OxyContin is the brand name for the generic drug oxycodone, an addictive painkiller that is one of the most powerful medications for pain relief that can be taken orally. Its chemical structure is similar to codeine and heroin, and the drug is prescribed for cancer-related pain more often than for any other condition. Oxycodone abuse is at epidemic levels and quality treatment is available at many hospitals and drug rehabs.
The effects of oxycodone on the body are serious and should not be taken lightly, as the drug has a high potential for addiction. The drug is slowly released into the vascular system over time, and it is similar in its pain-relieving effects to morphine and heroin. Some abusers ingest crushed or chewed tablets because the drug is released all at once, producing a euphoric high. However, this is very dangerous and can lead to a potentially fatal overdose.
Oxycodone abuse can lead to stomach problems, liver damage, and even death, especially if combined with other central nervous system depressants such as alcohol or benzodiazepines. Long-term effects include decreased testosterone levels, impotence, and significant prostate enlargement in males. Hearing loss can occur in both females and males with long-term abuse. Short-term side effects can include nausea, constipation, rashes, dizziness, mood disorders, and light-headedness.
Long-term oxycodone use should not be stopped abruptly, as severe withdrawal symptoms will occur. If you or someone you love is abusing oxycodone, contact a treatment center immediately so that he or she can be carefully monitored during the detox period and then treated for his or her dependency.