OxyContin facts cover a wide range of information about this prescription pain medication. Here we will go over OxyContin facts on general info, what this drug looks like, abuse/addiction, and the risks of using OxyContin.
OxyContin Facts: General Info
What is OxyContin? OxyContin, a trade name for the narcotic oxycodone hydrochloride, is a painkiller available in the United States only by prescription. OxyContin is legitimately prescribed for relief of moderate to severe pain resulting from injuries, bursitis, neuralgia, arthritis, and cancer. Individuals abuse OxyContin for the euphoric effect it produces, an effect similar to that associated with heroin use.
What is OxyContin called? The most common names for OxyContin are OCs, ox, and oxy. Street terms for OxyContin also include 40 (a 40-milligram tablet), 80 (an 80-milligram tablet), Blue, Hillbilly Heroin, Kicker, and Oxycotton.
Is it illegal to abuse OxyContin? Yes, abusing OxyContin is illegal. OxyContin is a Schedule II substance under the United States Controlled Substances Act. Schedule II drugs, which include cocaine and methamphetamine, have a high potential for abuse. Abuse of these drugs may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.
OxyContin Facts: Appearance
What does OxyContin look like? OxyContin is available as a 10 milligram (mg), 20 mg, 40 mg, or 80 mg tablets. The tablets vary in color and size according to dosage. The tablets are imprinted with the letters OC on one side and the number of milligrams on the opposite side.
OxyContin Facts: Abuse and Addiction
How is OxyContin abused? OxyContin tablets have a controlled-release feature and are designed to be swallowed whole. In order to bypass the controlled-release feature, abusers either chew or crush the tablets. Crushed tablets can be snorted or dissolved in water and injected.
Who abuses OxyContin? Statistics show that individuals of all ages abuse OxyContin. Data reported in the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that nearly 1 million U. S. residents aged 12 and older used OxyContin non-medically at least once in their lifetime. OxyContin abuse among high school students is a particular problem. Four percent of high school seniors in the United States abused the drug at least once in the past year, according to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey.
In 2006, an estimated 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit OxyContin users, meaning they had used an illicit OxyContin during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.3 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older. Illicit drugs include OxyContin /hashish, OxyContin (including OxyContin), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.
Statistics show that OxyContin abuse and OxyContin addiction cost Americans over $484 billion annually. This figure includes healthcare costs (and abuses of that system), lost job wages, traffic accidents, crime, and the associated criminal justice system costs.
OxyContin Facts: Risks
What are the risks of OxyContin use? Individuals who abuse OxyContin risk developing tolerance for the drug, meaning they must take increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effects. Long-term abuse of the drug can lead to physical dependence and addiction. Individuals who become dependent upon or addicted to the drug may experience withdrawal symptoms if they cease using the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms associated with OxyContin dependency or addiction includes restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, and involuntary leg movements. Individuals who take a large dose of OxyContin are at risk of severe respiratory depression that can lead to death. Inexperienced and new users are at particular risk, because they may be unaware of what constitutes a large dose and have not developed a tolerance for the drug. In addition, OxyContin abusers who inject the drug expose themselves to additional risks including contracting HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B and C, and other blood-borne viruses.