When it comes to prescription drug abuse, perhaps no other drug holds the public eye more often than OxyContin. As a pain-killer, the drug has gained a solid reputation for providing quick and effective relief to patients suffering from an array of conditions, ranging from post-surgical recovery to arthritis. As a street drug, the same effects have unfortunately made OxyContin the epicenter of a long-spanning drug war, with an assortment of myths and misconceptions. What follows are a few of the more common myths associated with OxyContin use, and the facts behind them.
Myth - OxyContin is not addictive
Fact – Just because substance happens to be manufactured by a respected pharmaceutical company does not imply that it does not hold the potential for addictive behaviors.
The active ingredients found in OxyContin are actually opiates – the same type of substances that make up drugs such as Vicodin and heroin.
Myth – Injecting or snorting OxyContin is no worse than ingesting the drug orally.
Fact – The majority of OxyContin overdoses occur in individuals who inject or snort it.
OxyContin is manufactured with the intent of being a time-release substance. When a user takes the drug orally, OxyContin works to emit its effects over a period of hours. When the drug is snorted or injected, the opiates within the drug are released into the body at the same time. As such, the risks of overdose and death are heightened exponentially.
Myth - OxyContin is illegal
Fact – Due to its success in treating chronic pain, OxyContin is still legally prescribed by physicians.
The legality of OxyContin is often questioned due to addicts who forge physician signatures, steal pills from medicine cabinets, and purchase the drug illegally for an individual with a valid prescription.
Myth – The withdrawal process is not so bad
Fact – Just as with other substances in the opiate family, the withdrawal symptoms associated with OxyContin withdrawal often pose a great deal of psychological and physical discomfort.
Common symptoms include:
Perhaps the most concerning symptom of OxyContin withdrawal stems from the heightened risk of relapse. Without the proper guidance and support, many addicts will often find themselves off the wagon and assuming the same routine.