The prescription drug OxyContin (also known by the generic name oxycodone) is a drug in the opiate family and has been known to cause problems, including dependency, for many people who use it on a regular basis—as well as those who use it without a prescription. Along with the side effects typically come several misconceptions related to OxyContin’s effects. Some of the most dangerous misconceptions have to do with the possibility of becoming dependent on it.

  1.      OxyContin is given out by doctors—so it can’t be that addictive.

While it is true that every person who uses a pain management medicine is different—and there are many who use the drug and do not become dependent—opiates have been proven to be highly addictive. Other drugs containing opiates include heroin and another well-known pharmaceutical drug, Vicodin, and their addictive potential is seldom questioned.


  1.      Addicts are genetically predisposed to substance abuse–so they were always going to abuse OxyContin.

Genetics can, and in many cases do, play a role in determining whether a person will become addicted to drugs. However, it’s not the determining factor—brain chemistry, environmental and psychological factors, emotional support, and access to medications also play a big part in an individual’s likelihood to misuse a prescription painkiller.

  1.      OxyContin is a prescription drug, so withdrawal is no big deal.

Symptoms of withdrawal can range from mild to quite severe. Withdrawal from OxyContin should always be managed by a physician.


Physical symptoms:

o   Body aches and pains, muscular and skeletal.

o   Fever.

o   Upset stomach and vomiting.

o   Sweats and chills.

o   Other flu-like symptoms.

Psychological symptoms:

o   Insomnia.

o   Depression and suicidal tendencies.

o   Anxiety and panic attacks.

o   Seizures.

o   Changes in mood and personality.

It is important to treat those experiencing these symptoms with care and support as they combat the effects of their body’s attempts to rid itself of the drug.

  1.      OxyContin abuse is rare United States.

Close to 10% of adults in the United States either have or will have abused opiates at some point in their lives, whether for pain relief or for recreational enjoyment. That means you probably know someone struggling with OxyContin dependency.

  1.      A drug is a drug—it doesn’t matter how you take it.

OxyContin is a very addictive drug, whether or not it is taken orally as prescribed. However, other methods of use such as crushing and inhaling the powder, or dissolving the powder in water and injecting it with a syringe are even more addictive than taking it orally.

  1.      OxyContin abusers obtain their drugs legally from their doctor.

While that can be the case, because many users need higher and higher dosages to control their pain, there are a great number of people who gain their drugs through illegal sources, whether by purchasing from someone who has a prescription, doctor-hopping, theft, or other means.

These are some of the misconceptions surrounding those who suffer from OxyContin dependency and addiction to other opiates. Myths and assumptions about OxyContin dependency should be battled with accurate information and compassion.

If you or someone you love is struggling with OxyContin addiction, or addiction to any other opiates or prescriptions, the addiction help lines at Hired Power are available 24/7.

Call us at 800-910-9299 for more information on overcoming OxyContin dependence.

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