Oxycontin is a type of Oxycodone Hydrochloride. It is a controlled-release type of the drug that is designed for the extended treatment of pain. Many of the people that become addicted to this medication actually began taking it for legitimate purposes, but then something happened along the way that caused an addiction and a substance abuse problem to form.
This is the most common reason for why a teenager might become addicted to this drug, but teens can also acquire Oxycontin on the street illicitly, taking it without ever having a prescription for it. You must consider both of these options when determining whether or not your teen might be addicted to Oxy. Whether they have a legitimate reason to take the medication or not, becoming addicted to this painkiller is serious business.
The way that a prescription medication addiction occurs is like this:
- Someone begins to take the drug for a legitimate purpose, such as dealing with pain for an injury or following an operation.
- As the user continues to take Oxycontin, a tolerance is formed. Tolerance means that the body is growing accustomed to the drug. As the body grows accustomed to the drug, it perceives that more of the drug is required in order to achieve the same impact that the drug once had on the system.
- In order to accommodate the tolerance, the user begins to abuse the drug. What this means is that they are taking it in a manner that goes against how it was prescribed. This might be done by taking the drug for longer than it was prescribed, in higher dosage amounts than was prescribed or in a greater number of dosages per day.
- As the user abuses the substance, whether they intended to or not, they create a physical dependency on the drug. It is this physical dependency that causes addiction to occur.
- Now when the user tries to stop taking the drug, they cannot do so because the withdrawal symptoms are too much to bear. Because of this, they continue to take the drug despite the negative impact that it is having on them, simply because taking the drug is easier than dealing with the side effects of withdrawal.
Signs of Substance Abuse
It can be hard to spot substance abuse involving prescription drugs, except that your child may become secretive about how they are taking the medication, when or why. If your teen seems to be taking medication without being open about what he or she is taking, then it is going to be important for you to investigate and gather some information about what is going on.
Whether your teen originally had a legitimate reason to take the medication or not, substance abuse involving Oxycontin is a serious problem that you need to put a stop to. Speak to your child’s physician, an addiction intervention specialist at a local drug rehab or an addiction specialist to find out what your options are in the way of getting your teen some help.
Helping Your Teen With Addiction
All hope is not lost if you determine that your teen has a substance abuse problem or if you suspect that this problem might exist within your home. As a parent you have the right stuff to help your kid get some help as long as you approach the situation in the right way.
- Make sure that you are approaching your child with understanding and love. Do not throw accusations around, and do not behave as if you are angry, even if you are angry. Just be caring and understanding and show your teen that you want to get them help.
- Contact a local intervention specialist or a local drug rehab center to find out what your options are. Your best bet is going to be a drug rehab center that specializes in kids and teens.
- Find a drug rehab program that is designed for prescription medication abuse. This is going to be the best type of program for your teen.
- Attend therapy and counseling with your teen while they are in the rehab program. Show them that you want to play an active role in their recovery. Be there for them through every step of the process so that they never feel alone.
- Provide your teen with the right environment when they return from rehab. This will prevent a relapse situation from occurring and will help to ensure that your teen is able to remain sober for a long time.