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Oxycontin Abuse Signs and Symptoms

a person on a couch looks sad as they struggle with Oxycontin abuse

Today, much of the attention on the opioid epidemic centers on the powerful medication fentanyl. However, well before fentanyl arrived on the scene, people across America were abusing another opioid medication—OxyContin. If you or someone you know is abusing this medication, an OxyContin treatment program can help. How can you tell if the problem is present? You can look for several signs that may reveal OxyContin abuse’s effects.

How Is OxyContin Abused?

Exactly how is OxyContin abused? There is no single answer to this question. Instead, multiple acts may qualify as abuse. These practices include:

  • Cutting down the time between the doses prescribed by your doctor
  • Increasing the size of the doses prescribed by your doctor
  • Trying to speed up OxyContin’s drug effects by crushing it or otherwise altering it
  • Using OxyContin as a recreational substance

Seeking OxyContin prescriptions from multiple doctors at the same time

You also misuse or abuse the medication if you take it without a valid prescription. That includes using someone else’s OxyContin. It also includes buying the medication illegally.

OxyContin Abuse Signs

You may notice a variety of telltale issues in a person abusing OxyContin. Potential examples include:

  • An unexplained change in typical hygiene habits
  • Frequent mood changes
  • Loss of interest in favored hobbies or activities
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Unusual irritability or defensiveness
  • Withdrawal from social contact

OxyContin abuse signs may also include unexplained drowsiness. In addition, they may consist of frequent bouts of flu-like symptoms.

Effects of OxyContin Abuse

Opioid Use Disorder

OxyContin abuse can have severe effects on your health and well-being. One of the most significant potential effects is opioid addiction. Problems begin when abuse leaves you physically dependent on OxyContin. Physical dependency means that your brain has a chemical need for the medication.

The next step in the chain of addiction is psychological dependence. This state leaves you emotionally reliant on OxyContin. In addition, you may experience a compulsive need to seek out more of the medication. Compulsive behavior is the final step in developing an OxyContin addiction.

OxyContin addiction is an example of a condition called opioid use disorder, or OUD. You can also qualify for an OUD diagnosis without being addicted. This situation occurs when non-addicted OxyContin abuse seriously disrupts your ability to function. Doctors view this level of abuse just as seriously as they view addiction.

Opioid Overdose

Overdose is another potential effect of OxyContin abuse. An overdose occurs when you take enough of a substance to overwhelm your system. Opioids are known for their ability to trigger this severe health emergency. Potential signs of an opioid overdose include pale or clammy skin. They also include lips or fingernails that look bluish or purple.

A person overdosing on OxyContin may go completely limp. They may also have trouble breathing. In addition, they may vomit or make gurgling noises. Unresponsive unconsciousness is an additional sign of an overdose. In a worst-case scenario, an affected person may stop breathing. Their heart may also stop beating.

Learn More About OxyContin Abuse at Northpoint Colorado

Need more information on the abuse of OxyContin? Talk to the treatment specialists at Northpoint Colorado. We’ll fill you in on the details of what constitutes abuse. We’ll also help you get a fuller picture of potential OxyContin abuse effects.

Are you or someone you know affected by OUD? Northpoint Colorado is your source for high-quality opioid treatment. Whatever your specific OUD symptoms, our customized plans will support your recovery. We feature a full range of treatment settings. Just pick the one that best fits your needs. Call us today at 970.579.4569 to get the process started. You can also reach us through our online form.