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Oxycontin Overdose

Drug overdose is often fatal, and oxycontin overdose is no exception. Oxycontin is the trade name of the oxycodone hydrochloride drug. It is a controlled-release drug used for treating chronic pain. Under the correct dosage, it provides up to 12 hours of pain relief. Oxycodone can be described as an agonist opioid, which is one of the best pain relievers. With opioid agonists, the higher the dose the more the analgesic effect. That means the higher the amount taken, the better the feeling. Other analgesics have a limit to their effectiveness, no matter the amount taken.

For people suffering from severe pain, Oxycontin is highly beneficial since it can provide even 4 times the relief compared to the non-opioid analgesics. It is essential for managing even extreme degrees of pain. Oxycodone works by stimulating opioid receptors in the central nervous system, along the spinal cord and in the brain. It binds the receptors triggering certain responses one of them being pain relief.

Oxycodone is classified in what is known as Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it is under legal control in the US. The degree of regulation is dictated by the potential for abuse of the drug. Oxycodone falls under the category of controlled substance, which means that its every step is formally supervised including registration, manufacturing, record keeping, distribution channels and dispensing limits.

An oxycontin overdose occurs when it is accidentally or intentionally ingested in a dose higher than the body can process. Being a narcotic pain reliever, it is also highly addictive. Besides taking more tablets than prescribed or taking them too many times, an oxycontin overdose is also likely to occur if you break, crush or chew the tablet. The tablet is meant to be taken whole, as disintegrating it causes too much of the drug to be released into the body at the same time. The fact that it is termed as an 'extended release' drug means that it is meant to be released into the body gradually. Those people who abuse oxycodone intentionally tamper with the controlled release mechanism by removal of the time release coating. Others even mix it with water and inject the liquid.

When taken this way it gives an intense and instant 'high' that can last up to 8 hours. With time the abuser develops tolerance to oxycontin, requiring larger doses to be taken so as to achieve the sensation. Snorting oxycontin powder is another common form of abuse. In street language it may be referred to as oxy, OC or simply O.

The most common indication of Oxycontin overdose is slowed breathing. That is why it should never be taken with other substances that slow down breathing, mostly alcohol. Fatal side effects or even death can occur when these two are combined. Other symptoms of oxycontin overdose include: A slow heart rate, Cold and clammy skin, Limp and weak muscles, Difficulty in breathing, Constipation, nausea and vomiting, Heart attack, Drastic mood swings, Shrank pupils causing reduced vision, Extreme drowsiness that can lead into a coma, and Clouding of mental functions making the victim appear confused.

Overdose of oxycontin requires immediate medical attention. In most cases the victim is hooked on to a ventilator to aid in breathing until the effects of the drug wear off. Most people who are used to abusing this drug require professional attention so as to stop using it. As any other addiction, withdrawal symptoms are experienced when one tries to stop. Some of these symptoms include:Restlessness,Insomnia,Chills and cold flashes accompanied by goose bumps,Diarrhea and vomiting,Bone and muscle pains,Involuntary leg movements.

One of the most dangerous repercussions of oxycontin overdose is experienced by a person who had been abusing the drug, stopped taking it for sometime then for some reason gets back to using the opioid again. In this case the tolerance for the drugs has reduced, owing to the withdrawal process. Even with a small amount of oxycontin, less than what they had been taking earlier, the victim easily experiences an overdose. The symptoms are even worse because the body has lost its ability to withstand the effects. Statistics show that most oxycontin overdose deaths occur in people who had previously withdrawn from the drug.

Early treatment for an overdose can save a life. For a recent overdose, the doctor can 'flush' the stomach and clear its contents. Alternatively the victim can be induced to vomit, or treated with activated charcoal which prevents the body from absorbing the oxycontin. Antidotes are also available (narcan or naloxone) to counteract the fatal effects of the drug overdose. Treatment also includes supportive care especially if the overdose was intentional so as to get 'high'.

It is important to note that oxycontin is highly addictive, and withdrawal symptoms have been cited in cases where the drug has only been taken for just about 2 to 3 weeks. If you feel that you are developing resistance to the drug and it no longer eases your pain, you should notify the doctor immediately. When under the effects of the drug, one should avoid tasks that require stable mental coordination such as driving or operating a machine. Oxycontin may show side effects to persons who have shown an allergic reaction to narcotic drugs.

To preserve the controlled release ability of the tablets, take only one at a time even if your dose is two or more. Do not swallow them all together. Avoid presoaking, wetting or even licking before you put in to the mouth. If a person suffers from oxycontin overdose, emergency services should be notified immediately. In the mean time the patient can be given first aid to assist with breathing. When the specialists arrive, they should be furnished with all the details including the medical history of the patient, the amount of oxycontin taken and any other drugs that it could have been mixed with as all these affect the degree of overdose. These are some of the important things that should be known about the drug, they are very important. They will help a person in knowing how it affects the health.