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Oxycontin tablet and bottles pictureOxycontin tablet picture

OxyContin Abuse is becoming a wide spread problem in America. OxyContin is a leading treatment for chronic pain, but officials fear it may succeed crack cocaine on the street. The DEA says it is only a matter of time before every community in the country is confronted with the problem of OxyContin abuse. No prescription drug in the last 20 years has been so widely abused after its release, federal officials say. Rather than ingesting the pill as indicated, people who abuse OxyContin use other methods of administering the drug. To avoid the controlled-release, they chew, snort, or inject the medication to get an instant and intense "high". Improper prescribing practices by unscrupulous physicians are a way of diverting pharmaceuticals, according to law enforcement sources survey by the NDIC. The abuse of OxyContin, as with the abuse of most prescription drugs, creates a cycle of health care fraud. For example, a corrupt physician writes a patient a prescription for OxyContin for a nonexistent injury. The physician bills the insurance company for that, and subsequent visits. The patient uses a portion of the OxyContin and sells the rest for a substantial profit. The Huntington Drug and Violent Crime Task Force reports "There are too many doctors supplementing their income by writing improper prescriptions."

Oxycodone is an agonist opioid. It is thought to be one of the most effective pain relievers available. Unlike the other analgesics, opioid agonists have an increasing analgesic effect with increased doses. Meaning that the more you take, the better you feel. Other analgesics, like aspirin or acetaminophen, have a threshold to their effectiveness. You can see why OxyContin has become one of the leading painkillers of abuse. It can potentially provide up to four times the relief of a non-opioid analgesic.

OxyContin, especially when chewed or snorted lowers a person's respiration rate. Each person is different, but as little as half a pill when combined with alcohol or other depressants can lower your respiratory system enough to be deadly. Excessive amounts of OxyContin taken alone or combined with a long list of other medications can also easily kill a person by lowering their respiration until they eventually stop breathing. The most dangerous side effect is overdosing.

Symptoms of an overdose from OxyContin are:

  • low breathing
  • seizures
  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • anorexia
  • dry mouth
  • weakness
  • loss of consciousness
  • coma
  • confusion
  • tiredness
  • cold and clammy skin
  • small pupils

A drug known as naltrexone is capable of restoring respiratory function within 1 to 2 minutes. This is important when counteracting the side effects of OxyContin. It is used primarily for the treatment of narcotic addiction to block the effects of opiates, especially the euphoric effects experienced in opiate addiction.

Some side effects are more uncommon and are not clearly displayed in all individuals:

  • excessive itching
  • sleepiness
  • profuse sweating
  • headaches
  • distant look
  • slurred speech

OxyContin's side effects vary in degree. When the pill is broken or crushed it will release a toxic amount of oxycontin increasing the potency of its effects, and side effects. This can cause OxyContin to be deadly.

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