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Oxycodone Addiction and Rehab

Prescription bottle for oxycodone pills

Published: August 16, 2023

Oxycodone addiction is a disease that occurs when someone becomes reliant on oxycodone to get through daily activities.

It can be completely detrimental to every area of your life, and even life-threatening. Opioid addictions, like oxycodone addiction, are a widespread issue among Americans.

The good news is there are many effective treatment options for opioid addiction that can make it possible to manage your addiction.

Read on to learn about oxycodone addiction and rehabilitation options.

Why Does Oxycodone Lead to Addiction?

Oxycodone is a narcotic analgesic (painkiller) used to treat severe pain that is classified as a schedule II controlled substance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Opioids like oxycodone are highly addictive. Oxycodone has brand names such as OxyContin, Oxypro, Longtec, Reltebon, and Zomestine. Slang terms are also used such as oxy and hillbilly heroin.

Addiction is a higher risk with opioids in comparison to other substances because of the way they work. Oxycodone helps block pain signals from your central nervous system and brain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain.

Opioids also release endorphins. This can make the feeling of taking oxycodone very pleasurable, which people become addicted to and may start to rely on to feel “normal.”

Oxycodone Abuse vs. Oxycodone Addiction

It’s important to understand the difference between oxycodone abuse and oxycodone addiction. Oxycodone is a prescribed drug, so it’s possible to use the medication without abusing it.

Oxycodone abuse refers to any misuse of the drug. This can include taking higher doses than prescribed, taking it more frequently than prescribed, or without a prescription. While opioid abuse is different than addiction, it often leads to addiction.

Oxycodone addiction occurs when someone begins to mentally rely on oxycodone to function. People begin to feel incapable of getting through the day without taking oxycodone.

Does Oxycodone Cause Dependence?

Yes, oxycodone does cause dependence. Opioids are well-known for causing physical dependence.

Oxycodone use affects the brain and releases endorphins. Over time, your body builds a tolerance to the medication and needs more to feel the same effects. Physical dependence occurs when your body relies on a substance to properly function.

Once you develop a dependence on oxycodone, you’ll likely experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop using the drug. Physical dependence is more likely with prolonged and repeated use, and particularly with misuse.

Signs of an Oxycodone Addiction

Identifying a substance use disorder can be life-saving. It’s vital to know what to look for in someone you love or even yourself if you suspect an oxycodone addiction.

Signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction can include:

  • Insomnia
  • Appetite changes
  • Pupil constriction
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Slowed movement
  • Memory problems
  • Impaired judgment
  • Inability to focus
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Social withdrawal
  • Taking higher doses of oxycodone for the same effects
  • Heavy oxycodone use
  • Inability to stop thinking about oxycodone
  • Engaging in risky behavior

It’s important to understand that signs of addiction vary from person to person.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Physical dependence on oxycodone, which almost always occurs with addiction to this opioid, results in withdrawal symptoms that can make it difficult to quit.

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Excessive sweating
  • Cramping
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Panic attacks
  • Agitation
  • Shaking
  • Insomnia
  • Body aches
  • Restlessness
  • Goosebumps
  • Increased pain
  • High temperature

Detoxing from an addictive substance like oxycodone can be very challenging and even dangerous. It’s best to do so under professional medical supervision.

Side Effects of Oxycodone Abuse

OxyContin abuse has many side effects, much like the abuse of any medication. There are two kinds of side effects, short term and long term.

Short-term effects are those that you may experience right after you use oxycodone, whereas long-term effects occur with repeated, prolonged use.

Short-term effects of oxycodone abuse:

  • Sedation
  • Respiratory depression
  • Constricted pupils
  • Cough suppression
  • Pain relief
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Fainting
  • Coma
  • Slow heart rate
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Oxycodone overdose
  • Death

Long-term effects of oxycodone abuse:

  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Cognitive problems
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Chronic constipation
  • Increased risk of bone fractures
  • Sleep-disorder breathing
  • Memory breathing
  • Mental health disorders

Risk Factors for Oxycodone Addiction

Anyone who takes oxycodone may be at risk of developing addiction, but there are risk factors that make this condition much more likely.

Any substance addiction is more likely with the following risk factors:

  • Family history of addiction
  • Mental illness
  • Exposure to drugs at a young age
  • Peer pressure
  • Lack of family involvement

Specific risk factors for oxycodone addiction include:

  • Being prescribed oxycodone
  • Being prescribed a high dose of oxycodone
  • Being prescribed oxycodone for a long period of time
  • Being in your teens or 20s
  • Chronic pain
  • Taking part in risky or thrill-seeking behavior
  • Taking oxycodone unprescribed
  • Environmental factors such as easy access to opioids

Diagnosing Oxycodone Addiction

While it’s possible to identify signs of an oxycodone addiction in yourself or someone you know, you can only obtain a true diagnosis through medical evaluation performed by a healthcare professional.

Encouraging a loved one who is demonstrating signs of addiction to seek out professional help is always best.

During a medical evaluation, your healthcare provider will analyze several factors and areas of your life to determine whether or not you have an oxycodone addiction.

This can include asking you questions about how frequently you use oxycodone, how much you take, and questions about other behavioral patterns.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Options

Substance abuse treatment is a very personal medical service, and as such, there are many different options you may encounter. You find one type of treatment to be more effective for you than others or you may seek out several treatment types.

Oxycodone Detox

Medical detoxification is a process that helps rid the body of any addictive substances prior to treatment. It can be done in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Detoxing on your own can be very dangerous, which is why medical detox services are so important.

During a medical detox you can expect your care team to administer any medications or treatments you may need, help you manage withdrawal symptoms, and monitor your vitals.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Another common treatment option is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is an evidence-based treatment method that has been found to be very effective in opioid use disorder (OUD).

In MAT, you’ll be prescribed an FDA-approved medication to treat your addiction. These medications (methadone, Suboxone, buprenorphine) do so by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms as well as encouraging long-term recovery.

MAT is often a long-term treatment and is used in combination with other treatment services like therapy and counseling.

Inpatient Rehab

One type of treatment program you may choose to attend is inpatient rehabilitation. Inpatient treatment is widely known for providing the highest level of care.

During inpatient treatment, individuals live in the care facility throughout their program. This allows for supervision and round-the-clock care.

Inpatient treatment uses a combination of treatment methods and is well suited for people with severe addictions, though anyone can choose an inpatient program.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is another type of rehab program you may come across. Some people start in outpatient rehab, while others move to outpatient treatment from inpatient treatment.

The biggest difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment is outpatient programs allow participants to live at home and travel to a treatment facility.

Outpatient treatment is an umbrella term for several kinds of treatment. There are variations of outpatient rehab such as partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs).

What Happens After Oxycodone Rehab?

After you complete oxycodone rehab, you and your care provider will discuss aftercare or continuing care. This is essentially any service you choose to continue after your treatment program ends.

Aftercare has many benefits, the two largest being decreased risk of relapse and higher likelihood of long-lasting sobriety. It can also help you transition from treatment back to your daily schedule.

Based on your needs, you may seek therapy, counseling, support groups, or sober housing after you complete treatment.

Support groups and sober housing are particularly beneficial in creating a support system and fostering new relationships with your peers. This can help create a sense of accountability that encourages sobriety.

Who Can Benefit From Oxycodone Rehab?

Oxycodone rehabilitation can be beneficial for anyone who is experiencing signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction.

It can be difficult to encourage individuals to seek the help they need, which is why some people choose to have interventions with friends and family members.

Regardless of the severity of your addiction, oxycodone treatment can have immense benefits.

Benefits of oxycodone rehab can include:

  • Improved physical health
  • Improved mental health
  • Improved relationships (personal and professional)
  • Reduced risk of relapse
  • Reduced risk of oxycodone overdose
  • Reduced risk of death
  • Improved well-being
  • Improved familial relationships
  • Improved financial health
  • Improved career

How to Prevent Relapse After Oxycodone Rehab

In order to prevent relapse after completing oxycodone treatment, it’s best to have a relapse prevention plan.

Some people struggle with staying sober after completing a rehab program because they have more exposure to triggers, stressors, and temptations. You may even be able to find relapse prevention education opportunities in your area.

Relapse prevention strategies may include:

  • Taking up new hobbies
  • Learning healthy coping mechanisms
  • Making new friends who support your in your journey
  • Building a support system
  • Joining support groups
  • Attending regular therapy or counseling sessions

Find Help for Yourself or a Loved One with Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone addiction can be very hazardous to your health, both physically and mentally. It can also impact your career, relationships, and more.

If you or a loved one is ready to take the first step toward treating addiction, give our helpline a call today.

Oxycodone Addiction FAQs

Does oxycodone cause dependence?

Yes, oxycodone does cause dependence. Oxycodone is an opioid, making it highly addictive. Because taking oxycodone blocks pain signals and releases endorphins, our bodies build a tolerance to its effects over time. That being said, a higher dose is needed to feel the same.

This can cause the body to become reliant on oxycodone to perform regular processes, which is called physical dependence. Physical dependence can cause withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop taking the drug.

What are the side effects of oxycodone abuse?

The side effects of oxycodone abuse are countless and can be short term and long term. Short-term effects are experienced the same day or several following days after oxycodone abuse. Long-term effects tend to appear after prolonged use.

Some side effects of oxycodone abuse are nausea, vomiting, constipation, memory loss, mood swings, paranoia, constricted pupils, euphoria, organ failure, and even overdose or death.

Can oxycodone abuse cause overdose?

Yes, oxycodone abuse can cause overdose. Because people often build a tolerance to opioids, they start to take higher doses over time to feel the same effects.

They may not realize how dangerous the dose is and take enough to cause an overdose. This is incredibly dangerous and can have permanent consequences on your health. In some cases, overdose causes death.

Can you recover from oxycodone addiction?

Yes, you can recover from oxycodone addiction. It is not possible to cure substance addiction, but it is possible to treat and manage it.

After completing a proper addiction treatment program, it is possible to maintain sobriety and live a life after addiction.

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