- Print VersionIn This Article
- Is Oxycodone Addictive?
- Understanding Oxycodone Dependency and Tolerance
- Effects/Side Effects
- Withdrawal and Detoxification
- Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
Oxycodone is a type of an opioid painkiller indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe pain associated with injuries, dislocation, bursitis, fractures, arthritis, neuralgia, cancer pain, and lower back pain.
When patients take oxycodone as prescribed or to control pain, it is not addiction or abuse. Abuse takes place when patients take more than enough to manage pain, especially if they intend to feel “high.” Therefore, patients are warned against taking the drug without their physician’s supervision. Taking oxycodone without prescription or for reasons against the intended use has dangerous consequences. Abusers are cautioned that overdose can lead to death.
If you or someone you know shows signs of oxycodone abuse, support is available. You can call 1-877-653-9087 or fill out the short contact form to learn more about available inpatient and outpatient services.
Is Oxycodone Addictive?
How addictive is oxycodone? Although oxycodone is a valuable analgesic, it has a powerful addiction potential as with other opioids. Its addiction potential is similar to that of morphine. When used in combination with other drugs, oxycodone poses greater addiction risks.
Understanding Oxycodone Dependency and Tolerance
For oxycodone, physical dependence is not the same as addiction. Physical dependence to the drug only occurs when a person taking it for whatever reason uses it every four hours or substantially so for a period of one week to 10 days. Psychological dependence results after the drug is abused for a long time. This can be determined if patients show an incapacity to control their craving for the drug and their unrelenting usage despite the obvious negative consequences.
Tolerance will eventually develop when users abuse oxycodone, which means they will require progressively higher dosages to obtain the same effects. People who become addicted to the drug will experience withdrawal symptoms if their usage stops or lessens.
Taking large doses of oxycodone is dangerous, sometimes deadly, because it can lead to serious respiratory depression. Beginners and inexperienced users have greater risks, since they do not know what a large dosage is and have not acquired a tolerance to the substance.
Users achieve a feeling of euphoria ten minutes after using the drug. This sensation may last from three to four hours. Coming down from oxycodone initial effects, users experience dizziness, vomiting, and nausea-the after effects of the drug.
People who use oxycodone excessively can experience the following severe side effects:
- Breathing slows down or become shallow
- Dizziness and overall weakness
- Increased seizures
- Lowered blood pressure
Withdrawal and Detoxification
The withdrawal symptoms related to oxycodone dependency or addiction include restiveness, bone and muscle pain, sleeping difficulty, diarrhea, cold flashes, vomiting, kicking behaviors, anxiety, teary eyes, runny nose, sweating, yawning, muscle contractions, back pain, abdominal spasms, dilated pupils, bad temper, loss of appetite, and nausea.
The drug indicated for people wanting to stop using opioid drugs (including oxycodone) is buprenorphine. This medication can help people who are undergoing the process of detoxification and can be used for a longer time period without harm.
If you or someone you know experiences withdrawal from oxycodone, an inpatient or outpatient program can help with the detoxification process. You may call 1-877-653-9087 or fill out our short contact form for further information.
Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
The best oxycodone abuse treatment option for most patients is medication. Patients taking oxycodone for pain relief are advised not to stop using the drug abruptly. Rather, their dosages should be gradually lowered until the medication can be safely obviated. One option that is proven beneficial for some patients addicted to oxycodone with excellent social support is antagonist treatment with naltrexone. This method works very well when patients are greatly interested to participate in the treatment program and have undertaken sufficient detoxification from oxycodone abuse.
Methadone is most commonly given to people who are receiving treatment for heroin addiction. There is some controversy surrounding its use, with many people claiming those prescribed methadone are simply swapping one addiction for another.
An outpatient therapy for the majority of patients addicted to oxycodone works best for a medication treatment using either an agonist or a partial agonist. In the United States, the most commonly recommended agonist drug for oxycodone addiction treatment is methadone.
The only partial agonist drug approved by the FDA for oxycodone addiction treatment is buprenorphine. This drug has the ability to stop cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms, and prevent the “high” effect. Because of these properties, buprenorphine is sought by people needing protection from dangerous behaviors and wanting to avoid overdose from oxycodone. In addition, individuals with oxycodone dependence and with a chronic disease, such as HIV, will get better health results when undergoing buprenorphine treatment.
Consumers looking for further information about oxycodone or wanting to find a physician knowledgeable of oxycodone abuse should call 1-877-653-9087 or fill out our short contact form.