Oxycodone Addiction Facts

There are many important facts to know if you or someone you know is taking oxycodone for pain or recreation. Oxycodone addiction is a very serious condition that can have a powerful impact on those addicted. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid painkiller prescribed for moderate to serious pain. It's the narcotic ingredient in OxyContin and Percocet. The overuse and abuse of opioid medications has become a huge problem in communities around the country. People who take them for pain can become tolerant and may increase their dosage. This can easily lead to oxycodone dependence and oxycodone addiction.

It's important to read the label on the prescription so it's taken exactly as intended. Many people take this medication safely by following directions. However, oxycodone has a high potential for abuse and has caused a number of overdoses and deaths. This drug depresses the central nervous system and can be dangerous when combined with other substances that have this effect, such as alcohol. Some people may misuse oxycodone by crushing or chewing the tablets and snorting or injecting it. This causes an unsafe amount of oxycodone to flood the system. Signs of oxycodone overdose include dizziness, labored breathing, weakness, cold and clammy skin, small pupils, loss of consciousness, confusion and coma.

Withdrawal and Behavioral Changes May Indicate Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone has effects similar to those caused by heroin and morphine. The dangers of oxycodone are somewhat misunderstood. Just because it is legal and prescribed by a doctor doesn't mean that it can't lead to significant problems. What makes this drug so attractive to people who abuse it is the feeling of sedation and euphoria it can produce. Once addicted to oxycodone, a person will develop very uncomfortable opioid withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop taking it. These include flu-like symptoms, strong cravings, tremors and severe agitation. Some people fear the pain and anguish of opiate withdrawal so much that it keeps them from getting help. Some common signs of opioid addiction include:

  • Behavioral changes that include lying and making excuses
  • Loss of interest in people, hobbies, work and social connections
  • Decreased motivation in all areas of life
  • Preoccupation with obtaining and consuming oxycodone
  • Drastic mood changes that can swing from happy and content to anxious, irritable and aggressive.
  • Loss of appetite, lethargy and fatigue

Opioid Addiction: A Serious Problem That Can Have a Positive Outcome

Oxycodone treatment can include everything from inpatient rehab to outpatient therapy with Suboxone or methadone maintenance. Another option is rapid opiate detox, an inpatient treatment that addresses the dependency quickly using a medical procedure to eradicate the addiction while patients are under sedation. Oxycodone addiction is insidious but can be treated professionally to ensure safety and long-term recovery.