Indeed, the US is mired in the middle of an opiate addiction epidemic. One doesn’t have to look too far to discover that one of the opiate abuse community’s favorite drugs of choice in Oxycodone, currently marketed under the brand name Oxycontin.
As pain medications go, Oxycodone is among the most potent that come in pill form. As such, the drug is easily obtained by the millions of people on the streets who are abusing it. The opiate epidemic has become such a big problem across the nation that many states have proclaimed the epidemic to be the state’s number one social problem.
Given the importance of understanding oxycodone abuse and addiction, it makes sense to provide readers with as much information on the topic as possible. The sections below are intended to do just that.
The Signs of Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction
It’s important to remember that Oxycodone falls into the same drug category as heroin and the ever-dangerous fentanyl. It’s a very serious painkiller with severe repercussions if someone abuses it. As such, you would expect the signs of addiction for all these substances to be very similar. That is true.
If you suspect someone you care about is abusing Oxycodone, there are signs you can use as the basis for confirming your worst suspicions. Of course, that also applies to you if you are the one abusing the Oxycodone or any other opiate substance. Here are some of the most common signs of oxycodone abuse. Keep in mind the symptoms can be physical and behavioral:
- Inability to concentrate and perform simple tasks
- Loss of body control
- Unkempt personal appearance
- Slurred speech
- Inability or unwillingness to handle responsibilities at home , school or work
- Difficulties in personal relationships
- Illicit behavior in an effort to secure drugs
- Financial problems due to excessive spending on Oxycodone
If you notice any combination of these signs, you need to address the situation immediately.
Getting Help for Oxycodone Addiction
When someone finds themselves dealing with the cycle of addiction to any substance, there’s only one remedy. You can forget about all those self-help options on the internet because they don’t work. What does work is getting treatment in a reputable drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.
It’s noteworthy the process has to start with the addiction sufferer admitting they have an addiction and subsequently reaching out for help. At that point, it’s merely a matter of the addiction sufferer finding the right rehab center and getting to work on arresting their addiction.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Once the addiction sufferer decides to stop using Oxycodone, they will immediately need to address the real possibility of encountering some rather significant withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be harsh enough to drive an ordinary drug user back to using. They can be dangerous enough to cause permanent harm.
To help prepare the oxycodone drug user for what lies ahead when they finally take that last pill, some noteworthy withdrawal symptoms need to be discussed. The extent of the withdrawal symptoms someone will likely encounter will depend on the length of their addiction, the frequency with which they take the drug, and the dose they take each time. In the worst of circumstances, here’s a partial list of the most significant oxycodone withdrawal symptoms:
- Great difficulty breathing
- Problems with heart rate and high blood pressure
- Inability to function properly
- Great difficulty sleeping
- Convulsions and body tremors in the extremities
- Hallucinations and nightmares
- Severe muscle cramping in the chest and stomach regions
- Nausea and vomiting
That’s quite a list. Unfortunately, it’s a byproduct of the human body rebelling against being deprived of a substance it craves.
Detox Programs for Oxycodone Addiction
Addiction sufferers are advised not to try to detox on their own. It’s too dangerous. The best place to get help with the detox process is to check into a reputable rehab or dedicated detox facility.
Upon entering a treatment facility, the client will typically go through an admission interview. The purpose of the interview is to gather information about the client’s addiction and personal circumstances. If oxycodone addiction is noted, the client will most likely be assigned to a medically monitored detox program.
While in a medically monitored detox program, the client will begin the detox process under the watchful eye of the facility’s medical staff. The staff’s objective is to keep the client safe and comfortable while their body goes through withdrawal. The preference is to let the client detox as naturally as possible, hopefully avoiding medical intervention. Unfortunately, things don’t always go that way.
Should the client start to show any signs of pain or distress, the medical staff will be standing by to issue relief medications. If all goes as planned, the client should be able to safely clear their withdrawal symptoms and residual cravings in less than a week.
On to Therapy
People don’t abuse substances like Oxycodone because they have nothing better to do with their lives. In fact, there’s almost always a long list of physical, mental and emotional issues that are driving the addiction sufferer to do their best to hide their pain through drug abuse. Even people who take prescription Oxycodone for legitimate pain issues will have the actual pain as one of the driving forces behind their addiction.
After detox, the client should be well enough to start dealing with their issues. Clients need to understand the reasons why they choose to self-medicate. To get to the answers, the client will need to work with a therapist who has experience with addiction issues.
As part of the counseling process, the client has to be committed to honesty and the truth. With the right mindset, there is a real possibility the client will learn the truth about their oxycodone addiction. That truth will set the stage for the final part of the oxycodone addiction treatment process.
Armed with the truth about their addiction, the client will begin working on the coping skills they will need to avoid relapses in the future. The most important coping skills they will develop are the ones that will target the client’s precise triggers and temptations. If a client can learn to deal with their issues in the future accurately, there’s a genuine chance they can remain in recovery forever.
Given the dangers of oxycodone addiction, much needs to be done to combat the current oxycodone addiction epidemic. Until someone has found a solution, everyone must understand as much as possible about such addictions. It’s also essential that everyone understands that the only hope for a full recovery from oxycodone addiction rests with the ability of addiction treatment therapists to help addiction sufferers learn the truth about their addiction and how to fight back when necessary.