OxyContin is the brand name of oxycodone, a prescription painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, the drug is also highly addictive, causing people both with and without a prescription for the drug to abuse it. Sold in pill form, OxyContin is often crushed and snorted or injected by addicts.
Sovereign Health provides treatment for individuals addicted to OxyContin. Our four California treatment centers – San Clemente, Palm Desert, Los Angeles and Rancho San Diego (adolescent program) – have programs specifically designed to treat the ravages of opioid addiction.
The opioid epidemic
The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes there were nearly 20,000 deaths from prescription opioid pain relievers in 2014, which accounts for nearly half of all drug overdose fatalities in the United States. After Viagra, OxyContin is the highest-selling pharmaceutical.
OxyContin is not the only prescription opioid wreaking havoc in the U.S. Others include hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER), hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin), fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora), the hydromorphones (Dilaudid, Exalgo) and meperidine (Demerol). According to the CDC, methadone (Dolophine, Methadose) leads all others in deaths due to prescription drugs.
What distinguishes OxyContin – also called Oxy – is the availability. Even with prices per pill ranging between $40 and $80, there is still a large supply on the streets for those who can afford it.
In 2007, the manufacturer of OxyContin, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, paid over $630 million to settle a criminal suit accusing them of misleading the public about the drug’s addictive properties. In 2010, Purdue issued a tamper-resistant iteration of the drug. The new formula does not crush or render as easily into a snortable or soluble substance.
The signs of Oxy addiction
Signs of addiction to OxyContin fall into two categories. The first is physical. Signs in this category include
- Drowsiness or nodding off
- Itchy skin
- Nausea, vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
- Profuse sweating
- Dry mouth
The second category is behavior. Individuals addicted to Oxy tend to steal, lie, lose contact with friends and family, and have difficulty upholding their social, financial and professional responsibilities.