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OxyContin Addiction Signs and Treatment

In 2015, prescription opioid abuse accounted for 20,101 of the overdose deaths in the United States. OxyContin is one of the culprits in the opioid epidemic. While intended for moderate to severe pain management, OxyContin is often abused to get the a “high” that it gives in larger doses. Some may even accidentally get addicted to the drug. However, by knowing the OxyContin addiction signs, you can be aware of when there is a problem so that you can get help.

3 Minute Read | Published Sep 25 2023 | Updated Mar 04 2024 Expert Verified
Emma Collins
Written by
Amber Asher
Reviewed by
Emma Collins
Written by
Amber Asher
Reviewed by

Dealing with OxyContin Addiction Signs and How Treatment Helps

How is it Abused?

OxyContin is only given to patients as a prescription. A person abusing it will take it in a way that doesn’t align with their prescription, or a person can be abusing it without having a prescription. It is taken in many ways including through intravenous injection, orally, smoking, snorting, rectally and transdermally.

OxyContin Addiction Signs

In order to avoid a possible overdose and further destruction to your life, one should pay attention to possible OxyContin addiction signs. While a person may not have every single sign, if you have a few of the following OxyContin addiction signs, then consider seeking professional help.

  • Mood signs – A person may feel depressed, have mood swings, random euphoria, anxiety and be irritable.
  • Behavioral signs – The person may be constantly drowsy, forge prescriptions, hide their use of the drug, lie to others about their use, have noticeable track marks, have financial trouble and neglect important obligations. They usually also have strained relationships.
  • Physical signs – Itching, constipation, hypotension and constant headaches are common addiction signs. The person may also doze off frequently, have nausea, vomit, sweat profusely and develop a tolerance. Cravings are also a sign that an addiction has formed.
  • Psychological signs – Some of the psychological signs of addiction to OxyContin include hallucinations, paranoia and delusions.

OxyContin Side Effects

With continued abuse of OxyContin comes all of the negative side effects associated with the misuse of opioids. The following are some of the possible OxyContin side effects:

  • Abuse can lead to a coma
  • Seizures
  • Overdose
  • Constantly fatigued
  • Shallow breathing, which in cases of overdose can lead to brain damage
  • Mood disturbances
  • Liver damage

Treating OxyContin Addiction

Today, treating OxyContin addiction is fairly easy if the addict were to make use of a rehab center. Many of the rehabs on Better Addiction Care address the multiple needs that an opioid addict has. This includes providing them with an array of treatment methods because not everyone needs the same thing as far as treatments go. For example, an addict may be advised to use an inpatient program that incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy, support groups and alternative programs such as art and music therapy whereas another patient would be better suited to motivational interviewing in a private setting along with animal therapy.

Treatment for opioid addiction always starts with a detox. In rehab, a person is able to take advantage of medication-assisted therapy, or MAT. Preferred medications for the treatment of opioid dependence include methadone and buprenorphine. Generally, people are on the medication until their body has readjusted to a life without opioid abuse, thus avoiding many of the intense withdrawal symptoms that often lead people to relapse.

Myths About MAT

A common misconception about using opioids such as methadone to treat an opioid addiction is that the only thing you’re doing is replacing an addiction for another. However, this is not the case as the doses don’t allow for abuse (getting high), they just help to reduce powerful withdrawal symptoms and cravings thus increasing the effectiveness of treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at (800) 429-7690.


bullet National Institute on Drug Abuse (2021)
"Prescription Opioids DrugFacts"
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bullet Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2020)
"Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders: Introduction to Medications for Opioid Use Disorder"
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bullet American Psychiatric Association (2013)
"Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing"
Retrieved on July 18, 2018
bullet O’Connor, P. G. (2018)
"Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 379(4), 357-368"
Retrieved on July 18, 2018
bullet Cicero, T. J., Ellis, M. S., & Surratt, H. L. (2015)
"Effect of Abuse-Deterrent Formulation of OxyContin. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(3), 297-298"
Retrieved on July 18, 2018
bullet Manchikanti, L., Helm II, S., Fellows, B., Janata, J. W., Pampati, V., & Grider, J. S. (2010)
"Opioid Epidemic in the United States. Pain Physician, 13(2), 167-188"
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bullet Volkow, N. D., & McLellan, A. T. (2016)
"Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain—Misconceptions and Mitigation Strategies. New England Journal of Medicine, 374(13), 1253-1263"
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bullet Chou, R., Fanciullo, G. J., Fine, P. G., Adler, J. A., Ballantyne, J. C., Davies, P., … & Miaskowski, C. (2009)
"Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Chronic Opioid Therapy in Chronic Noncancer Pain. Journal of Pain, 10(2), 113-130"
Retrieved on July 18, 2018

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