Oxycontin is a form of oxycodone, an opiate-based narcotic prescription drug. Oxycontin is generally prescribed for its effective analgesic or pain relieving properties. Prescription drugs are prepared to treat a particular illness or condition. But Oxycontin is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. According to National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2008, the number of new non-medical users of Oxycontin aged 12 and above was 478,000.
Abuse of prescribed pain medications such as Oxycontin often has harmful effects on the body. It also leads to strong addiction. It is important to know the signs and symptoms that may signal a developing addiction and stop abuse. It is mostly abused as it gives a sudden rush or high when consumed.
Slow or shallow breathing
The breathing patterns of the Oxycontin abusers will be different from the normal persons. Oxycontin is generally meant to relax normal users from the pain. Oxycontin helps to stop the pain but if abused, causes drowsiness, slow or shallow breathing. The respiratory system can become severely depressed after the initial high wears off. This is very dangerous as it can cause a person to stop breathing in some cases or even lead to coma or death.
Dizziness or clumsiness
Oxycontin sometimes causes severe drop in blood pressure, which leads to dizziness and or clumsiness. The drug directly affects the Central Nervous System and slows down a persons coordination.
Abusers under the influence of Oxycontin will be generally mentally confused. They generally have disregard for the situations and have care free attitude. Because of the effects of the drug on their brain, abusers are seen frequently confused.
Because of the strength of the medication, abusers generally appear tired. Oxycontin can slow down reactions and makes the abusers feel sleepy.
One of the most noticeable signs of a person abusing Oxycontin is a small pupil. They generally are thin and resemble points of little pins.
Clammy and cold skin
Common physical sign of Oxycontin abuser is clammy and cold skin. An Oxycontin abusers skin may feel very clammy and cold.
Nausea and vomiting
Oxycontin users resemble a drunken person under the influence. By stimulating an area within the brain’s nausea center, Oxycontin causes nausea and eventually vomiting.
Many people become addicted to Oxycontin once they start taking it in prescribed amount, but later develop tolerance and needs to take larger amount each time to attain same euphoria, get pain relief, or cope with withdrawal symptoms. Oxycontin is classified as a Schedule II drug, meaning it has a high potential for drug addiction. Awareness needs to be developed especially among teenagers about symptoms of Oxycontin abuse in order to reduce the abuse of the drug.