It’s ironic that a pain reliever created in the early 1900s intended not to be addictive like its cousins, heroin and morphine, has now become part of its own tragic epidemic. In the CDC’s report on overdose deaths from prescription opioids, oxycodone is contributing to the rapidly rising rates of drug abuse and fatalities. The strength at which oxycodone works to combat serious pain can unfortunately spiral into dependency and addiction. However, there are several methods and programs available that treat oxycodone addiction, address the root causes of the cravings, and teach coping mechanisms to prevent future relapse.
Although legally permissible with a prescription, Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug, which means that it is considered strongly at risk for misuse. Whether taken at scheduled times or for extended-release (OxyContin), it increases dopamine levels, the chemical sensation in the brain that equates certain acts or items with pleasure. In much the same way that bliss becomes associated with a special someone or favorite foods, the resulting pain relief can translate into dependency, even after it’s no longer medically needed. Despite potential side effects of physical discomfort, nausea, and weakness, the user then focuses on continuously getting that “high”.
Family history of substance abuse and societal factors (like social introductions to non-prescription drug use, also known as “peer pressure”) may also raise the potential for addiction.
The following are warning signs that an oxycodone prescription (which also applies to other opioids containing oxycodone such as Percocet, Xolox, Roxicet, and Percodan) may have developed into an addiction:
Withdrawal from oxycodone is a demanding, draining process. Depending upon the addiction’s severity, withdrawal attacks the body with migraines, insomnia, diarrhea, fever, tremors, and flu-like ailments.
As with battling any addiction, quitting oxycodone cold turkey isn’t always practical, and can even be dangerous for some. Trained professionals need to diagnose and treat the physical, mental, and psychological dynamics, then determine the best rehab program. Once decided on inpatient or outpatient care, the next step is to then either ease withdrawal through tapering off, or go through detox.
Some recovery plans utilize medication-assisted therapy, which substitutes another drug to relieve the body’s reliance on oxycodone. Common medications include methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. However, there is a risk of later becoming addicted to methadone or medications like these, which is why detox and a strong aftercare program are often more successful in the long-term.
Instead of medications, more effective addiction treatment may involve:
Learn more about the addiction treatment options available to combat the emotional and physical dependency upon opioids. If you or a loved one are suffering from oxycodone addiction, contact us today.
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