The Stages of Oxycontin Abuse
One of the initial barriers to overcoming OxyContin abuse is recognizing the existence of OxyContin addiction. Many people don't notice the beginning stages of OxyContin abuse because OxyContin is often a prescribed medication. It is important that loved ones surrounding the OxyContin user can recognize the stages of OxyContin abuse in order to get the person help before it's too late.
Stage 1 - Initation - Many people are first introduced to OxyContin from their doctor prescribing the medication for legitimate pain relief. Possibly a friend introduces the drug for experimentation. In either case, the user experiences the "high" and they are driven to keep using the drug in an attempt to maintain the good feelings. Even having been legally introduced to Oxycontin, this can be the first stage of addiction – initation – for many. In the early stages of OxyContin abuse, the user is frequently able to keep functioning at an acceptable level.
Stage 2 - Commitment - The person is now using OxyContin on a daily basis. Tolerance to the drug is now developing and more of the drug is needed to maintain the effects. The user is taking more than the prescribed amount and seeking OxyContin from additional sources. It is in this stage of OxyContin abuse that the user learns different ways to ingest the drug and resorts to crushing and snorting or possibly even injecting because these effects are quicker and more powerful. The addict now takes OxyContin to prevent the negative effects of withdrawal symptoms. Relationships, work, and health begin to suffer.
Stage 3 - Dysfunction - The addiction is in full control. The addict is totally preoccupied with obtaining and using OxyContin. Nothing else matters. The addict begins to suffer financially after spending tons of money on doctors, prescriptions, and illegally diverted street OxyContin. The addict becomes lethargic most of the time, drifting in and out of wakefulness; brain function and mental reasoning is slowed dramatically. Some will resort to criminal behavior to pay for their habit, which includes forging prescriptions, theft and robbery. In this stage of Oxycontin abuse the person becomes separated from family and friends, unable to hold a job, and experiencing serious health problems. for some, the last stage of OxyContin abuse is overdose and death.
Stage 4 - Treatment - If a fatal overdose doesn’t occur, the abuser will eventually seek long-term treatment and work extremely hard to kick the OxyContin abuse addiction.