Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate painkiller. It is very strong and usually prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It is also one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the United States. Many people start off by taking the recommended prescribed amount by their doctor, and for legitimate reasons. However, their bodies build up a tolerance and they need to up their dosage or frequency of taking the drug which leads to addiction. Most teenagers or young adults who abuse oxycodone first start by using leftover prescriptions in their parent’s or other relative’s medicine cabinet. Users of any age can quickly become addicted.
Oxycodone is derived from opium and shares a general classification with codeine, morphine, and heroin. Since it is made from opium it is highly addictive and any prolonged use, increases in dosage, or misuse (crushing, chewing, injecting) of the drug is considered abuse. Oxycodone and heroin are very similar, and therefore oxycodone abuse has been seen to lead to heroin abuse since it is cheaper and easier to get. Many people addicted to oxycodone also abuse other drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, stimulants, and benzodiazepines. Mixing oxycodone with alcohol can slow down heart rate and breathing to the point of complete failure. Mixing oxycodone with any other drugs is dangerous and can be fatal.
Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction
People who snort oxycodone may have frequent nosebleeds and reduce the ability to smell. However, in 2010 a new form of the drug was released in hopes to decrease addiction rates. They wrapped the tablets in a substance known as polyethylene oxide which turns to jelly when it comes in contact with moisture, including in the nostrils or in a solution used for injecting the oxycodone. This polymer is a part of the plastic family meaning you wouldn’t or shouldn’t heat it up and inhale it. However, some addicts do and it is undetermined what the effects of this are yet. Since adding this new polymer, oxycodone addicts have transitioned to other drugs such as meth, methadone, cocaine, and heroin for an easier high. Symptoms include:
- Constricted pupils, overdose has dilated pupils
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation
- Hypoxia (not enough oxygen to the brain)
- permanent brain damage
- Increased chances for a heart attack
Finding Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
As patients progress through their oxycodone addiction treatment program at Recovery Ways, the premier Salt Lake City drug rehab, they will experience several phases of treatment ranging from medical stabilization and detox to inpatient treatment and education for relapse prevention. Our patients are highly involved in the development and implementation of their treatment plans in each phase under the guidance of our highly specialized multidisciplinary treatment team. This plan is customized to fit the personal needs of every individual to create a truly unique oxycodone addiction treatment experience. Oxycodone addiction rehab can range in programs from inpatient detox to sober living, all dependent on the needs and level of care of the patient.