Article Summary: Addiction to opiates, such as Oxycontin, is rapidly reaching epidemic proportions. This article provides a general overview of this dangerous narcotic and how addicts are abusing it.

Oxycodone, most commonly known as Oxycontin, is a medication that is typically used for controlling pain, however it can also be used as a cough suppressant. Over the past ten years, Oxycontin addiction has been dramatically increasing. In fact, within the United States alone, Oxycontin addiction has increased by 300% in the past decade and the number of emergency room visits caused by Oxycontin addiction has increased 500%.

Doctors believe that the primary reason for this increase in the rise of Oxycontin addiction is due to the fact that it is an opiate, which is taken orally, whereas most opiates are taken via an injection. However, since Oxycontin is a time-released drug, many people with an Oxycontin addiction actually crush the medication and snort it, or they melt it in water and inject it. When those with an Oxycontin addiction choose to snort or inject the Oxycontin, instead of taking it in the manner in which it is meant to be taken, they receive an intense high. It is this high that those with an Oxycontin addiction actually become addicted to. The high is caused by all of the Oxycontin being released into the person’s system at once, instead of being slowly released over time, which is what occurs whenever Oxycontin is taken properly, in its pill form.

Regardless of their age or class in society, a person can still suffer from an Oxycontin addiction. However, the most typical group of people to have an Oxycontin addiction is white women between the age of 10 and 40-years-old. A lot of these people with an Oxycontin addiction will go to extreme measures to get their hands on this drug. Some will call in phony prescriptions while others will steal Oxycontin from pharmacies.

Signs of an Oxycontin addiction include signs that a person is using this medication in a way that is radically different from the way that their doctor has prescribed or recommended. Other people with an Oxycontin addiction are more readily recognized due to the fact that they do not even have a prescription for this medication and yet they are taking it anyway. Many people will go to these extreme measures because once there is an Oxycontin addiction occurring, it is extremely difficult to recover from. This is because Oxycontin creates both a mental and a physical addiction and often cause the person with the Oxycontin addiction to feel extreme pleasure and feelings of euphoria. This feeling of relaxation and satisfaction can last for many hours. It is also accompanied by a decrease in the rate of breathing. This effect upon a person’s breathing can be fatal.

Employers and parents are oftentimes concerned about Oxycontin addictions and feel that there may be no way of actually testing for an Oxycontin addiction. Fortunately, this is not true. There are actually numerous drug tests available for detecting an Oxycontin addiction. These are basically the same tests that are used in detecting an opiate addiction. The drug tests that have proven especially useful in detecting Oxycontin addiction are those that test for the opiate Hydrocodone. These tests can be done via urine, saliva, or hair.


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