OxyContin abuse cases have been on the rise ever since the drug was introduced to the marketplace. The drug is actually Oxycodone, and sold under the brand names OxyContin, Roxicodone and OxylR.
It's known on the street as “oxycotton,” and when its used for recreation, it can be highly addictive. Oxycodone is a Schedule II, synthetic opiate analgesic prescribed for moderate to severe pain.
Patients are often also directed to take aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) in combination with the oxycodone. Dosages are from 10 to 160 mg, and under a doctor’s care, the drug, when used properly, is considered relatively safe.The active agent is a morphine derivative, which is also used in Percodan or Percocet. It is given in pill form and the slow-acting drug, when used according to physician direction, helps manage pain.
When the pills are ground up by the recreational user and snorted, it is reported the “rush” is more intense than that of heroin. It’s a long-lasting high. That’s why this drug is so widely abused.
OxyContin abuse can be avoidedAccording to a 2002 report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
“OxyContin as a prescribed medication is a very effective and efficient analgesic. When used for legitimate medical purposes, this controlled substance can improve the quality of life for millions of Americans with debilitating diseases and conditions.
It’s often prescribed for cancer patients or those with chronic, long-lasting pain. It’s when a medication such as this is intentionally misused that it begins to pose a serious public health threat. This is what appears to be happening with this particular drug.”Because the drug has become so popular on the street with recreational abusers, patients who are prescribed the drug for legitimate medical purposes may run into difficulty with pharmacies in filling their prescriptions.
OxyContin abuse is rampantly on the rise; abuse of this drug began almost from the time it was introduced on the market. Because it is an opiate, “oxycotton” is highly addictive. The health risks for OxyContin abuse are enormous.
Purdue Pharma is the manufacturer of Oxycotton and their senior medical director, Dr. J. David Haddox stated in 2001:
“As soon as we learned about the abuse problems, we went into those areas where abuse was reported and began education programs for physicians. We also cooperated with law enforcement in those areas because we want to do all that we can to make sure this drug is not abused. We want to stop the drug from being obtained through fraud or theft.”
Theft is a big problem
Theft is a big problem because of OxyContin abuse. Some pharmacies won’t even stock the drug for fear of being robbed. Still, for patients suffering from chronic pain, the drug has been of great benefit.Patients may take small doses of the drug to manage pain, and like taking insulin to manage blood sugar, the drug has become necessary to maintain a good quality of life.Like addiction to opium, morphine or heroin, “oxycotton” (OxyContin abuse) or changes brain chemistry and fools the brain into thinking it NEEDS the drug for normal function. Abusers and OxyContin abuse builds up a tolerance to “oxycotton,” so more and more drug is needed to produce the same “high.”
Drug slows breathing
The drug slows down breathing (respiratory depression) and breathing might slow down to 12-20 times per minute, and that slow-down is a warning sign. If breathing gets below 10 times per minute, the person is in jeopardy of having low oxygen levels, which lead to permanent brain damage, or worse.
The effects of OxyContin abuse can cause a heart attack. Because the drug depresses the central nervous system, the user might get confused, or begin to act strangely. They get sleepy, or they have mood swings. The lose interest and have an “I don’t care” attitude about things.
Unlike someone who has had “a few too many” drinks and you give them a ride home and put them to bed, too much “oxycotton” is serious business. If a person goes to sleep, with low respiration and the other effects of the drug, they may not wake up.
Don’t let them sleep!
If you are around somebody that shows the signs of “oxycotton” overdose, don’t let them sleep. Keep them awake and talking no matter how much they complain about it. Get help. Medical attention is needed. If the person is in trouble, call 911.Oxycotton overdose often requires a hospital stay. Like patients who overdose on other central nervous system depressants, they may need a respirator to control breathing. Once the drug is out of their system, they can return to normal breathing.
OxyContin abuse is a serious problem
“Oxycotton” is a dangerous substance and using it for recreation is like playing Russian Roulette. The chances for a fatal encounter with this drug are enormous. Professional intervention is needed, as addiction to this or any other opiate requires a plan and expert help.
When prescribed by a physician and used properly, “Oxycotton” can be a blessing to those suffering from chronic pain. In the hands of an unthinking, unsuspecting and careless individual, “oxycotton” is a curse.
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