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oxycodoneWhat is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a powerful opioid painkiller found in other prescription drugs like Percocet and OxyContin. Opioids are among the most physically addictive drugs that can be consumed. Even though oxycodone is given as a medication to treat moderate to severe pain, people that misuse it can easily become dependent on it.

The Abuse of Prescribed Medication

What are the Signs of Oxycodone Abuse?

Being aware of some of the common warning signs and symptoms of oxycodone abuse can help you identify when love is slipping may have a serious problem. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy
  • Shortened attention span
  • Slurred Speech
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Labored breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Vivid dreams
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

What are the Long-term Effects of Oxycodone Abuse?

Those who have abused oxycodone for a an extended period of time may suffer from some of the following health complications:

  • Heart failure
  • Depression
  • Swelling of the limbs
  • Constipation
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Coma
  • Death

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What are the Signs of Oxycodone Addiction?Oxycodone Addiction

Opioids like oxycodone target the area of the brain that produces sensations of pain and reward. What the drug does is block the sensation of pain while releasing dopamine, which makes the person feel euphoric. However, as the non-medical abuse of the drug continues, the normal function of the brain is impeded to try and counter the drug’s effects. Receptors begin to shut down and very little natural dopamine is produced, leaving the person with no way to feel joy without more of the drug.

Some signs that your loved one could be addicted to this medication include:

  • Strong cravings
  • Needing and taking more of it to achieve the original high
  • Abandoning all priorities
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Encountering financial or legal problems due to drug abuse
  • Continuing to take the drug despite negative physical or social consequences
  • Hiding the pills from others
  • Trying to quit, but being unable to

Addiction Treatment

For oxycodone addiction, an inpatient drug treatment program would achieve better results because of the high risk of relapse associated with prescription opiates. In a residential rehab setting, patients can be monitored around-the-clock, ensuring their safety and sobriety. They can also be taken away from environments and situations that would only tempt them further and make them want to use drugs.

In order to address the physical aspect of an opiate addiction, a medical detox protocol is recommended. Once a patient enters rehab, their physical and mental health are assessed in order to determine the best course of treatment.

During detox, the patient is slowly weaned off the drug with the help and supervision of medical professionals. Due to the unpredictability of withdrawal symptoms, this monitored form of detox is recommended for all opiate addicts.

Detoxification is not a cure for addiction, but it can open the door to more effective therapy. Various methods of treatment for the mental aspect of the addiction can be used.

One of these treatment therapies is called motivational interviewing. During these sessions, the patient is allowed to talk about their problems at their own pace instead of the therapist pushing for results. Motivational incentives is a treatment therapy in the patient is given various rewards for good behavior such as passing a drug test. Group therapy is also effective as patients can learn from their peers and feel that they are not alone in their struggles.

Another important aspect of treatment is relapse prevention. There are three stages of relapse including the emotional, mental and physical stages. By being able to identify each stage, a patient can see negative patterns forming in themselves and stop a relapse from occurring.

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  1. Oxycodone (OxyContin) – Side Effects, Dosage, Interactions | Everyday Health. (n.d.). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/oxycodone
  2. Abuse, N. I. (2014, May 14). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/americas-addiction-to-opioids-heroin-prescription-drug-abuse

Last updated on April 28th, 2017 at 05:03 pm