Oxycodone Addiction And Abuse
Overview of Oxycodone
Oxycodone is a powerful medication and given to patients who have built up a significant tolerance to other opioids. Oxycodone hydrochloride belongs to a class of narcotics called synthetic opioids. Oxycodone is produced by isolating thebaine: an alkaloid compound found in opium.
Oxycodone is typically dispensed as an extended-release tablet which lasts up to 12 hours. Other immediate release variants last between 4-6 hours. This usually varies based on the patient’s existing tolerance and the frequency and severity of pain symptoms.
Like other opioids, oxycodone produces pleasurable, euphoric effects which can overtime lead to drug dependency and encourage misuse. To avoid the unintended health consequences of oxycodone, only use oxycodone if instructed to do so by your doctor and only take the amount prescribed to you.
Is Oxycodone in Your Medicine Cabinet?
OxyContin – OxyContin is used to manage severe and constant pain. Oxycontin extended-release tablets treat pain symptoms for 12 hours and come in strengths of 40mg or less.
Percocet – Percocet combines smaller amounts of oxycodone with acetaminophen: a common over the counter painkiller commonly associated with the medicine Tylenol. Percocet is used to treat moderate to severe pain and has a maximum dosage of 10mg of hydrocodone and 650 mg of acetaminophen.
Roxicodone – Roxicodone is a prescription pain reliever used to reduce moderate to severe pain symptoms. Roxicodone comes in 15 or 30 mg tablets.
The Descent into Oxycodone Addiction
Addiction and dependency can occur to anyone taking oxycodone, including those receiving it as a prescription and using it as intended. By discussing any changes, you experience when using oxycodone with your doctor necessary precautions can be made to prevent full scale addiction from occurring.
With oxycodone and other opioids, the biggest contributors to the development of opioid use disorder (OUD) are misuse and tolerance. When those receiving an oxycodone prescription become tolerant, their pain symptoms are no longer adequately treated. As a result, many begin to misuse their medication. As tolerance continues to build the person will take more and more of the prescription.
Overtime misuse turns to abuse fueled by physical and mental dependency for more of the drug. Here are some signs that you or a loved one is experiencing Oxycodone addiction:
- “Popping pills” or otherwise taking their medication frequently or at weird intervals.
- The person is spaced-out or confused.
- The person goes to the doctor a lot–this may indicate that they are engaging in “doctor swapping” in an attempt to get new prescriptions filled.
- The person becomes angry, emotional or violent easily.
- They ask to borrow medication, or you find your medications missing.
- They are engaging in risky or illegal behaviors.
- Hygiene become poor sometimes dramatically so.
- They are unable to keep plans or show up for important obligations like work or school.
Addiction To Oxycodone: Its Side Effects and Abuse
- Chest pressure and difficulty breathing
- Dry Mouth
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach cramping
As a person continues to misuse oxycodone, they will have to take increased doses to get the same high. This can often mean severe and potentially life-threatening side effects the most significant of which is respiratory depression.
Respiratory depression can lead to hypoxia, a condition where the body and organs no longer receive the oxygen needed to perform regular functions.
When vital organs like the brain, lungs and heart lose access to enough oxygen permanent damage and death can occur. This condition is also known as opioid overdose
Common Drug Combinations
Using Oxycodone alongside certain substances can be dangerous. Common substances to avoid include:
- Muscle relaxers
- SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors)
Oxycodone Abuse Statistics
- In 2017, over 11 million people misused prescription opioids like Oxycodone.
- Oxycodone and other opioid-based prescriptions accounted for almost 17,00 deaths in 2017.
- Over 175,000 people were taken to the ER because of Oxycodone abuse.
- In the U.S, it is estimated that 2.4 million people have at one time misused oxycodone.
Get Help Today
Are you or a loved one struggling with opioid addiction? drugs like oxycodone can dissolve a person’s ability make safe and healthy choices. To avoid the disastrous consequences of drug abuse it is often necessary to rely on addiction professionals. For more information on addiction treatments available in your area see the link below.