OxyContin is a narcotic painkiller, a highly potent pill that can trigger addiction, overdose, and chronic health problems in users who take the drug regularly or in large amounts.
Though the pills initially come from a doctor’s prescription, usually for moderate-to-severe pain, they are not safe for just anyone to use in any fashion. Doses are chosen carefully based on a patient’s pain level, other medications, and history with pain management – patients who take the pills outside of their doctor’s advice and those who take them without a prescription are taking huge risks with their health and safety.
The Code of Addiction
How can you tell if someone you love is abusing OxyContin? One way is to listen. Does he often speak in a coded language to others or on the phone? Do you find cryptic texts with meanings you can’t discern? Most addicts and dealers alike use slang terms to refer to their drug of choice in an effort to cover up their dealings, but families who get to know what these words mean can move a step closer to identifying their loved one’s drug of choice.
- Hillbilly heroin
- 40 (specifically for 40-milligram pills)
- 80 (specifically for 80-milligram pills)
Additionally, there are often colloquial terms for OxyContin that vary by region, city, or even among groups of friends.
The active ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, and there are a number of different pills that include this substance as part of their formulations. Someone who abuses OxyContin regularly will not be averse to using anything that has oxycodone in it so finding any of the following pills in their possession does not negate an OxyContin addiction but often demonstrates an ongoing painkiller dependence:
Other Signs of OxyContin Abuse
No matter what it’s called, a pill containing oxycodone or any addictive opiate is dangerous when abused. How can you tell if someone is simply following their prescription and suffering from side effects, or if they are living with an active addiction to their medication?
- Crush their pills before swallowing or snorting them
- Dissolve pills in water and then inject them
- Get multiple prescriptions for narcotic pills from different doctors
- Go to the emergency room for more pills
- Request emergency refills for their medication because they say they lost some of their pills
- Drink alcohol or use sedatives or other painkillers with their prescription
- Use more of the drug than recommended by the doctor (e.g., larger doses than recommended or more frequent doses throughout the day)
- Take prescription painkillers without a prescription for any reason
An Addiction by Any Name…
In the end, it doesn’t matter what your loved one calls the pills or whether or not he has a prescription. If he has a physical dependence characterized by a tolerance for the drug and withdrawal symptoms when without his pills as well as a psychological addiction defined by cravings, then it’s time to find a professional drug rehab that can help. Call now to talk with one of our admissions coordinators about how Michael’s House can help you or your loved one begin a new life in recovery.
Here at Michael’s House, we offer a comprehensive detox program followed by intensive psychotherapeutic treatment and aftercare support. To learn more about how we can help your loved one to overcome his OxyContin addiction, contact us today.