In the opioid category, oxycodone is a prescription pain reliever used to treat moderate to severe pain; it is frequently prescribed to patients with arthritis, a broken limb, or who have gone through a surgical procedure. Oxycodone is meant to treat short-term pain, as it is considered a Schedule II drug by the DEA, meaning it has a high potential for abuse. This medication has more psychoactive effects when taken in large doses than medically necessary to treat pain.
When oxycodone is misused — such as obtained illegally or not used as directed by a medical physician — this is considered abuse. Whether a person uses oxycodone in either of these ways, they put themselves at a higher risk for addiction. Because this narcotic is so addictive on its own, many drugs contain a combination of oxycodone and less powerful over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen.
When abused, oxycodone may be crushed and snorted, injected, or taken in pill form. Those addicted to it report feelings of euphoria and relaxation, but there are a number of adverse side effects to look out for.
Knowing what to look for can help prevent addiction and save a life. Signs and symptoms of oxycodone abuse include:
- Increased fatigue that continues for days
- Poor cognitive functioning and decreased performance at school or work
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Lack of personal hygiene
- The appearance of multiple pill bottles in living spaces
- The appearance of paraphernalia like pill crushers or aluminum foil
Oxycodone abuse can lead to seizures and overdose, which can be fatal. A person may experience shallow breathing, loss of consciousness, dilated pupils, and vomiting as a result. Oxycodone overdose is considered a medical emergency, and patients should receive care as quickly as possible.
Oxycodone Addiction and Withdrawal
Because oxycodone relieves pain, people experiencing chronic discomfort from a past injury are considered one of the most at-risk populations for addiction, resulting in the most difficulty controlling their use. The symptoms of oxycodone addiction can be physical, psychological, and behavioral in nature. Those who become addicted may notice they require more of the drug in order to achieve the same intoxicating and euphoric effects. When this occurs, a person has developed a tolerance for the drug and may experience withdrawal symptoms if they attempt to quit.
Oxycodone use might turn to abuse, which turns to physical dependence and addiction. It is crucial to notice the signs of oxycodone addiction, as it can be incredibly dangerous and expensive to obtain. Abusing the drug for its euphoric psychological effects alter the opioid receptors in the brain, making them unresponsive to natural stimuli like food or good movies. Once this happens, both mental and physical health can suffer significantly.
Signs of oxycodone addiction and dependence include:
- Prioritizing oxycodone over relationships, work, school, and bills
- Apathy and dissociation or an idea that nothing matters
- Struggling financially to keep up with oxycodone use
- Continuing to use oxycodone despite the negative impacts on an individual’s health and life
- Needing the drug to feel a sense of normalcy or to counteract withdrawal symptoms
- Developing a tolerance
- Experiencing cravings
When an individual addicted to oxycodone attempts to stop using, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that make it challenging to complete detox. These symptoms can be mild or severe but are entirely dependent on each individual. The first day of withdrawal symptoms may leave them feeling like they have the flu; then, the more typical and painful withdrawal symptoms will follow.
Withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone include:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramping
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
These symptoms may begin to appear as early as six hours after the last dose and typically clear up within one to two weeks, but they have been known to last longer.
Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction at Laguna Shores Recovery in Mission Viejo, California
Even though withdrawal symptoms brought on by oxycodone detox are not considered as medically dangerous as those of alcohol or benzodiazepines, they can be incredibly uncomfortable and scary, which may encourage relapse. Overdose from this prescription drug can be deadly, which is why individuals struggling with oxycodone use disorder must receive treatment to help them through the early stages of recovery.
During detox at Laguna Shores Recovery, our clients receive the highest level of care. Our medical professionals work around the clock to monitor and treat withdrawal symptoms as they arise. Severe dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting is common in detox from oxycodone, so we make sure our clients receive the nutrients and electrolytes needed to prevent this. In treatment, medications like methadone and buprenorphine can be beneficial in treating the more severe symptoms of withdrawal.
Our residential rehab program is where clients are treated for the more lasting psychological effects of oxycodone addiction. During treatment, our clients have access to medical professionals and a caseworker who will guide them through the beginning stages of recovery. In the weeks following detox, clients may experience anxiety, cravings, depression, effects of trauma, and other emotions that can affect their progression through recovery. To combat this, our staff provides a stable support system, experiential therapy, and life skills classes that make our clients feel comfortable and empowered.
Oxycodone addiction is a dangerous substance use disorder, as it is highly addictive and can cause a deadly overdose. If you or a loved one are suffering from oxycodone use disorder, you are not alone. Laguna Shores Recovery can help with around-the-clock medical care during detox and residential treatment. Call us today to explore our treatment options at (866) 229-9923.