OxyContin (generic name: oxycodone hydrochloride) is a powerful analgesic opiate that blocks the brain’s perception of pain. It is commonly prescribed for pain relief after surgery to cancer patients and to chronic pain sufferers. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, OxyContin abuse has significantly increased since 2002.
Street names include 40, 80, blue, hillbilly heroin, kicker, and cotton.
Users have a high risk of physical dependency because OxyContin has a much larger amount of the active ingredient, oxycodone, than other prescription pain relievers. Side effects include shallow breathing, slow heartbeat, seizures, clammy skin, severe weakness, fainting, sweating, itching, dry mouth, constipation, and loss of appetite.
OxyContin withdrawal can be very intense. Its use should be reduced slowly in a medically supervised detox environment to ensure safety. Symptoms include flu-like symptoms, anxiety, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and even death.