Oxycontin is a slow-release narcotic drug that is used in the treatment of moderate to severe, long-term pain, usually in patients with cancer and post op pain. This potent analgesic requires prescription because it is classified as schedule II controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Schedule II controlled substances are drugs which have a high potential for abuse. Other drugs that fall within the same category are morphine and cocaine. Oxycontin addiction has become a major problem in the past several years and statistics show very tragic results. Oxycontin addiction can stem from a number of causes – but, misuse and overuse are the most common. So how precisely can a simple misuse of medication cause Oxycontin addiction?
Before anything else, bear in mind that Oxycontin is a kind of slow-release medication. The tablet has a special coating that lets the medication to do its job for no less than 12 hours. This allows a person to experience twelve hours of constant, stable pain relief even without taking the drug every four, six, or eight hours. If you misuse the medication by breaking, crushing, chewing, or dissolving the tablet, the effect of the drug becomes immediate. If you are a patient who is afflicted with extreme, chronic pain and you take Oxycontin in this manner, you will get too much medication at once and you most certainly will seek for another tablet after just a few hours. Most individuals who misuse Oxycontin claim that they do such thing because they badly want immediate pain relief. What these people do not realize is that misuse may eventually lead to overuse.
Now, because of drug misuse, you call your doctor for more. What was originally every 12 hours has now become eight hours, eight hours has become six, six hours has become four, and four became who-knows-how-frequent. In addition, the original dose of 15 mg is now not effective and as a result, you ask to be given higher doses. The time progresses and you begin to become dependent on the drug, without realizing that you’ve already become a victim of Oxycontin addiction.
This is a very good example of how a simple misuse can cause overuse, and how overuse can cause Oxycontin addiction. A person, however, can prevent any chance of Oxycontin addiction by simply following the doctor’s instructions. Basically, the physician will only request you to promise two things: 1.) Take the medication without breaking, crushing, chewing, or dissolving the pill (don’t misuse), and 2.) Take the medication exactly as prescribed (don’t overuse).