Oxycodone Abuse, Addiction, And Treatment Programs

Oxycodone is a powerful and highly addictive painkiller that can be dangerous when misused. Treatment programs for oxycodone abuse and addiction can help residents get sober and teach supportive strategies for managing drug cravings and triggers.

Oxycodone is a powerful sedative drug that is prescribed to treat acute and chronic pain. Unfortunately, the drug can also be habit-forming and may become addictive to those who misuse it.

Oxycodone belongs to a class of addictive opioid and opiate drugs, which include drugs like fentanyl, codeine, and the illegal drug, heroin. When taken in any way other than prescribed, opioids can have strong and potentially dangerous side effects.

Examples of oxycodone misuse include:

  • taking higher doses than prescribed
  • taking doses more frequently
  • crushing and snorting oxycodone
  • mixing oxycodone with other drugs (including alcohol)
  • taking someone else’s prescription
  • taking oxycodone for longer than prescribed

Oxycodone abuse can have serious consequences on physical health, mental health, and other areas of a person’s life. It can also be deadly. In 2018, nearly 15,000 people across the United States died as a result of prescription opioid overdose.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that can become a chronic struggle without help. Treatment for opioid abuse and addiction can come in many forms.

At Spring Hill Recovery Center, we know that recovery from oxycodone addiction is possible.

Here, you’ll find information on:

  • oxycodone abuse and dangers of addiction
  • signs of opioid overdose
  • types of treatment for oxycodone addiction
  • an overview of our New England addiction recovery center

Side Effects Of Oxycodone Abuse

Oxycodone is the active ingredient in several drug products, including Oxycontin, Percodan, and Percocet—a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen. It is generally prescribed in pill or tablet form to treat moderate to severe pain.

While it’s primarily used as a pain reliever, oxycodone may cause a number of short-term effects when taken.

Short-term side effects of oxycodone include:

  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • feeling of happiness
  • sense of calm
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • flushing
  • headache
  • constipation
  • changes in mood

The effects of oxycodone can depend on the dose taken, the method of use, and other personal factors, such as physical and mental health history. Oxycodone is prescribed for both acute and chronic use, although it is now widely known to be habit-forming and highly addictive.

Taking oxycodone for more than a few weeks may cause increased tolerance and chemical dependency. This can require a person to take more of the drug to feel the same effects. It can also make it difficult to stop taking it.

Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction

Oxycodone is a powerful drug that can be abused for its euphoric effects. A pattern of oxycodone abuse can lead to drug dependence and addiction.

Signs of oxycodone addiction include:

  • being unable to stop taking the drug
  • continuing to take oxycodone despite negative effects on physical and mental health
  • hiding or lying about your drug abuse
  • constantly thinking about getting or using oxycodone
  • taking higher doses than prescribed
  • stealing oxycodone from a family member’s prescription
  • becoming socially withdrawn
  • feeling a loss of control over your oxycodone use

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), between 21 percent and 29 percent of people who take prescription opioids for chronic pain report misusing them. In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States had an opioid use disorder.

Dangers Of Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction

Prescription opioid abuse is dangerous in part because it can become a gateway to abusing illegal drugs, like heroin. Because heroin production isn’t regulated, purchasing heroin from a drug dealer is very risky.

Powdered heroin can sometimes be mixed with fentanyl—a highly potent opioid—but this information isn’t always disclosed to buyers. This can put people who use heroin at high risk for accidental overdose, which can be deadly in severe cases.

Mixing Oxy with other drugs (including alcohol) can also be dangerous. About one-third of opioid overdose deaths in the United States involve benzodiazepines.

Mixing Oxy with other sedatives can severely depress the central nervous system. This can cause stopped breathing, heart problems, and coma.

Overdose can occur after either taking too high a dose or taking multiple drugs at once. With immediate medical assistance, opioid overdose is treatable and can be reversed.

Signs of an oxycodone overdose include:

  • slowed or stopped breathing
  • bluish lips
  • cold, clammy skin
  • excessive sleepiness
  • changes in pupil size
  • weak muscles
  • loss of consciousness

Oxycodone abuse can also increase the risk of hepatitis and HIV among those who inject drugs. In addition, people who are addicted to oxycodone may engage in other risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence. Drug addiction is also a risk factor for suicide and worsened mental health in people with mental illness.

Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a physical and psychological condition that can affect people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, and income. While some people can be at higher risk for developing substance abuse issues, no one is immune.

Oxycodone abuse and addiction is a life-threatening illness that can be treated in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Overcoming an opioid addiction may require treatment at multiple levels of care, beginning with detox.

Oxycodone Withdrawal And Detox

Withdrawal refers to a set of physical and psychological symptoms that can set in when someone who’s become dependent on drugs reduces or stops their drug use completely.

Oxycodone withdrawal can set in within 12 hours after a person’s last dose. Common symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal—such as vomiting, diarrhea, strong drug cravings, and severe agitation—can be highly uncomfortable. In very severe cases, withdrawal can also be dangerous.

Getting sober through detox is the first step towards recovery. The safest way to detox and prevent relapse is to enter a medical detox program.

Detox services are offered in both inpatient and outpatient rehab settings:

Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox, also known as medical detox, offers 24/7 clinical and behavioral support within a quiet, supervised environment. Medical detox professionals may administer supportive medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Common medications used for opioid detox include buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone.

Outpatient Detox

Detox services may be available through outpatient treatment providers, depending on availability in your area. This may not be recommended for people with severe addiction, or for those who are at high risk for severe withdrawal.

After detox, people who are newly sober may still experience strong cravings to use oxycodone. Other symptoms such as depression, anxiety, and fatigue may also linger. These symptoms can be treatable through a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehabilitation is the most comprehensive form of treatment for people recovering from addiction.

Within an inpatient rehab program, residents can receive a wide array of treatments to address the physical, mental, and psychological effects of living with addiction.

Inpatient treatment provides a supportive environment where people can learn coping strategies for staying sober and pain management.

Primary forms of treatment for oxycodone addiction include:

  • behavioral therapy
  • individual counseling
  • medication-assisted treatment
  • group Therapy
  • family counseling
  • relapse prevention planning

Rehab centers can differ in the types of treatments they offer. In addition to standard treatments, some treatment centers may offer holistic treatment services, such as yoga, art therapy, and mindfulness techniques.

In addition, some rehab centers may also offer dual diagnosis treatment for residents with co-occurring mental health disorders. Additional specialty programs, such as treatment programs customized for patients who are pregnant, veterans, and young adults, are also offered at some rehab centers.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment programs can be a vital source for ongoing support in addiction recovery. Outpatient treatment is most suitable for people who are medically stable, have recently completed an inpatient program, or have mild substance abuse issues that don’t require a higher level of care.

The structure and intensity of outpatient treatment can be customizable to meet each person’s needs. Day treatment and intensive outpatient programs may be recommended for people who require greater support and structure.

Outpatient treatment for oxycodone addiction may include attending weekly counseling appointments, recovery support groups, and medication-assisted treatment. Checking in with a doctor and psychiatrist may also be recommended.

Continuing Care

Addiction recovery is a journey, not a race. Many people continue their treatment for months, or even years to help them maintain their commitment to recovery. Attending local support groups and counseling can provide an ongoing sense of support. This can be helpful during particular times of stress.

Begin Your Addiction Recovery At Spring Hill In Ashby, MA

Seeking treatment for drug abuse and addiction is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one in the Greater New England area, look no further than Spring Hill Recovery Center in Massachusetts.

Spring Hill is an accredited rehab center that offers residential rehab and intensive outpatient programs for opioid addiction.

Located in the secluded, wooded town of Ashby, Massachusetts, Spring Hill serves the wider New England area, including:

At Spring Hill, you’ll find a comfortable and compassionate treatment environment with staff members who are dedicated to helping residents achieve lifelong addiction recovery. We offer a wide array of treatment services, including evidence-based treatments and holistic therapies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not kept Spring Hill from providing residents with the treatment they need to achieve recovery. Call us today to learn more about Spring Hill and the types of treatments we offer.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)—Massachusetts: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/opioids/opioid-summaries-by-state/massachusetts-opioid-involved-deaths-related-harms
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine: U.S. National Library of Medicine—Oxycodone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—About the Epidemic https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/about-the-epidemic/index.html

Written by Spring Hill Recovery Editorial Team

© 2024 Spring Hill Recovery | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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