Symptoms of Oxycontin Addiction
Oxycontin is an addictive prescription medication. It relieves pain, but many people continue to take it after the pain has subsided because of the high it provides. It’s important to be aware of the addicting qualities of this drug, as addiction can lead to cardiac arrest or death. Learn the symptoms of Oxycontin addiction, so you can keep yourself from being addicted or help a loved one.
Preoccupation with Oxycontin
When people start Oxycontin, they usually receive the lowest dose possible to help prevent Oxycontin addiction. However, if someone has to take Oxycontin for a prolonged period, even the lowest dose can lead to abuse.
People who first take Oxycontin will notice their pain subside. Over time though, the pain will return even with taking the same dose. The reason is that tolerance levels for the Oxycontin rise and so users must take a higher dose to gain the same effect as they did when they first started taking it.
As the dose increases, so does the dependency the person has on the drug. The pain may go away but the body becomes used to having it and functioning with it and will crave it when you don’t take it or take enough of it. This is one of the first signs of addiction to the drug.
There’s also a mental component to the addiction. People taking it appreciate how it relieves their pain, so they become frightened when they don’t take it or reduce their dose fearing the pain will return. They continue to take the Oxycontin to ward off the disillusioned pain and increasing the dose over time to receive the same high.
The higher the dose becomes, the more signs of addiction present. People can end up preoccupied with the drug and will relinquish everything in their life for it. They want the drug first and won’t allow anything to stand in their way.
Compulsive Behaviors Due to Oxycontin Abuse
The preoccupation and motivation to acquire the drug becomes compulsive. Addicts may make doctor appointments with different medical facilities to attempt acquisition of the drug, and they might find a drug dealer on the streets to buy it.
With the drugs in possession, the addict will put work, family, and other responsibilities aside to use. While Oxycontin is simply a pill and doesn’t take much time to ingest, the high can make it difficult to function in certain settings, which is how it begins to take over one’s life.
Personality Changes Due to Oxycontin Abuse
Addicts will often times become irritable, anxious and have aggressive outbursts. These outbursts can be sudden. Mood swings can be dangerous, as some addicts will go from experiencing mania to depression. During mania, they may make rash decisions, spend large amounts of money and hurt people emotionally or physically. During the depression, addicts may want to commit suicide or homicide. The cycles of mania and depression are typically severe. They can change within minutes, hours or days. However, even with changes over a few days or weeks, there are marked changes in personality and most loved ones are able to see the major change.
Lying is another personality change for addicts. Those who may have been quite trustworthy all of sudden lie and steal for the sake of acquiring Oxycontin. Oxycontin can induce risk-taking behavior. This can cause addicts to do things they normally wouldn’t do, such as robbery. This can result in arrest.
Other Signs of Oxycontin Addiction
Long-term addicts may start to have hallucinations, paranoia and psychosis. Many people will believe that mental illness led to the drug use, but in reality, the drug use led to mental illness symptoms.
Addicts that have trouble keeping up with the supply they need will begin to experience withdrawal effects and those can include abdominal cramps, sweating, heart palpitations, restlessness, blurred vision, vomiting or generally feeling very ill.
Signs not so obvious may include memory problems, fainting and confusion. Many people will believe it’s from the medical problems the addict has rather than the addiction to Oxycontin. The other symptoms along with these make people start to realize there may be a problem.
What to Do About Oxycontin Addiction
Addiction is crippling. The longer someone is addicted the worse it becomes. Being able to treat addiction as soon as it starts is the best defense in having life turn to the worst.
The first step is realizing you have a problem. Once you can do that, you are ready to take the first step in letting go of your addiction. Consulting your doctor about how to lower your dose in increments to prevent the severe withdrawal effects will help you successfully enter addiction recovery.
If you are unable to start addiction recovery on your own, drug addiction treatment centers (800-303-2482) are available to help. You can enter these facilities for help with detox. Medical professionals will monitor your physical health while your body expels the drug from your system and re-learns to function without it.
Once you have your body back, you must begin dealing with the mental addiction you have with the drug. The best way to do it is through therapy. Understanding why you started to take the drugs, how it became out of control and what you can do to prevent this from happening again can do wonders for your addiction recovery.
It’s important that you don’t ever receive addictive prescription medication again once you have become addicted to Oxycontin. Addiction recovery is an ongoing effort. Many people go many years without using and then start using again because they crave the high they used to receive from the drug. Being able to realize you don’t need the drug and using can have serious consequences are two ways to stay away from it. Supports from others who are in addiction recovery and from loved ones will help you get through those difficult times when you want to use again.
Now you know all there is to identifying Oxycontin addiction. Look out for the signs in yourself or a loved one. If you see a problem, act quickly before Oxycontin takes over.