Doctors often prescribe oxycodone for the relief of chronic pain. The drug’s formula may also include aspirin or acetaminophen, as it does in the brand name drugs Percodan and Percocet. But having a medical brand name should not fool anyone, as oxycodone is very similar to heroin. This is particularly true in regard to how quickly someone using it can find themselves with an oxycodone addiction.
Why Oxycodone Addiction Happens
Oxycodone, or “Oxy,” gives its users calming feelings that can be very attractive. They feel less pain and are euphoric, relaxed, and calm. Whether physical pain is a problem for the person using oxycodone, or they illegally use the drug to self-treat mental conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, or ADHD, the drug’s effects are soothing.
Oxycodone affects the brain’s reward system. This makes people using the drug value it and want to repeat its use. Reward leads to abuse, tolerance, dependence and full-fledged addiction. All of this happens quickly, so quickly that most people who become addicted are almost surprised by their own disease.
Oxycodone addiction can happen even when using the drug as the doctor ordered. But relieving danger of oxycodone addiction is not as simple as the doctor stopping the prescription. Many oxycodone patients keep getting their pills through “doctor shopping” and buying on the streets, or they turn to other drugs for their high. In fact, people addicted to oxycodone are a dozen times more likely to turn to heroin.
How to Recognize Oxycodone Addiction
Oxycodone addiction shows some tell-tale signs to those who look closely enough at their loved one’s behavior or their own. Although the type of oxycodone being taken can lead to slightly varied symptoms, the most common signs of oxycodone addiction include:
- Changed sleep patterns
- Drug-seeking or doctor shopping
- Lying or stealing
- Changed interests
- Relationship problems
- Legal or financial problems problems
- Poor work or school performance
- Withdrawal symptoms when not using
If an addicted person quits using the drug, they will go through a highly uncomfortable oxycodone withdrawal. Withdrawal is a sure sign that they need rehab treatment and that ending addiction is not as simple as just walking away from the bottle of pills. For full recovery from addiction to take place, they need formal help and support through a drug treatment center. Otherwise, recovery will be short and can lead to deadly relapse.
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Higher pain sensitivity
- Diarrhea and vomiting
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms hit hard and can last a long time. Many people trying to quit the drug do not make it through withdrawal without relapse, a risky action that often leads to deadly overdose. This is why it is helpful for people seeking recovery to go through professional addiction treatment.
Many patients start treatment in a supervised drug detox center. This is a process where the body cleanses itself of the drug and other harmful substances like alcohol. In a quality detox center, medical professionals monitor patients, helping them eat well, stay hydrated, and get through withdrawal as easily as possible. These professionals may also provide some medications that can help make withdrawal symptoms more bearable.
After detox is over, the patient goes into a quality rehab program. In rehab, they learn how to stay in recovery and avoid drugs and alcohol. Treatment of underlying causes of addiction such as depression, ADHD, PTSD, or anxiety includes the use of a variety of therapies.
1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, FL offers quality rehab programs designed to suit individual patient needs. If you are ready to end your addiction to oxycodone, 1st Step Behavioral Health can help. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health now at 866-319-6123 for more information.