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The Most Abused Pain Medication: Oxycontin

Of all narcotic pain medications, Oxycontin has the distinction of being the most abused. Oxycontin is prescribed for severe, chronic pain and differs from other pain medications in that it is longer acting. Extremely effective for pain relief, Oxycontin is reserved for severe pain, such as pain following major surgery, severe injuries, and cancer pain. This intensity of effect also makes Oxycontin popular among those who are seeking the ultimate euphoric high that comes from opioid pain medications.

Legal Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Safe

Although various agencies, including the CDC, FDA, AMA, and DEA, have been working diligently to effect change in the ways that physicians prescribe pain medications, Oxycontin remains highly prescribed as physicians try to best assess which patients require pain medication and which patients are drug seeking. Though many physicians, especially pain management specialists, have strict rules for patients who receive Oxycontin, and even though physicians, emergency room doctors, and other doctors who prescribe narcotic pain medications have continued to evaluate their prescribing practices in order to reduce the likelihood of abuse, the numbers associated with abuse and overdose from Oxycontin continue to be high.

Narcotics in the United States represent an addiction epidemic, and when those narcotics come with a prescription label, as if to endorse the use of them, the issue becomes confusing both to the addict and to those who are concerned when certain behaviors and symptoms associated with the medicine arise.

Following the prescription instructions may reduce the likelihood of problems, but even when Oxycontin is taken exactly as prescribed, a user can still become addicted. And it can happen very quickly.

Signs of Trouble with Oxycontin Use

If you’ve noticed that your loved one seems physically or emotionally “off,” or if you are concerned about your own use of Oxycontin, tune into our Oxycontin recovery podcasts and hear addiction and Oxycontin recovery stories that may help you connect the dots about your own situation. Some signs of Oxycontin abuse include insomnia, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, body aches and muscle pain, fever, chills, nausea, and vomiting.

To be clear: Prescription opiates are just as addictive and dangerous as street versions, such as heroin. But the lines between necessary treatment of pain and drug abuse can become blurred when the drugs are legal and often obtained from a physician. Overdose rates are high among those who use Oxycontin, and if you’re feeling any sense of alarm, trust your gut and reach out for help. Tune in to our Oxycontin addiction podcasts for more information and effective solutions.

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