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Who Is at Risks to Become Addicted to Oxycodone?

An addiction to the prescription-drug Oxycontin is one of the fasting rising forms of abuse in Canada. It is estimated that close to 10% of the population in Canada is addicted to some form of the drug. This can be alcohol, marijuana, hard drugs like cocaine or pharmaceutical drugs. Out of this, 1 in 5 is abusing the pain reliever Oxycontin.

This drug is prescribed to those who have chronic pain conditions. To help alleviate the pain in their bodies, patients take this powerful medicine, which contains oxycodone. This is a strong opiate that deadens the nerves and helps the body cope with severe pain. A person who uses the prescribed medicine according to directions has a small risk of becoming addicted.

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People who are at risk of having Oxycontin addiction are those who do not follow the doctor's prescribed instructions. These instructions are usually threefold. There is the beginning stage, the maintenance stage, and then the "weaning off" period. For many people, they feel that the prescription is not enough and will use more of the pain medicine than prescribed. This does two things.

First, the person becomes addicted through tolerance. The body becomes tolerant of the medicine, which makes it dependent on the medicine for managing the pain. And second, this causes the person to use the drug in different ways. For immediate relief, many Oxycontin abusers will crush up the pill and take in through snorting or injection.

Another group at risk for abusing Oxycontin is young adults who are already suffering from other addictions. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcoholism or cocaine abuse can lead to pain within the joints, head, and other parts of the body. These people then turn to Oxycontin, or are prescribed pain medicine, and then trade one addiction for another. It is estimated that 15% of the people who suffer from a previous addiction, resort to abusing Oxycontin and can then suffer from Oxycontin addiction.

One last sector of the population who is at risk of abusing Oxycontin is teenagers and young adults. This is because there has been a growing concern that doctors were under prescribing pain medication to this sector of the population. Many of the teens and young adults would continually complain about the pain after surgery or from other illnesses. Because of this, many teenagers, who have access to the drug, then start to abuse it because of the feeling they have. This then leads to them selling to their friends for extra money to buy more when their prescription runs out. A large percentage of the one in five drug abusers who use Oxycontin are under the age of 24.

Targeting these three groups of people have shown some stabilizing of the numbers, but not in decreasing the number of those who are abusing this drug and have Oxycontin addiction. However, treatment options are quickly focusing on Oxycontin, specifically to help people battle the emotional, psychological, and medical conditions, which arise. When someone is suspected of abusing Oxycontin, quick decisions about intervention and a good oxycodone treatment is necessary to make sure that they do not fall further into their addiction.