Oxycodone is an extremely addictive opioid painkiller. Even casual abuse places you at risk for addiction, withdrawal, and overdose. Oxycodone can create an intense physical dependence which often requires a medical detox. Once you progress through this stage, a comprehensive treatment program should be initiated to treat the psychological addiction.
Some people experience pain so often and so greatly that over-the-counter medications do not work to alleviate the it. Oxycodone was developed to meet this need. For these individuals, medically-monitored, prescribed use can offer substantial benefit within their life. But when this medication is used improperly, either through misuse or recreational abuse, it becomes a danger in the hands of the user.
What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller used to treat concerns of moderate to severe pain. It’s available as extended-release tablets and capsules. Oxycontin, one of the most frequently abused opioid painkillers today, is the brand name of the former. It is also available in two concentrations of a liquid solution.
Oxycodone is paired with other, less potent, painkillers like acetaminophen and aspirin as a combination medication. Commonly abused brands of these medications are, respectively, Percocet and Percodan. While combination products may not contain as much oxycodone, addiction and overdose still pose a grave threat.
Additional medications that include oxycodone are:
- Xartemis XR
- Xtampza ER
How Is Oxycodone Abused?
In pursuit of its pain-relieving qualities, some individuals with a prescription may misuse their medication to self-treat their condition. Those who suffer from a mental health disorder or low self-confidence may use the drug to temper symptoms of their mental illness or to feel more at ease in social situations.
Most recreational users abuse this drug to create a relaxed and euphoric state. These primary effects result from the way oxycodone decreases the speed of your central nervous system (CNS). The darker side of this action is that certain life-support functions also slow down, including those related to your heart and breathing rates.
To administer the drug, a person could take it orally in a quantity or frequency greater than prescribed, or they may alter the form of the drug to enhance the high.
According to the DEA, a person may crush the drug to snort it or dissolve it in a solution to be injected. “Others heat a tablet that has been placed on a piece of foil then inhale the vapors.” Any time you alter the amount of drug or means by which you take it, you’re increasing the likelihood of addiction and overdose.
Oxycodone Carries A High Risk Of Overdose
When a person chews, crushes, dissolves, or otherwise alters an extended-release tablet, it enables the medication to flood their system much more rapidly. This increased rate of delivery amplifies the effect of the drug within a very short period of time, channeling a dose which should have been delivered over 12 hours. Within these circumstance, a person’s body cannot process the drug quickly enough, which places them in extreme risk of overdose.
When abused with other drugs CNS depression may be so great that respiratory depression, coma, or death result. “Drinking alcohol, taking prescription or nonprescription medications that contain alcohol, or using street drugs during your treatment with oxycodone increases the risk that you will experience serious, life-threatening side effects,” as cautioned by MedlinePlus.
What Are The Defining Characteristics Of Addiction?
When a person uses a drug for a prolonged period of time they can become physically dependent on it. Due to its potency, this happens quicker with oxycodone than with many other drugs. Altering the form of the medication can also increase the rate by which this happens.
Here, a person will experience a tolerance and need more of the medication in order to produce the sought after effect. Secondly, should they abruptly cease using the drug they could become very sick and go into withdrawal.
Signs of oxycodone withdrawal include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Achy muscles
- Joint pain
- Runny nose
While the above states can happen during prescribed use, what differentiates them from addiction are the other behaviors which accompany them. The most telltale are cravings, or an intense need to use the drug, and drug-seeking in an attempt to fulfill these urges.
Drug-seeking may occur by:
- “Doctor shopping”
- Feigning pain
- “Losing” prescriptions
- Stealing other people’s medications
- Buying the drug illicitly
An addicted individual will go to great lengths to maintain a steady supply of the drug. So much so, that their actions begin to cause damage to critical areas of their life.
How Can An Addiction Alter A Person’s Quality Of Life?
When you’re addicted to oxycodone your priorities drastically shift. Instead of committing time and energy to endeavors which further your life in a positive way, you will increasingly spend your time looking for and using the drug.
As these behaviors continue, a person’s family life, friendships, career, education, and finances can all suffer. This damage can be so extreme that a person loses their marriage, job, and/or house.
As the compulsive drug using takes further control, the individual’s mental and physical states can rapidly decline. This can lead to new or worsening symptoms of a mental illness and a host of physical illness and disease.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to regain control over your life by taking the power away from your addiction.
How Can You Overcome An Addiction To Oxycodone?
Recovery is a lifelong pursuit. Since addiction is a disease it needs to be treated as such. To begin with, in instances of severe addiction, we recommend you begin treatment with a medical detox.
This breaks the cycle of the physical addiction while your body cleanses the drug from its system. Here, certain medication-assisted treatments (MAT) may be used, especially those which are buprenorphine-based like Suboxone or Subutex. These help to control and reduce the debilitating symptoms of withdrawal we mentioned.
Declining treatment after detox will leave you severely underprepared for the demands of a sober life. It will also place you at a higher risk for relapse.
To further overcome the addiction you should consider treating the psychological components of it within an individualized treatment program. Oxycodone addictions are best treated in an inpatient drug rehab so that you have ample time to overcome the issues which foster an addictive state.
During this time a blend of modalities will be used, including researched-based behavioral therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy. Has the addiction affected your family? If so, you can also choose to take part in a family therapy and support program, when offered.
If your addiction was borne out of self-medicating a mental health disorder, or if it’s led to one, treatment can help with that, too. Many facilities offer compassionate dual diagnosis care to address any co-occurring mental health disorders which may influence the addictive state.
Many programs offer other dynamic modalities which can enhance the healing and resilience you gain in conventional therapy. Examples include:
- Art therapy
- Equine therapy
- Holistic therapies
- Mindfulness and stress management practices
- Wilderness therapy
Even after you’ve obtained a sober state, you must continue to manage your physical and mental health needs. You must also be mindful of continuing the healthy behaviors you learned in treatment so that you can prevent relapse. Treatment aftercare programs can help you to stay focused on these pursuits.
Don’t Let Oxycodone Take Control Of Your Life Any Longer
An addiction can be too much to bear on your own. With so many options and concerns, it can be difficult to create a recovery plan. That’s where DrugRehab.org comes in. Contact us today for a confidential assessment. We will help you to create a treatment program to treat your addiction.
For More Information Related to “Oxycodone Addiction And Treatment Options” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From DrugRehab.org:
- The Dangers of Snorting Oxycontin (Oxycodone)
- The Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Oxycodone
- The Most Commonly Abused Opiates