Oxycontin is one of several brand names for a medication called oxycodone, a prescription opioid used to treat severe or chronic pain. Oxycodone affects the brain and body very similarly to other opioids such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, and fentanyl. So, the signs of Oxycontin addiction are the same as addiction to any type of opioid.
You’ve experienced withdrawal symptoms.
Lin Sternlicht, LMHC, an addiction specialist and founder of Family Addiction Specialist in New York City, tells WebMD Connect to Care that one easily-identifiable sign of prescription opioid addiction is experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. Withdrawal usually begins within hours or days of last using opioids and can be extremely uncomfortable.
Common withdrawal symptoms can be similar to severe flu which include:
- Muscle or bone pain
- Problems sleeping
- Cold flashes or chills
- Diarrhea and vomiting
You obsess over or crave Oxycontin.
Experiencing uncontrollable cravings for opioid medications is another telltale sign of addiction, Sternlicht explains. Individuals may become so focused on the drug that they lose interest in things they used to enjoy or neglect responsibilities like work, school, or personal care.
You use Oxycontin differently than prescribed.
Using medicine in any way other than how it was prescribed is considered prescription drug abuse. This includes taking more of a medication than was prescribed or taking a medication in a different way than intended — like crushing and snorting a pill. Asif Ilyas, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and President of the Rothman Orthopaedic Institute Foundation for Opioid Research & Education, tells WebMD Connect to Care that misusing prescription opioids in these ways increases the likelihood of overdose.
You’re “doctor shopping.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “doctor shopping” refers to a patient getting prescriptions for the same medication from different doctors without these prescribers knowing about the other prescriptions. “Shopping” for prescription opioids in this way can indicate an addiction to the medication.
You’re thinking or behaving differently.
People abusing prescription opioids may seem extremely drowsy or fall asleep during normal activities, Ilyas explains. These drugs can also cause paranoia and mood swings. Certain changes in behavior may also indicate a problem with opioid use which include avoiding social contact or becoming reclusive, and stealing from or manipulating others to pay for drugs.
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If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, WebMD Connect to Care Advisors are standing by to help.