Oxycodone Addiction and Risks
Oxycodone is a powerful opioid painkiller. It is often used as a way to treat severe pain after a surgical procedure or illness. This drug is prescribed by doctors but is also commonly misused by people seeking a high from it. As a highly addictive drug, many people find themselves unable to stop using it without professional help.
More About Oxycodone
Oxycodone is a painkiller that works by turning off the pain signals traveling from the body to the brain. As a painkiller, it is very effective and can provide a wide range of improvements to the quality of life for those dealing with acute or, in some cases, chronic pain. However, this drug is typically used for the shortest amount of time possible because of its addiction risks.
There are several brand names associated with oxycodone, including:
- OxyContin (also known as “oxy”), a common prescription drug in a time-release pill form that’s sometimes crushed and injected. It is often prescribed to treat chronic pain but is heavily abused and especially dangerous when crushed, since crushing destroys the time-release mechanism.
- Percocet, a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, often prescribed for mild to severe pain. Some people chew the pill or inject it.
- Roxicodone, a formula of oxycodone that results in a rapid release of the drug into the system, often used as a calming drug before a surgical procedure. It, too, can be crushed or melted down.
Is Oxycodone Addictive?
Over time, a person using oxycodone or its brand-name counterparts may find themselves unable to stop doing so. That occurs when the brain becomes reliant on the drug to function normally. When this happens, a person experiences withdrawal symptoms like agitation, pain, and strong cravings when they stop taking the drug. This leads them to the continued use and abusive behavior.
More so, oxycodone also creates tolerance. That means that a person has to continue to use more and more of the drug to get the same results. As that happens, toxicity levels in the body rise. Eventually, there is too much of the drug present, and it depresses the function of the lungs and heart. This can lead to an overdose and sudden death.
The Effects & Abuse Risks of Oxycodone
A person using more of the drug than the prescription allows or taking a drug not prescribed to them have an increased risk of developing an addiction. Many people seek out this drug because of its euphoric effect. Oxycodone can make a person feel calm and relaxed, with fewer inhibitions. Some people also use it as a way to become numb to difficult emotions. As such, oxycodone use may help to hide the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
When Does Oxycodone Addiction Occur?
Oxycodone addiction is a serious health risk. Data from 2018 showed that every day, an estimated 128 people in the U.S. died from overdoses related to opioid use, including oxycodone, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. When abused, oxycodone can shut down the function of the heart and lungs, as it reduces the function of the central nervous system.
Addiction to oxycodone occurs over time as consistent overuse occurs. Following a prescription for use typically reduces some of those risks. However, if a person has withdrawal symptoms or cravings when not using the drug, addiction and dependence may be present. Signs of addiction to oxycodone include:
- Being compelled to use the drug; feeling unable to stop using it
- Needing to use more of the drug than before to get the same effects (tolerance development)
- Feeling anxious, paranoid, or agitated when not taking the drug
- Experiencing pain symptoms, headaches, and insomnia when not using the drug
- Prioritizing use of the drug over everything else, including family and work responsibilities
If addiction is present, it is important to seek out help, beginning with a prescription drug detox program like ours in Lafayette, LA. During detox, our professional and compassionate medical staff will provide medications and support to help you detox from the drug. Detox is typically followed by residential treatment to address the underlying causes of the addiction and to teach pain management techniques.
Risks of Continued Oxycodone Addiction
Continuing to use oxycodone even after addiction and dependence forms is risky to health and life itself. An overdose can occur at any time, especially as a person continues to use more of the drug to get the same results. Over time, other health risks can occur, including damage to the heart, cognitive brain function, and memory. Some people may develop paranoia or hallucinations. Underlying mental health disorders such as depression can also occur.
Turn to Victory Addiction Recovery Center now. Allow our team to provide comprehensive support through addiction detox and residential treatment. You can find your way through this, no matter how it started.
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