Oxycodone is a prescription opioid drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is considered an addictive drug and can be habit-forming. When abused, oxycodone can lead to addiction and other serious health problems.
This article will discuss what it is, the dangers of oxycodone addiction, and how to get help if you or someone you know is addicted to it.
What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a powerful opioid pain medication.
Opioid Pain Medication
When an individual has moderate or severe pain, their doctor may prescribe oxycodone. The opioid medication works by targeting and binding to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord to dull and block pain signals in the central nervous system.
Central Nervous System
Oxycodone acts on the central nervous system (CNS) to relieve pain. It is made from morphine and binds to opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Oxycodone hydrochloride is a type of analgesic agent and a type of opiate.
Oxycodone is available in several forms, including tablets, capsules, liquid, and extended-release tablets. It’s also known as a generic drug. Generic drugs are usually less expensive than brand-name alternatives since they don’t have to go through costly research, development, and marketing processes.
These opioid medications are sold under brand names such as OxyContin, Roxicodone, Percocet, and Xtampza ER.
Classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), oxycodone has a high potential for abuse and addiction. It is only available through a doctor’s prescription and is illegal to use without a prescription.
Even though medical professionals prescribe it, opioid medications can be habit-forming and should be used only by the person whose name is on the prescription label.
Effects of Taking Oxycodone
Taking oxycodone as prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist can help treat pain. However, if it’s not used as directed, it can have dangerous and potentially deadly effects.
Some of the common side effects of oxycodone include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Slow heart rate
- Allergic reaction, rash and hives
Oxycodone can also cause more serious side effects, such as:
- Breathing problems – difficulty breathing, trouble breathing, shallow or slow breathing
- Fainting or passing out
- Extreme drowsiness
Tell your doctor or healthcare provider if you experience any of these side effects.
If you stop taking oxycodone medication suddenly, you may also experience withdrawal symptoms from physical dependence ranging from mild to severe. Oxycodone also has drug interactions with other medications like muscle relaxants, sedatives, and other opioids, which can be dangerous.
How Does Oxycodone Addiction Develop?
Opioid addiction is a serious, chronic disease that manifests as compulsive drug-seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Similar to alcoholism, when a person continues to drink alcohol despite the consequences.
Oxycodone addiction can develop soon after starting to take the medication.
Individuals who struggle with oxycodone abuse may start with a legitimate prescription for pain control, to treat pain and relieve moderate muscle stiffness but quickly move on to take a higher dose gradually and then the next dose – more often than prescribed. They may crush the pills and snort or inject them to get a more intense high telling themselves they need pain relief but truly fighting physical dependence.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that in 2019, about 10 million people misused prescription opioids. Since an opioid medication releases endorphins, it can create feelings of pleasure and relaxation. This is where the potential for abuse and addiction lies.
When oxycodone is abused, it changes the brain chemistry. Oxycodone addiction occurs when someone can no longer control their drug use, even though it’s causing problems in their life.
Signs and Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction
Opioid drug abuse and addiction can be challenging to recognize. Some of the common signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction include:
- Taking more of the drug than prescribed or taking it more often than prescribed
- Doctor shopping or going to multiple doctors to get multiple prescriptions
- Crushing and snorting pills or dissolving and injecting them
- Withdrawing from friends and family
- Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed
- Missing work or school
- Stealing money to pay for oxycodone
- Continuing to abuse oxycodone despite relationship problems, job loss, financial difficulties, or legal issues
Physical symptoms of oxycodone addiction include:
- Constricted “pinpoint” pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Sleepiness or nodding off
- Poor coordination
- Breathing problems
An opioid overdose can be deadly. Oxycodone addiction can lead to an overdose because it slows down breathing. If you suspect someone is overdosing on oxycodone they need emergency medical help, call 911 immediately to get them medical help.
Risk Factors of Oxycodone Addiction
Opioid drugs like oxycodone are some of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Oxycodone addiction can happen to anyone, but certain factors may make someone more likely to develop an addiction.
Risk factors for developing an oxycodone addiction include:
- A family history of substance abuse or addiction to alcohol or other drugs
- Mental illness disorders like depression, anxiety, or PTSD
- A personal history of substance abuse
- Chronic pain
- Access to prescription opioids
The length of time someone takes oxycodone can also be a risk factor. The longer someone takes opioid drugs, the greater the risk of developing an addiction. In addition, crushing or injecting the pill can also greatly increase the risk of addiction since it leads to a more intense high.
People who abuse oxycodone regularly are also at risk of developing a tolerance, meaning they need higher and higher doses to get the same effects. This can lead to oxycodone overdose or death, a growing problem in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1999 to 2019, more than 500,000 people died from an opioid drug overdose.
Oxycodone addiction is a serious problem with potentially deadly consequences. If you or someone you know is struggling with oxycodone addiction, it’s not too late. Help is available and you can get free from the struggles and pain of addiction.
Treatment Options for Oxycodone Addiction
Oxycodone addiction is a chronic disease that requires treatment. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating oxycodone addiction, but there are evidence-based treatments that can be effective.
- Detoxification: Like other drugs, oxycodone can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms when someone stops taking it. Oxycodone detoxification is the first step in treatment and involves getting rid of the drug in the body. Oxycodone detox can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the severity of the addiction.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): MAT is an evidence-based approach that combines behavioral therapy with medication to treat oxycodone addiction. The FDA-approved drugs used in MAT for oxycodone addiction include buprenorphine and naltrexone. These medications can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to stay in treatment.
- Behavioral therapies: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and contingency management (CM) can help people with oxycodone addiction change their thinking and behavior. CBT can help people identify and change the thoughts and behaviors that are contributing to their addiction. CM uses rewards like vouchers to reinforce positive behaviors like staying in treatment.
- Rehabilitation: Oxycodone addiction treatment usually starts with detoxification and is followed by rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient rehab or residential rehab involves staying at a treatment facility where you receive 24-hour care. Outpatient rehab allows you to live at home while receiving treatment during the day.
Thousands of treatment centers across the United States offer different types of treatment for oxycodone addiction. People from around the United States often come to Turning Point of Tampa to find lasting recovery. Finding a treatment center right for you can be overwhelming, but resources are available to help.
Prevention of Oxycodone Addiction
Several things can be done to prevent oxycodone addiction.
Doctors should only prescribe oxycodone for pain that is severe, chronic, and not expected to improve. Oxycodone should not be used as a substitute for sleeping pills. Oxycodone should only be used as a last resort after other pain medications have failed.
Patients should take oxycodone precisely as prescribed. Oxycodone should never be taken longer than necessary, and the dose should be tapered off gradually under a doctor’s supervision to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Individuals should also be aware of the signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction and seek emergency medical help or find addiction treatment if they develop them.
Resources for Oxycodone Addiction Treatment
Fortunately, many resources are available to help people with oxycodone addiction find treatment.
Turning Point of Tampa is an in-network drug and alcohol rehab facility located in Tampa Florida. We specialize in helping those who have a physical dependence to drugs and alcohol. We specialize in treating opiate dependence and understand the difficulties associated with oxycodone and opioid addiction.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides a free, confidential 24/hour helpline that can help you find treatment centers in your area.
You can also visit the SAMHSA website to find a list of treatment facilities near you.
If you have health insurance, your insurance company may also be able to help you find a treatment center. Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can also be valuable resources.
How To Help a Loved One Who Is Addicted to Oxycodone
While it can be challenging to watch a loved one struggle with addiction, there are things you can do to help.
Educate Yourself About Oxycodone Addiction and Treatment
If you’re unfamiliar with oxycodone addiction and treatment, educating yourself is important. This will help you better understand the disease and how to support your loved one.
You can know more about the drug’s adverse effects, how to spot the signs of abuse, and what treatments are available. Since oxycodone addiction is a complex disease, it’s important to have accurate information about it.
There are many reputable sources of information about oxycodone addiction, including:
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
Forums are also a good place to get information and support since you can connect with other people going through similar experiences.
Talk to Your Loved One About Oxycodone Addiction
If you think your loved one may be addicted to oxycodone, it’s important to discuss it with them. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important to approach it in a way that is respectful and non-judgmental.
Be sure to listen carefully to what they say and avoid making assumptions about their addiction. Instead, focus on understanding their experiences and why they may have turned to oxycodone. This understanding can help them find ways to cope with the addiction and get the needed treatment.
Help Them Find Oxycodone Addiction Treatment
A big part of supporting a loved one with oxycodone addiction is helping them find treatment. This may involve research, making phone calls, and accompanying them to appointments.
You can also provide support during treatment by attending family therapy sessions, offering encouragement, and being understanding of setbacks. Remember that recovery is a process; there will be good and bad days.
If you’re unsure where to start, please call Turning Point of Tampa about treatment options.
Household Members Can Help
Look in your medicine cabinet and remove drugs that are not being used regularly. If another family member has long term pain or if the older adults take medications on a regular schedule ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medications can be addictive. Also ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medications have serious side effects.
After your loved one completes treatment, it’s important to welcome them home and ask them how you can help them stay sober. They may ask you to not drink alcohol in the home. They may ask for support by attending support group meetings with them, helping them stick to their treatment plan, and being understanding of triggers and cravings. You can also help by providing emotional support, being positive, and continuing to communicate openly about addiction and recovery.
Additionally, it’s crucial to have a plan of understanding in place in case of a relapse. This may include contacting their treatment center, therapist or a friend active in recovery.
How To Find the Right Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Center
Too much oxycodone can be very harmful, and once addicted, it is hard to stop taking it without professional help and a good treatment plan.
There are many oxycodone addiction treatment programs, and finding the one that’s right for you can be overwhelming. Here are some things to look for when choosing a treatment center.
Experience Treating Oxycodone Addiction
A successful rehabilitation center for oxycodone addiction must have a medical staff with the experience and training to effectively treat this type of addiction.
Withdrawal from oxycodone can be associated with unique challenges, including severe flu-like symptoms and intense cravings. As a result, the center’s staff must be familiar with the best methods for helping patients through withdrawal and recovery.
In addition to experienced medical professionals, the center should also have counselors and therapists on staff who can provide support and guidance during treatment. A reasonable success rate is also essential; ideally, most patients who complete treatment should be able to maintain their sobriety in the long term.
Individualized Treatment Plans
When you’re addicted to oxycodone, it’s important to have a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.
The best addiction treatment centers will create a personalized plan based on your unique needs and preferences. This may include detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, individual counseling, and group therapy.
The goal of treatment should be to help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to live a sober life. The treatment plan should also be flexible, as your needs may change over time.
Oxycodone addiction is a serious disease that requires professional treatment. Educating yourself about oxycodone addiction and finding a reputable treatment center can give your loved one the best chance for a successful recovery.
A Variety of Treatment Modalities
Different people respond to different types of treatment, so the center must offer a variety of modalities.
Some people may benefit from medication-assisted treatment, while others may do better with a 12-step program. Others may prefer individual therapy, while some may find group therapy helpful.
The important thing is that the center offers a variety of options, so you can find the one that’s right for you. For example, you may benefit from medication-assisted treatment if you’re struggling with opioid addiction. This treatment can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, making it easier to abstain from drugs or alcohol.
Or, if you’re looking for support in managing your addiction, you may find that a 12-step program is more helpful. This type of program provides structure and accountability, as well as a sense of community.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials
When looking for a treatment center, it’s essential to read reviews and testimonials from former patients. This can give you a good idea of the center and what you can expect from treatment.
Be sure to read positive and negative reviews, as they can be helpful. You may not get an accurate picture of the center if you only read positive reviews.
Plus, if you only read negative reviews, you may not give the center a fair chance. Try to look for patterns in the reviews; for example, if multiple people mention the same problem, there is likely an issue that the center needs to address.
Acute pain is one of the most common reasons people take oxycodone. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid pain reliever that is available by prescription only.
While it can effectively treat pain, it’s also highly addictive. People who are addicted to oxycodone will most likely need professional treatment to recover.
If you or someone you love is addicted to oxycodone, a Turning Point of Tampa can help. We offer a variety of treatment modalities, so you can find the one that’s right for you.