Drugs generally fall into one of two categories: “uppers,” also known as stimulants, or “downers,” also known as depressants. Uppers are drugs that increase energy and alertness by having a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. They also raise blood pressure and heart rate. In contrast, downers have a sedative effect on the central nervous system, and thus decrease alertness and focus. Downers also slow down breathing and heart rate.
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With their opposing effects, both uppers and downers can be dangerous, and abusing either can be life-threatening. Health risks associated with uppers include cardiac distress, high blood pressure, and stroke, while downers increase risk of low blood pressure and respiratory failure.
Is OxyContin an Upper or a Downer?
OxyContin is categorized as a downer, because it is a central nervous system depressant. OxyContin is a highly addictive prescription opioid that has been contributed by many as a key player in the United States opioid crisis.
One research study on OxyContin’s impact on public health states, “Controlled drugs, with their potential for abuse and diversion, can pose public health risks that are different from—and more problematic than—those of uncontrolled drugs when they are overpromoted and highly prescribed. An in-depth analysis of the promotion and marketing of OxyContin (Purdue Pharma, Stamford, CT), a sustained-release oxycodone preparation, illustrates some of the key issues.
When Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, it was aggressively marketed and highly promoted. Sales grew from $48 million in 1996 to almost $1.1 billion in 2000. The high availability of OxyContin correlated with increased abuse, diversion, and addiction, and by 2004 OxyContin had become a leading drug of abuse in the United States.”
The substance is prescribed to individuals for moderate to high pain relief, and is 1.5 times more potent than morphine. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, over 17,000 died from prescription opioid overdoses—including OxyContin—in 2017 alone.
Side Effects of OxyContin Abuse
Individuals who abuse OxyContin generally do so because they are seeking these side effects:
- Sense of euphoria
- Extreme relaxation
- Pain relief
- Anxiety reduction
However, taking large quantities or frequent abuse of OxyContin can also lead to these side effects:
- Stomach pain
- Slowed breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Mood changes
- Dry mouth
- Loss of coordination
- Difficulty breathing
If you or a loved one are struggling with OxyContin abuse, know that help is available and recovery is possible.
Knoxville Recovery Center Can Help
OxyContin abuse is very dangerous to the user if left untreated. Fortunately, help is available for those battling this addiction. Depending on the stage of an individual’s addiction, they may require detox, an intensive treatment program, or both. Fortunately, Knoxville Recovery Center offers various services to those struggling with this addiction.
Detox – Our on-site detox clinic accommodates and supports clients as the body sheds all residual traces of OxyContin. Clients are under medical supervision during the detox process to ensure that they remain safe and comfortable.
Addiction Treatment – During our addiction treatment program, clients will engage in introductory therapies and exercises that work to prepare them for continued, more intensive treatment outside of our facility. The goal of our addiction treatment track is to stabilize clients so that they are treatment-ready.
Mental Health Treatment – Our mental health treatment program introduces behavioral therapies rooted in self-expression and holistic exercise. Art therapy, music therapy, and yoga are just a few forms of therapy we offer at the center. Our goal is to help the client reclaim their voice and expose them to treatment within a professional facility.
Aftercare Planning – Aftercare is designed for individuals who have benefitted from our introductory addiction services and are transitioning into a more intensive addiction treatment program. Once a client is stabilized, they will be encouraged to pursue continued addiction treatment. Our experienced case managers will then work with our clients to place them in a program that addresses their specific wants and needs.
Addiction is difficult to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with OxyContin abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call Knoxville Recovery Center and speak with an addiction expert today.