. Taken exactly as prescribed, opioids can be used to manage pain effectively.
If you find yourself in a position where you are suffering from an addiction, we are here to help. At Above It All Treatment Center, we can design a treatment regimen that will fit your schedule and start you on the path to a relapse free recovery. Contact us today.