The opioid epidemic is nothing new. With prescription drugs, including OxyContin, the brand name for oxycodone, the epidemic continues to worsen. People of all ages and walks tend to turn to these powerful drugs for pain-relieving effects. However, their addictive makeup places people at high risk of developing physical tolerance and addiction. Let’s explore some OxyContin addiction facts and statistics to learn more about the dangers of this drug and how someone can seek addiction treatment.
What is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a time-release form of oxycodone, for treating chronic and severe pain. Because Oxycontin contains large amounts of oxycodone, it’s one of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States. This semi-synthetic opioid analgesic helps treat chronic pain. Most pills have 10 to 80 milligrams of oxycodone.
Other Names for OxyContin
While OxyContin is a prescription medication, it often finds itself on the street as people try to get their high from various sources. On the streets, people call OxyContin:
- Hillbilly heroin
5 Interesting OxyContin Addiction Facts You Should Know
The more we learn about OxyContin addiction facts, the better we can help prevent more cases. Today, we all know that even though a doctor prescribes a drug, it doesn’t mean there’s no potential for addiction. Here are some facts about OxyContin you should know.
1. Most People Tamper the Pills
OxyContin abusers learn how to crush the tablets and ingest or snort them. Those with a severe addiction might even dilute the tablet with water or other chemicals and inject it. However, these medications are not intended to be used this way, and it can lead to a potentially fatal dose.
Back in 2010, the FDA approved a new formulation for OxyContin to prevent tampering of the pills. The new formulation, even if someone manages to tamper the pill, it won’t release oxycodone immediately. Or if someone tries to dissolve the tablets, the liquid will become gummy, making it impossible for syringe injection.
2. High Potential to be Addictive
Like most opioids, OxyContin has a high potential to be highly addictive. Right now, OxyContin is a Schedule II drug, which means it has the potential for abuse. Even those who have a prescription for the medication and use it according to instructions are advised against suddenly stopping the medication. Instead, to prevent withdrawal symptoms, people have to gradually reduce their dosage before they can stop taking it.
3. Severe Withdrawal Symptoms
Continuing on the last OxyContin addiction fact, the truth is withdrawal symptoms can be deadly. Because the medication prompts symptoms as soon as six hours after the last dose, it’s paramount users have medical attention while attempting to do so. People experience body fatigue and heart palpitations that can be uncomfortable. However, when OxyContin addicts choose to quit on their own, they can also experience panic attacks and even develop depressive episodes that can lead to fatal consequences.
4. OxyContin Is Similar to Heroin
Oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyContin, comes from the chemical found in poppy plants. Most oxycodone-based opioids result in similar effects, withdrawal symptoms, and long-term consequences to heroin and other narcotic drugs like morphine. The eerily similarities make most people question why this is a prescription medication for such a common ailment like chronic pain, especially when so many people get addicted to the drug.
5. People Still Manage to Abuse Tamper-Proof Tablets
While the FDA and other organizations continue to push tamper-proof tablets, they agree that these measures alone won’t stop the addiction cycle. Today’s street dealers and manufacturers are becoming increasingly smart. They’re finding ways to tamper with the tablets to help users get their high. Others are turning to lab-made or synthetic opioids that aren’t necessarily pure oxycodone, which can lead to complications and fatal overdoses.
OxyContin Abuse Statistics
With OxyContin being one of the most prescribed medications for pain relief in the US, these abuse statistics come at no surprise. More and more people of all ages and walks become opioid addicts and even more to other drugs.
- In 2002, almost 6 million prescriptions were written for OxyContin.
- Around 5% of heroin addicts abused OxyContin before moving to heroin.
- OxyContin abuse roughly accounts for 1,000 overdoses each year.
- Close to 81% of the oxycodone world’s supply is consumed in America.
- About 1 in 30 high school seniors have abused OxyContin at least once.
- In 10 years, oxycodone-based prescriptions increased by 92.16 percent.
- In 2017 alone, there were 15,111,150 oxycodone prescriptions made.
OxyContin Addiction Treatment Options
OxyContin dependency can lead to many physical and psychological effects that can have long-term consequences. However, because of the severe consequences of withdrawal symptoms, having the right support system is critical to prevent deadly outcomes.
Most people starting their OxyContin addiction treatment need a detox program paired with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that eases withdrawal symptoms and provides patients with a secure and supervised environment to begin their recovery. Many treatment facilities can help structure the right treatment plan. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our addiction recovery programs include:
- Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process at treatment centers, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Since many long-term addicts struggle with mental illness, a dual diagnosis program can get them the help they need to treat both conditions simultaneously.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Most of the time, these sorts of addictions develop due to compulsive behaviors that must be treated at the source, with CBT being one of the most popular evidence-based treatments to treat addiction.
- Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need.
- Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention.
Get Help Today
If you or someone you love is struggling with drug abuse, ask for help immediately. Please, call the Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.
Our addiction center offers unique and personalized substance abuse treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it.