signs of oxycontin addiction

Oxycontin is an opioid prescribed for the management of moderate to severe pain. Primarily used as a prescription painkiller for acute and postoperative pain management, there is a high incidence of addiction without proper monitoring. Knowing what signs to look for can help identify whether an individual is struggling with addiction.


How OxyContin Addiction Works

The brain has natural chemistry which works in balance with the body. Oxycontin affects the endogenous opioid receptors found in the limbic system, brain stem and spinal cord. The receptors are responsible for causing pleasure, emotional control, relaxation, breathing, coughing and pain management.


Addiction Red Flags

Doses of Oxycontin are prescribed based on several factors. Patients who develop a tolerance to the drug may be prescribed a higher dosage of 60-80 mg. When an individual takes Oxycontin other than prescribed by a doctor, this is a warning sign. Some of the other signs can include:

  • taking Oxycontin more frequently than prescribed
  • taking Oxycontin for a longer period of time than prescribed
  • increasing dosage beyond prescribed amount


Individuals with addiction may be willing to take greater risks to achieve a high including crushing the tablets or pills and inhaling the powder rather than swallowing as prescribed. Dissolving Oxycontin pills in water to inject the solution used to be one way people ingested the drug but a new chemical formula renders the pill difficult to inject. Even so, people with addiction to Oxycontin continue to find new ways of getting high.


Signs of OxyContin Addiction

Addiction is currently defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a substance use disorder. Physical, behavioral and psychological symptoms are present for Oxycontin users who become addicted. Some of the signs may include:

  • secretive behavior
  • physical dependence on Oxycontin
  • combining Oxycontin with other drugs
  • preoccupation with obtaining more Oxycontin
  • consistent or increased use in spite of negative effects on health, social or home life
  • disorientation, lost sense of time
  • psychological need for more Oxycontin
  • changes in mood
  • withdrawal symptoms when doses are lowered
  • unsuccessful attempts to quit using Oxycontin
  • turning to criminal behavior to obtain Oxycontin


Treatment for Oxycontin Addiction

A combination of behavioral, psychological and pharmaceutical approaches to treatment have proven effective for many individuals who struggle with addiction to Oxycontin. Treatment is not a one size fits all approach, there are many factors which play a part in how a person achieves wellness, health and recovery from addiction. Families may choose to intervene in a non-formal way. An intervention is one way to support an individual in recognizing the need for treatment. Interventions are not the only method, however they can prove effective in bringing a person to clarity about the ramifications of personal behavior and the need for treatment.


Hired Power offers resources and support for individuals seeking treatment for Oxycontin addiction. Interventions and recovery care management are just a few of the ways we can support yourself or your loved one. Call today at 800-910-9299 for more information.

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