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As a result of various illnesses, as well as fatigue, people undergo many forms of pain every day. These pains range from mild pains to severe pains. As a result of this, many drugs have been invented for the purpose of relieving the individuals from such kinds of pains. The introduction of drugs comes along with the problem of addiction. Most of the drugs which are efficient in their purpose of pain killers are equally addictive. OxyContin is an example of such drugs. It can cause addiction to its users since its effectiveness is favored by people.
Symptomology of Addiction
Addiction to a certain drug is a state where the individual cannot do without a drug. It results from the continuous use of a drug and overdependence on it. This causes an individual to rely solely on the drug for its purpose, thereby causing addiction. Failure to use the drug leads to serious symptoms, which have magnitude almost equal to the pain that the drug was supposed to relieve. Addiction does not only occur to drugs that are abused. When people hear of addiction, they only think of illegal drugs like cocaine and others. It would be a comical discovery for a layman to find out that the drug that is intended for his/her own wellbeing could be dangerous. People tend to think that medical drugs are 100% safe. Therefore, addiction cannot accrue to an individual as a result of their use. However, addition also incorporates medical drugs, which are solely used for medicinal purposes. These are drugs which also have the ability to make the individual suffer without them. Therefore, these are drugs that require extra care and caution from their users. They also require extra advice from the medical experts who prescribe them for the patients whom they treat. One perfect example of medical drugs, which cause addiction, is Oxycontin.
OxyContin is a legal drug which goes a long way to relieve individuals from severe and chronic pain. However, it is a drug that causes addiction to its users. Therefore, people who use this drug should watch out for the symptoms that come with continuous usage of the drug. Many of the drugs that are derived from oploids cause addiction to its users. Careful use of OxyContin would require a considerably long time to cause addiction to a user (Anesthesia Assisted Medical Opiate Detoxification, Inc., 2012). However, for individuals who may choose to use the drug for recreational purposes, addiction may occur as fast as they start using the drug. Cases of use of the drug for recreational purposes have been on the increase.
The consequences of this reckless act are continued cases of addiction and emergency room visits. The symptoms of OxyContin may seem to be subtle, at first. However, as time elapses, they become more and more evident. They reach a point where the individual requires medical help.
One of the early signs that an addiction is forming occurs when the individual is about to cease taking the drug, which may result from instructions from a physician. Such an individual starts to suffer pain as a result of reduction of the dosage. The individuals, who are now starting to get addicted, will feel a state of panic in them. They will feel the need to start the treatment once again. This is a feeling that is enough to make the individual go for another prescription on his/her own which amounts to illicit taking of the drug. One of the symptoms of this addiction is insomnia. This means that the individual suffers disturbance during sleep. During the night when the individual should be asleep, they tend to wake up in unequal intervals. The sleeping patterns of the individual become disoriented and this causes them much trouble. However, if they go back to the use of the drug, they find out that their normal sleep patterns resume. This proves to the individuals that they are only in their normal state of health with the drug.
The individual may also suffer the loss of considerable amounts of water in their bodies. This causes them to have a dry mouth as well as throat. Therefore, this is a symptom that can be identified as an addiction symptom. Individuals should not try to compensate this by taking large amounts of water. This is because the process will recur again and again. The individual should just look and seek for medical advice. The medical experts that they consult could suggest detoxification or any other suitable method.
Another symptom of addiction that users should beware of is pain. This is whereby the individual suffers pains from some parts of his or her body. These pains include abdominal pains, muscle pains and joint pains (Colvin, 2008). Most of the individuals who suffer these pains do not recognize it as an addiction. Instead, they think they are suffering from other illnesses and go on to get other prescriptions. Therefore, if an individual is taking Oxycontin, he/she should make sure that these symptoms are observed. Failure to that would lead to addiction without the knowledge to the user. This can prove dangerous to the user’s health.
When the drug is withheld from an individual who is addicted to the drug, nervousness and irritability are observed. This is a scenario whereby the user of the drug becomes unusually sensitive even to the smallest issues. When every situation starts to seem like an awkward situation for the user, this is the beginning of an addiction. Such individuals are easily irritated by the people around them. This can prove to be disastrous when they become violent. The only way to calm such individuals is offering them the drug again. This causes them to demand more and more of the drug. This is the case in many parts of the world; demand for the drug has increased over the years. This is because of its effectiveness in relieving of individuals who use it from pain. The most evident symptom of this drug is nausea and vomiting. This symptom could be confused for another disease. This is because the vomiting and nausea might be extremely intense. Many diseases also have these two symptoms as side effects on an individual.
However, an individual who takes OxyContin should understand this as a sign of addiction. These people should immediately seek medical advice and assistance from qualified medical personnel. Vomiting and nausea are just but a few symptoms of addiction to this drug. Other symptoms include hallucinations and illusions. This is whereby an individual sees images that do not exist in the real sense. Absent the drug, these individuals do not experience what other people are experiencing (LeMone & Burke, 2008). They start to see different illusions, which only exist in their minds. It is extremely difficult to convince them that the images they are seeing are not real. Constant diarrhea is another symptom of addiction to this drug. Like vomiting, it could be confused for other diseases’ symptoms. However, it is a symptom of addiction to this painkiller. If someone has a friend who is on OxyContin, he/she should make sure that the behaviors and mannerisms of the individual are monitored.
Therefore, the longer an individual is dependent upon this drug, the more these symptoms become evident. While the individual thought that they were using the drug for relieving of pain, it turns into an integral addiction. This addiction could be of both the physical nature as well as the psychological nature. The taking of the drug should, therefore, be regulated by use of alternatives or legitimate consumption of the same. If an individual suspects that he/she is getting addicted to the drug, he/she should contact a medical practitioner in a bid to get the required treatment.
Current Prevalence Information Found on the United States Population
The use of OxyContin is more evident in the United States than anywhere else in the world. It is a people’s favorite drug due to its effectiveness. The national survey on drug use and health study was conducted in The United States. They revealed that the drug use and misuse by people aged 12 and above had been increasing every year from 2002 to 2006. This meant more and more addictions of individuals as time elapsed. The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Emergency department revealed that, between 2004 and 2008, the cases of Misuse of OxyContin increased by 152%. Approximately 4 million people were reported to be using OxyContin only in the year 2006. This shows that there are numerous people in the world who use the drug for the purpose, for which it is not intended. In 2001, OxyContin was the non-generic narcotic painkiller that made the highest sales in the U.S. The U.S department of health and human services conducted a research on the issue. The study came up with the conclusion that, reportedly, those who use OxyContin, go to extraordinary lengths- legal or illegal- just to get the powerful drug. The sales of OxyContin in the U.S in 2008 totaled to $2.5 billion. Therefore, these sales increase each year as the popularity of the drug grows. This shows the extensive use of the drug in the United States.
Model of Addiction Formation and Treatment for the Client
One way of addiction formation starts when the drug levels start to decrease in body. This may happen when the physician requires the individual to stop taking the drug or reduce the dosage. This is mainly done for medical purposes. Also, there may reach a time when the individual is under the same dosage, but the drug does not seem to be enough. The individual enjoys the relief of pain at the beginning of taking the drug. However, as time goes on, the individual stops experiencing the relief after taking the drug. These two different scenarios often lead to the individual trying to go for a higher dosage. No matter how hard they try to resist it, they feel the urge to take an overdose. These individuals go on to use more than the prescribed drug and they suffer serious consequences. Some of the users go on to seek for street OxyContin in an attempt to get back on track. Research shows that most of the OxyContin users in America end up looking for heroin. This is because heroine is much more available than Oxycontin. This is because they find out that the OxyContin does not relieve them of their pain as it did in the beginning.
This addiction can be treated. In the treatment of the addiction, there are two aspects that are considered. There is the physical aspect as well as the psychological aspect. The physical aspect involves a process known as detoxification. This is a process that requires the involvement of medical experts. It involves the reduction of the levels of the drug in the body of the individual. Medical experts use other chemicals that neutralize and nullify the levels and the effect of the drug in the body of the individual. This process is purely medical (Susan Y. Kim-Katz, PharmD, & Ilene B. Anderson, 2011). It does not require much involvement from the victim. They just need to be present, and the medical experts perform their duties. Before this treatment is carried out on an individual, several considerations should be made. The medical practitioner involved in detoxification should ensure that it is a case of addiction. This helps prevent the use of irrelevant diagnosis on an individual who might not be suffering from addiction of the drug. After the medical expert has made sure that it is a case of addiction, they can now push on with the detoxification process. It, however, requires the cooperation of the patient to find out whether he/she is addicted to this drug.
The second aspect of the treatment of addiction is the psychological aspect. This is the part that influences the addiction of the individual the most. It is also the aspect, with which most victims do not allow to interfere. However, this should not be the case since it delivers outstanding results. The first and most vital step in the treatment of an addiction is the acknowledgement of its existence. The individual suffering the addiction should admit that he/she is suffering from an addiction. This is because denial of its existence always gets in the way of help (Slade, 2007). It is extremely hard to try to counsel or offer advice to an individual who does not admit that he/she needs it. Therefore, individuals who are willing to be helped to get out of the addiction should admit their addiction, first. The society views addiction as a sign of foul life habits. This is not necessarily true. Therefore, people should not decline to admit the existence of an addiction as this prevents them from getting the relevant help.
In the psychological treatment of an addiction, the helping party does not have to be a medical practitioner. The first step in this treatment is personal therapy. This is where the individual is taken through a series of personal evaluation thoughts. Most of the rehabilitation centers in the U.S place considerable value upon personal therapy. Here, the patient is offered advice and shown that he/she can do without the drug. This is the main problem with addicts. They feed their mind with the false information that they cannot do without the drug. The individual always wishes to go for more of the drug. Personal therapy helps show the individual that he or she can make it without the use of the drug. It shows the individual that use of the drug is not the sole solution to his/her problems. A warning was recently sent by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that with the increased and prolonged use of opioids, the tolerance of individuals increases. This may cause them to require larger doses. The result of this is the dependence on the drug which amounts to addiction of the users.
The second preferred step in the psychological treatment of addiction is group therapy. This is where the recovery process is pursued using a group. The victim is exposed to other individuals who are also recovering from such addiction. Through this, the individual realizes that his is a universal process. From the experiences of some other victims, the person might realize that their problem is considerably smaller. This is because they get to compare it with the problems of the other victims. It is more likely that there is an individual who suffered greater addiction (Shives, 2007). In the group therapy, the victims are also visited by people who have recovered from the addiction. This feeds the minds of victims with a new belief that it is possible to recover from addiction. When this is combined with the physical treatment of detoxification, the results cannot be discouraging. However, the victim is the person who plays the biggest role in the recovery process. Their willingness to recover from the addiction plays the biggest role on the way to recovery.
Counseling of the Client on the Approach
A client needs tuning to this approach of treatment before it is administered to him/her. After the medical practitioner has carried out detoxification, the recovery process has just started. The patient needs to recover from the psychological addiction. This is carried out in the stages that have been outlined above.
The first counseling tip that should be used on the client is that of acceptance. The psychologist should train the client to accept that he or she suffers an addiction. This is the only way that the client can open up to give way to help. The psychologist should explain to the client that the idea of being addicted to a drug is not shameful. He/she should make the individual realize that recovery from the addiction is more valuable than the patient’s ego. This is because some clients are too proud to admit that they are addicted to a drug. After the patients have accepted that they are addicted to the drug, they can go to the next step, which is considerably easy after acceptance (Ford, J.D., Russo, E.M., & Mallon, S.D.,2007).
The client should receive information on the importance of recovering from the addiction. He/she should be told of the consequences of the addiction as well as its disadvantages. This is where the expert suggests the use of other painkillers. The client should be made understand that recovery from addiction is better than relief from pain.
Lastly, the clients should be educated on the importance of group therapy. They should understand the advantages and benefits that come by in sharing of experiences with other people. This cultivates a positive attitude to group therapy in the client.
It is clear that medical drugs can also cause addiction. OxyContin is a representation of the numerous drugs which cause addiction. This is despite the fact that such drugs are medical drugs that are meant for people’s health. Therefore, individuals should avoid unnecessary use of painkillers. They should also find out everything about a drug before they begin to use it. This ensures that they are not caught in the addiction trap which proves tricky to evade.