If you have been prescribed oxycodone and are concerned that you may be creating an oxycodone addiction, consider these warning signs:
- Defensive about your use
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies you may have once enjoyed
- Drastic mood changes
- Loss of appetite
- Decreased motivation
- Noted decline in social interaction
If you are experiencing these signs, it may be time to try to stop. If you are having difficulty stopping your use, then it may be time to contact an oxycodone addictions specialist such as a counselor or a drug rehabilitation facility. You may need to be admitted to undergo a medical detox where you will be kept as comfortable as possible while you go through the hardest parts of the detoxification process.
Oxycodone is an opiate painkiller, which is prescribed for moderate, severe, and chronic pain. It is also used to treat the pain of terminal cancer patients. Oxycodone addiction is a serious problem, and is growing all the time. As an opioid, it is highly addictive and is classed as a narcotic which means that it can never be used without a prescription. Oxycodone also is known as Percodan, Oxycontin, and Tylox.
Opioid drugs such as morphine and heroin have long been known to have additive properties. However, we often consider illicit ″street″ drugs to be the real problem. However, the statistics do not bear that out. In 2010, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimated that there were 329,000 heroin addicts in the United States. That same year, NIDA estimated that there were 1,900,000 (1.9 million) oxycodone addicts. This means there was more than five times the number of oxycodone addicts as there were heroin addicts. In 2010, the CDC estimated that 12 million people reported using prescribed painkillers for recreational, or non-medical use.
Rise Of Addiction
According to the CDC 46 people die every day from overdoses involving prescription opioids.1 In 2017, prescription opioids continue to contribute to the epidemic in the U.S. – they were involved in more than 35% of all opioid overdose deaths.
The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include:
- Oxycodone (such as OxyContin®)
- Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin®)2
For people who died from prescription opioid overdose in 2017:
- Overdose rates from prescription opioids significantly increased among people more than 65 years of age.
- Overdose rates from prescription opioids were higher among non-Hispanic whites and American Indian or Alaskan Natives, compared to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
- The rate of overdose deaths from prescription opioids among men was 6.1 per 100,000 people and the rate among women was 4.2 in 2017.
Why User Of Opioids Will Be Addicted
There are many factors that determine whether a user of opioids will become addicted. Will someone use long enough to develop the dependence on the drug and the addiction? There is no way to predict how much a person must take before this happens. They may use once and instantly become addicted, or it may be a gradual thing that develops over time.
One of the first indicators that you are going to become addicted to Oxycodone is ‘drug liking.’ This phenomenon, explained by Thomas R. Kosten, M.D. and Tony P. George, M.D. is simple: when you do the drug, do you like it? Do you like how it makes you feel? For some people, opioids like Oxycodone are able to provide intense feelings of pleasure. Without these feelings, people are not likely to continue using the drug long enough to become dependent or addicted.
Other environmental factors and genetic factors like a predisposition to addiction all play a role in the cause of Oxycodone addiction, and it is nearly impossible to nail down a single cause for any one person.
Oxycodone is very dangerous. Every year people overdose. In 2009, the CDC noted that 475,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms as a result of prescription painkillers. If you are using oxycodone, know that you bear a risk of overdose. Take note of these overdose symptoms:
- Slow heart rate
- Labored breathing
- Cold, clammy skin
If you or a loved one is exhibiting any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately. A medical technician can administer Narcan to stop the overdose and save a person’s life in a matter of seconds.
If you or a loved one are taking prescription pain medicines for any reason, make sure that no other substances are taken without a doctor’s approval. In particular, be sure to not use any tranquilizers such as valium or Xanax, and avoid alcohol at all costs. The interactions with these substances can be deadly.
Anyone who takes a prescribed pain killer is liable to develop a dependency to the substance, but certain members of the population may have enhanced risk. The following groups may have a higher risk of addiction:
- Individuals with a family history of addiction
- Medicaid recipients
- People with a mental illness
- Those with a personal history of addiction
Who is Affected?
Everyone in the addict’s life is affected by their use. Their immediate family and loved ones perhaps feel the brunt hardest, as they must witness a dear person undergo a transformation from a benevolent Dr. Jekyll to a wretched Mr. Hyde.
From the family, the problem often spreads outwards as the addict becomes remiss in duties at work, encounters problems with the law, and potentially begins to interfere with the work of doctors when he tries to ″doctor shop.″
Oxycondone Withdrawal Effects
Part of the problem with an Oxycodone addiction, or any addiction to opioids for that matter is the fear of withdrawal. Opioids are one of the drugs that make significant changes to the brain of the user, and whether a person is addicted or not from a mental standpoint, they are going to be physically dependent if they have used for any length of time.
Here are some of the withdrawal effects you may experience, and these illustrate that it is even more important to have a detox by a professional.
- Slowed breathing
- Respiratory failure
- Liver damage
- Myocardial infarction
- Unintentional overdose
Not only will you surely have physical withdrawal symptoms, especially if you try to go it alone, but the effects the drugs have on you are far-reaching. Expect to face trouble with personal relationships (that is, if you have any left), divorce, homelessness, financial troubles and more• Try to stop the cycles of addiction before they cause too much harm. Help is available.
America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2014/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse
The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment