The use of OxyContin affects the entire nervous system: the heart, the lungs, the brain, the reproductive, respiratory, digestive, and immune systems, and every major organ in the human body. Unlike some other pharmaceutical drugs, the side effects of taking OxyContin are not mild. Instead of just possible dizziness and dry mouth, OxyContin affects the entire central nervous system. This means that the heart, the lungs, the brain, the reproductive, respiratory, digestive, and immune systems, and every major organ are impacted by the drug’s abuse.
As a result, the DEA reports record high cases of OxyContin abuse, physical and psychological dependence (i.e., addiction), and overdose deaths. Purdue Pharmaceuticals has been criticized for downplaying the dangers of OxyContin and has been required, by the FDA, to make changes to the label. The side effects are now listed right on the bottle of OxyContin, along with what the FDA calls the strongest warning ever for a pharmaceutical drug.
Actual side effects of OxyContin use are:
- Depressed respiration or respiratory failure
- Lowered blood pressure
- Slowed pulse
- Nausea, vomiting, or stomach cramps
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
- Inability to stay awake
- Impairment of menstrual cycle in females
- Severe withdrawal symptoms when drug use stops
Increased OxyContin Use
Similar to heroin, an increased tolerance to the pain-blocking euphoric effects leads an OxyContin user to want a larger dosage of the drug each day. Accidental OxyContin overdose is caused when a user does not stop increasing the dose until one day; the amount of the drug is too much for the body to metabolize. Rarely does an OxyContin overdose result in an outcome other than death or permanent brain damage.
Stopping the Progression of OxyContin Use
The dangerous side effects of OxyContin make its use incredibly risky. If you are using OxyContin or know someone who is, the behavior can stop with the right medical help by finding the treatment centers with the most experience and the best staff to help stop the progression of OxyContin use to abuse and addiction.
Under the guidance of medical doctors and substance abuse professionals, expert teams help opiate addicts get through medical detoxification and onto formal treatment. They work with licensed counselors who customize treatment plans, complete with tools for preventing dependence on OxyContin, skills for dealing with cravings for narcotics, and lifelong coping skills to sustain a new life without substances.
When a prescription drug is used in any way other than how a doctor prescribed it, the drug is being abused. The purpose is no longer proper pain treatment; the goal is to get high.
If a 90-day supply of OxyContin is deemed necessary for recovery after surgery, for example, and the individual uses the given quantity in 60 days, the drug has been abused. Similarly, when a portion of one’s personal quantity of OxyContin is sold to someone who does not also have a doctor’s prescription, the drug is being abused. Substance abuse, the step before addiction, consists of the continuation of any drug use despite its negative impact on the user’s life.