As the years progress, and the stresses of work and life gradually increase, many people begin to suffer from aches and pains that limit their quality of life. Because of this pain, patients go to their doctors hoping to find some kind of relief or prescription to reduce their physical problems.
Opioids are narcotic drugs derived from the opium poppy that provide pain relief. Though these drugs alleviate pain, they also come with the risk of addiction. Pharmaceutical opioids like Oxycodone, have become one of the most abused pain relievers due to the mental changes that a client undergoes.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a prescription opioid pain reliever used to control moderate to severe pain in users. A semi-synthetic opiate, Oxycodone is made from thebaine and is most commonly administered for post-surgery and broken bone recovery. Thebaine is a chemical found in opium that is similar in composition to morphine and codeine. However, thebaine acts as a stimulant as opposed to a depressant.
Oxycodone works by slowing down the functions of the central nervous system. Through the delaying and altering of the central nervous system, a person’s perception of pain and their emotional response to related stimuli is subverted. As a result, a feeling of euphoria and relief emerges, thus beginning an abusive cycle.
Frequently prescribed in tablet form, when abused, Oxycodone can be crushed, chewed or snorted. Many abusers also dissolve the tablets in water and then inject the solution.
Though Oxycodone can only be legally acquired by prescription, many abusers will look for it through drug dealers in order to avoid potential withdrawal symptoms. A person that continues using Oxycodone is susceptible to developing a tolerance and dependency. Through the development of a tolerance, the abuser will need to take higher doses of Oxycodone to feel the same amount of relief. This can lead the user to ingest too much at one time, potentially leading to an overdose.
Signs of Oxycodone Use
As with most opioid addicts, a person does not take Oxycodone with the intent of abusing the drug. Their reasons for using the prescription drug normally stem from a doctor recommended post operation medication assisted fix or a chronic pain that is not allowing them to work or function. However, as the brain begins to register the positive benefits of using Oxycodone and the pain dissipates, it reinforces the belief that this opioid can help the individual recover.
However, as use continues, the addict will begin exhibiting side effects of Oxycodone leading to substance use disorder. While every person’s body reacts to foreign substances in different ways, typical signs of oxycodone use include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
- Shallow or labored breathing
- Weight loss
- Problems with balance and coordination
- Numbness to pain
- Dilated pupils
- Flushed skin
- Frequent headaches
- Loss of motivation
- Inability to sustain thoughts
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Once a person’s brain and body become accustomed to Oxycodone, it reaches a point where the body feels like it is unable to function without it. If an individual suddenly stops using Oxycodone, their body will go into a state of withdrawal. As the central nervous system aims to recover a sense of normalcy, the abuser will go through internal changes. The severity and length of the withdrawal symptoms depends on the dosage and timeline of the abuse.
Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Body aches
- Runny nose
- Inability to concentrate
- Thoughts of suicide
If someone you know expresses thoughts of suicide, make sure to take action and reach out to a professional.
Street Names for Oxycodone
Because the only way to legally use Oxycodone is through a doctor’s prescription, nicknames were created to help the illegal buying and selling of this opioid. Street names or nicknames are code words which allow people to speak about a drug without fear by masking its name.
The following are common street names for Oxycodone and a brief explanation of the names.
- Hillbilly heroin
Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
One of the biggest fears that Oxycodone users face when considering the option of living a clean life are the physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. As previously discussed, the withdrawal symptoms a user faces can leave them feeling weakened and in pain. Unlike other illicit drugs, however, Oxycodone use does not need to be stopped immediately in order to detox.
After meeting with a doctor or specialist, the very first step that a user will undergo is a monitored detox. An Oxycodone detox begins after the last dose is ingested. While the brain normally produces natural opioid chemicals like endorphins, these chemicals are not potent enough to ease the pain of withdrawals.
When a person goes through the detoxing process and ceases using Oxycodone, norepinephrine is no longer suppressed and rushes back into the brain’s pathway. This will cause the user to experience rapid heart rate, vomiting and sweating. Being monitored by a professional during a detox will make the process run much smoother.
Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Centers
Inpatient and outpatient facilities are both great ways to get the proper help needed to take charge of one's addiction and begin recovery. Inpatient residential treatment involves an extended stay within the recovery center where patients are monitored 24/7. Programs typically last 30-45 days, but may go longer depending on the patient's needs. Patients are required to stay at the facility for the entirety of the course, both day and night. This is considered one of the most effective forms of care for substance abuse rehabilitation. Outpatient care is a more modified version of inpatient care where the patient isn't required to stay at the facility overnight. Patients come to the facility regularly for a few hours a week then leave after. This allows them to maintain work and school responsibilities. Outpatient treatment should be reserved for patients that don't require around-the-clock care.
Whether opting to go through inpatient or outpatient treatment programs, behavioral therapy is another major step and process of recovery, and is provided in both treatment options. Through one on one and group behavioral therapy sessions, a professional is able to help the abuser understand how the addiction manifested. In these sessions, the user will also be presented with ways to cope with the addiction and, through group sessions, find a strong support team.
Though the road to recovery may be bumpy, you do not have to suffer in silence. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Oxycodone, seek help from a quality rehab center. Recovery is attainable if you are ready and willing to attain it.