Oxycodone is a powerful synthetic opioid usually prescribed for severe pain. It usually comes in tablet form, either as slow-release (Oxycontin), instant release (Roxicodone), or mixed with paracetamol in smaller dosages (Percocet). As well as being an extremely effective painkiller, oxycodone has considerable potential for abuse and is extremely physically addictive. All opioids can cause death from overdose, and oxycodone is no different.
In New Jersey, in 2018, nearly 90% of the 2,900 drug overdose deaths involved opiates. Despite these dangers, oxycodone is still frequently prescribed. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2018, doctors in New Jersey wrote 38.9 opioid prescriptions for every 100 people.
Although these figures are alarming, at Excel, we pride ourselves on treating all kinds of addictions – including oxycodone. We treat every one of our clients as individuals and work with them from the initial assessment through to aftercare to deliver a highly personalized recovery program. We believe that every person has the power to recover if given the right help and can go on to live a life filled with hope, faith, and courage.
What Is Oxycodone Addiction?
As previously mentioned, oxycodone belongs to the opioid class of drugs. This means that although it is manufactured differently, it works in a similar way to heroin. It affects the opioid receptors in the brain and nervous system, which blocks feelings of pain and causes dopamine release.
The effects of oxycodone include:
- Reduced anxiety
Because of these pleasurable feelings, it is common for users to want to repeat the experience. However, tolerance quickly builds, meaning they must use an increased dose to achieve the desired effects.
Why Is Oxycodone Addiction Dangerous?
Oxycodone can cause users to become physically and mentally dependent quickly. Our bodies naturally make opioids, but drugs like oxycodone stop this production. This means that when people stop taking the drug, they experience withdrawal symptoms. Although this can be extremely unpleasant, these symptoms can be managed with the proper support and use of medication.
Oxycodone is extremely dangerous when used with other depressant drugs, such as alcohol, or benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium. While it is common for those who misuse oxycodone to mix these drugs to increase their effects, it drastically increases the chance of a fatal overdose.
Oxycodone is also frequently counterfeited. Millions of pills that look identical to their pharmaceutical counterparts contain fentanyl, a highly potent opioid fifty times stronger than heroin. This means that while many people may think that they are using oxycodone, they are actually using something much more powerful and addictive. Black market production of these pills means dosage can vary wildly, which contributes to the danger of overdose.
Any method of taking oxycodone that has not been prescribed by your doctor can be considered abuse.
This can include:
- Taking other people’s medication
- Buying pills on the internet
- Chewing the pills to release their ingredients instantly
- Crushing and snorting tablets
- Smoking the tablets
- Injecting the tablets
What Are the Signs of Oxycodone Addiction?
When people are abusing oxycodone, there are various behavioral and physical signs.
Some of these include:
- Constricted pupils
- Slurred speech
- Appearing sleepy or falling asleep mid-conversation
- Lying about their whereabouts
- Losing prescribed oxycodone to get a refill
- Lack of appetite
- Suspicious colored marks on clothing or tissues where the tablets coating has been rubbed off
- Blue crust around the nose from snorting tablets
Withdrawal from oxycodone can also be noticeable. Oxycodone is very expensive, but it only lasts for a few hours. This means that those addicted may struggle to maintain their habit consistently.
Some withdrawal symptoms to look for are:
- Eyes tearing up
- Runny nose
- Excessive sweating
- Frequent yawning
- Stomach pains
- Goosebumps on the skin
- Dilated pupils
Although some of these symptoms can be obvious to outside observers, some people are proficient at hiding them. Due to the guilt and shame associated with addiction, it is common for those addicted not to disclose that they are using. You should seek professional help if you suspect someone is addicted to oxycodone. Excel Treatment Center offers expert advice and compassionate intervention services to help the families persuade their loved one to accept the help they deserve.
Those addicted to oxycodone may be hesitant to receive treatment due to fear of the withdrawal symptoms. We understand this – quitting opiates with no medical assistance is extremely unpleasant. This is often our clients only experience with attempting to stop. However, when properly treated and medically supervised, withdrawal symptoms are manageable. After the initial detox period, we make sure that our clients are fully supported in the most vulnerable early recovery stages and help them build a solid foundation for the future.
According to SAMHSA’s Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), there are an estimated 22 million Americans in recovery, many of who are former opioid addicts. Oxycodone addiction does not have to be a life sentence – we know that with the proper support, it is possible to live a fulfilled life, free from the grip of addiction.
How Is Oxycodone Addiction Treated?
Addiction is a complex subject. At Excel, we understand this and do not use a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to treatment. No two people are the same, and, as such, no two cases of addiction are the same. Our aim is always to help our clients uncover the origins of their addiction and work to solve it. We usually do this through individual, holistic, and group therapy.
Oxycodone Addiction Treatment
Individual therapy gives clients the space to explore their deeper thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a safe and compassionate environment. Therapists at Excel are experienced in providing effective psychotherapy for those struggling with opiate addiction. We work with clients to uncover difficult emotions and memories that may be fueling their drug abuse.
Holistic therapies focus on the mind-body connection. These approaches include meditation and mindfulness, creative and expressive arts therapies, yoga, and equine-assisted therapy. Substance abuse impacts both mind and body, so both need to be addressed if treatment is going to be effective.
Group therapy benefits clients by letting them share their experiences with others in similar circumstances. It is also beneficial to hear the stories and experiences of others who have been through addiction. SAMHSA research has shown that group therapy can help alleviate feelings of loneliness, isolation, and alienation, which are often characteristics of substance use disorder.
Why Choose Excel Treatment Center for Your Recovery Needs?
At Excel, we believe in the power of compassionate support. We understand that addiction impacts each individual and their family members and loved ones differently, so we treat each client with a fresh, personalized approach.
Our clients are fully supported from their first point of contact through to aftercare. Recovery doesn’t simply stop after primary treatment either. We provide comprehensive support in the days, weeks, and months that follow to ensure clients are committed and resilient concerning their long-term recovery goals.
If you or a loved one are struggling with oxycodone addiction or any form of substance addiction, please reach out to us today.