What Is Oxycodone and Is It Addictive?
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is prescribed for pain relief alone or in combination with other medications, such as acetaminophen. The transition from use to abuse to addiction can occur quickly and without an individual realizing it. People who use the drug may soon build up a tolerance, which means the amount needed for pain relief will also increase.
It’s crucial to know your tolerance for oxycodone before you start taking it. You also need to keep in mind that this drug is an opioid that creates euphoria. If you become addicted to oxycodone, the symptoms can range from mild cravings to substantial withdrawal symptoms that might lead you to use other drugs. Overdoses can result in severe physical symptoms and even death.
Opioids like oxycodone contribute significantly to the deadly drug crisis in America. In 2019, more than 14,000 fatal overdoses involving prescription opioids were reported. That’s an average of 38 deaths a day.
Oxycodone is the powerful primary ingredient in many painkillers intended exclusively for people suffering from moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone comes in several different sizes, shapes, doses, and brands. The brand names of the drugs containing oxycodone include:
Oxycontin is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. The drug’s controlled-release formula provides relief of chronic pain over a more extended period of up to 12 hours. Many people misuse the drug by crushing the tablets, snorting or dissolving the tablets in water, and injecting the solution.
Oxycontin is available as controlled-release tablets in strengths of 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 60, 80, and 160 mg tablets. Doses of 60 mg and above are used for opioid-tolerant patients only. Since Oxycontin is rapidly adsorbed, the tablets must be swallowed whole because chewed or broken tablets release the drug too rapidly, and concentrated levels in the body can lead to death.
Percocet is a tablet form of oxycodone plus acetaminophen. Percocet is one of the most popular prescription drugs for those who are physically addicted to oxycodone. The highly addictive nature of the drug often leads to physical addiction within weeks, which becomes dangerous as more of the drug becomes required to get the desired result. As with Oxycontin, crushing and snorting Percocet is a standard method of abuse.
Roxicodone is equal to 15 mg of oxycodone and is often used to treat moderate to severe pain. Before surgery, it is usually given to a patient to sedate or calm them. It’s intended for short-term use only and is highly addictive. Many people addicted to oxycodone begin using Roxicodone. People who abuse Roxicodone often crush or melt down the tablets to smoke or inject them.
Addiction is likely to have taken hold when a person continues to use a substance they know has an unwanted influence on their life. The drug affects the brain and the person’s actions and thoughts. Oxycodone addiction can result in the abuse of other substances, such as alcohol and cocaine, and an increase in other risky behaviors.
Most people who misuse oxycodone don’t realize that they have a problem. Some people may also think that they can’t get addicted to oxycodone, but 8% to 12% of those prescribed opioids for chronic pain develop an opioid use disorder.
When Is Oxycodone Addictive?
Oxycodone triggers a rush of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that triggers feelings of pleasure. Drugs are often addictive because they trigger this pleasurable feeling resulting in a euphoric high. People then find themselves craving the euphoric effects.
Signs of Oxycodone Addiction
It is best not to judge anyone by the drugs they take. A person who learns to abuse oxycodone may still be a healthy, well-functioning individual who may not appear to be using the drug in an unhealthy way. Oxycodone addicts usually don’t behave in a manner that leads people to believe that they are addicted, but there are some red flags of addiction if you know what to look for.
Common signs of abuse include:
• Giving the drug priority over personal responsibilities such as family, work, and school
• Frequently taking more than the prescribed dose
• Stealing or forging prescriptions for the drug
• Lying about or hiding drug use
• Avoiding drug testing
• Withdrawing from loved ones
• Hanging out with the wrong crowd
Effects of Oxycodone Abuse
Oxycodone abuse can take the form of both physical and psychological addiction. The effects of physical and mental addiction can be devastating, mainly when the drug is prescribed to an individual regularly. Oxycodone creates a physical and psychological dependence in the user that results from prolonged drug use. The person starts using the drug under the doctor’s supervision with good intentions, but they may soon abuse it.
Physical Effects of Oxycodone
The potential effects of abusing oxycodone or other prescription painkillers can include:
• Loss of appetite
• Dry mouth
Psychological Effects of Oxycodone
Some people do not experience these psychological effects, especially if they are physically addicted to oxycodone. The more a person uses the drug, the more likely they will experience psychological effects. The most common psychological effects of oxycodone include:
• Abnormal thoughts
• Abnormal dreams
Symptoms of an Oxycodone Overdose
Oxycodone is habit-forming, and, as a result, people who use it frequently may not be aware when the drug is having an adverse effect because they have developed a tolerance for it. An accidental overdose of oxycodone can result in death with as little as 5 to 15 mg of oral oxycodone.
Oxycodone has a narrow therapeutic index and may cause negative interactions with other medications. It can also trigger many different types of drug interactions. Some of these possible complications include interactions with antidepressants, antianxiety drugs, and alcohol, which may increase the risk of life-threatening serotonin syndrome. These are some oxycodone overdose symptoms:
• Shallow breathing
• Slow heart rate
• Inability to speak coherently
• Nausea and vomiting
• Blue lips or fingertips
• Confusion and drowsiness
• Inability to wake from sleep or coma
Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
When a person stops taking oxycodone, their body will experience withdrawal symptoms. As with all drugs that cause physical addiction, withdrawal from oxycodone can be dangerous and should be accompanied by medical supervision. Withdrawal symptoms can include:
• Muscle aches
• Dilated pupils
• Abdominal cramping
• Runny nose
Recognizing an Addiction
It’s frightening to realize that you’re addicted to prescribed drugs. If a person addicted to oxycodone does not recognize that they have a problem, they could end up in the emergency room. Because of the potentially dangerous effects of abusing this drug, everyone must know the signs of oxycodone addiction and what to do if they suspect someone might have an addiction.
An addiction specialist can help determine if a person is addicted to oxycodone and help them receive the treatment they need. Recovery from an addiction can be a long and challenging process requiring family members’ support and careful counseling, which a professional can provide.
Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
People who abuse prescription opioids like oxycodone deal with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. These issues may be the underlying cause of oxycodone addiction. An individual addicted to oxycodone may also suffer from other co-occurring disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, or anxiety disorders.
Treatment for these disorders should include the same treatment plans used to treat these conditions. The individual’s doctor will be able to refer them to a psychiatrist or psychologist who can treat co-occurring disorders and any drug abuse issues that may be present.
If someone is dependent on oxycodone, they will need to detox before beginning treatment. Oxycodone detox is usually a short process that does not require any medical supervision. The most effective treatment for oxycodone addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy teaches people how to recognize their feelings and behaviors and avoid the behaviors that lead to drug abuse.
There are many different options for treating oxycodone addiction. These treatment options include:
Medication for Opioid Addiction
Drug addiction treatment programs may also include medications. One of the reasons for relapse is withdrawal symptoms. You can use these medications to ease the physical withdrawal symptoms when individuals stop abusing oxycodone. Some of these medications include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. If you are interested in choosing one of these treatments, you must contact your doctor or a rehab center to get more information on what these treatments entail and how to choose the best treatment plan.
Counseling and Behavioral Therapies
Counseling and behavioral therapies are typical treatment plans for addicted individuals. When individuals are provided with counseling and behavioral therapy, they become more successful in maintaining sobriety. Counseling with a qualified health professional helps you deal with any underlying health problems or mental health issues contributing to your addiction.
This type of treatment is designed to help addicted individuals overcome their cravings for oxycodone. This type of therapy involves providing a reward for positive behavior, such as staying sober for a specific period. For example, if individuals remain sober for one month, they get $200. This type of system helps reinforce positive behaviors and can be very effective when used with a treatment program.
Motivational interviewing is a type of counseling where the counselor encourages people to make specific goals. These goals can include maintaining sobriety or finding a job. The counselor provides encouragement and support for these goals when the individual feels tempted to use drugs again or when they are struggling with an addiction problem. This type of counseling helps individuals learn to identify and overcome their negative thoughts and behaviors.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people to recognize and avoid triggers that lead to their intense cravings for drugs. It also helps them identify any opposing thoughts or beliefs that contribute to the drug use and what is causing them to continue using drugs. This type of counseling teaches you how to examine these thoughts and behaviors, which can help you identify problematic ways of thinking that you may need help adjusting.
Support groups are beneficial for those who are addicted to opioids. These groups offer a safe environment where participants can share their experiences and find support in one another. It helps them continue their recovery even when they feel weak or frustrated by their circumstances.
These groups are modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous. The organization has helped many people recover from alcohol addiction and live a clean and sober lifestyle. These programs are usually self-help groups that emphasize peer support and provide informative facts about addiction treatment. The group’s members share their experiences and learn from the experiences of others. They also have a sponsor that they can call when struggling with addiction. These groups provide a strong foundation for those trying to recover from an oxycodone addiction or substance abuse.
This type of counseling helps family members cope with the addiction and learn how to help the individual achieve sobriety. Family members can learn to set boundaries and work through conflicts and disagreements without resorting to violence. The family can develop effective strategies for helping the person achieve sobriety. These methods help keep their family members safe while trying to recover.
Contact Blue Crest Recovery Center
Oxycodone addiction can be hard to overcome. It may be tempting to tackle your dependence on your own, but you must contact a professional treatment facility for positive results.
The most effective programs are tailored to meet the needs of each individual, as well as their addiction problems. Clients have the highest chance of recovery with evidence-based programs and should never be left independently. If you or someone you know has an opioid addiction, contact us today at Blue Crest Recovery Center. Our team of professionals can give you more information or schedule an assessment for oxycodone addiction treatment. We will help you find the best treatment options for your situation and individual needs.