What Is Oxycodone Addiction?
Oxycodone Addictions: Signs, Dangers and Recovery
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone, as found in OxyContin, Roxicodone or Percocet, is a powerful opioid painkiller. It is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the United States (2019 Government Health Statistics) and many other countries around the world.
Many people who abuse oxycodone start out taking a prescribed amount—but as their body develops a tolerance to the drug, they need a higher dose to maintain the same relief or high.
The transition from use to abuse to addiction can be a quick and dangerous road. Oxycodone is a powerful drug and offers much-needed relief to many people struggling with painful or terminal conditions; as such, it can be hard to stay in control.
Oxycodone addiction is a very serious condition – not only is it an expensive and debilitating addiction, overdose from oxycodone is a very real—and potentially deadly—possibility.
Oxycodone Forms and Brands
Oxycodone is the powerful primary ingredient in many painkillers prescribed to people suffering from moderate to severe pain. These pills come in various shapes, sizes and colors depending on the dose and brand. Oxycodone is also sometimes prescribed in a liquid form. It is often prescribed as a combination product with other drugs, including acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen, with different brand names depending on the combination. Some of the most common brand names for oxycodone-based drugs are:
OxyContin is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. The drug’s controlled-release formula provides chronic pain relief for up to 12 hours. Many people bypass the time-release action by crushing and snorting OxyContin, or by dissolving the tablets in water and injecting the solution. This allows the user to achieve the full effect of the drug all at once.
Percocet is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). It is commonly prescribed for a number of conditions with pain ranging from mild to severe. Similar to OxyContin, crushing and snorting Percocet is a common method of abuse. Other modes of abuse include taking more than the prescribed Percocet dosage orally, taking the drug for longer than the prescribed period of time, and chewing or injecting Percocet.
Roxicodone is a rapid release formula of oxycodone that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is often given to a patient before surgery to sedate or calm them and for around-the-clock pain management. When abused, the drug causes a very quick high in the user. People who abuse Roxicodone often crush or melt down the tablets to be smoked or injected.
People prescribed an oxycodone-based painkiller may be suffering from cancer, arthritis, or other physical disorders, or they may receive a short-term prescription after surgery or trauma. Prescription forms of oxycodone are designed to provide around-the-clock relief.
Oxycodone is made by modifying thebaine, an organic chemical found in opium. Designated as an opioid, or semi-synthetic opiate, oxycodone shares a general classification with heroin, hydrocodone, and oxymorphone. Oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means that although it has a definite medical purpose, there is a high potential for abuse.
Although some addicts begin using oxycodone under the direction of a doctor, this is not always the case. Oxycodone is now a sought after street drug for recreational users. Slang or street names for oxycodone drugs include oxy, OC’s, oxycet, oxycotton, hillbilly heroin, berries, killers, percs and roxis.
Oxycodone Effects & Dangers
Taking more than the prescribed dosage, taking the drug for longer than recommended by a doctor, chewing the pills, and crushing then injecting or snorting oxycodone are all considered abuse of Oxycodone. Many people abuse oxycodone for its euphoric effects. As an opioid, oxycodone’s effects are strikingly similar to heroin.
Immediate common effects of oxycodone use include:
- Reduced anxiety
Because prescription painkiller use is generally accepted in society, it can be difficult to identify or address oxycodone abuse. Especially in the cases of legitimate prescriptions, it can be hard to tell the difference between an acceptable dose and abuse. Ultimately, it comes down to the negative consequences the drug has on the user’s life. A good tell-tale sign of abuse is when an individual runs out of their prescription early, or before their next script is available for refill.
The greatest danger of oxycodone is a potentially fatal overdose. Oxycodone depresses a person’s respiration and decreases their blood pressure. This can lead to seizures, comas or cardiac arrest (especially when ingesting, snorting, or injecting crushed tablets). When oxycodone is taken with alcohol or any other depressant drug, the risk of fatal overdose is greatly increased.
Oxycodone is most dangerous and addictive when taken via methods that increase the drug’s euphoric effects, such as crushing pills and then snorting or injecting the powder or combining the pills with alcohol or other drugs.
Recognizing the Signs of Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction
The immediate side effects of oxycodone abuse range from mildly uncomfortable to potentially deadly. These are common signs and symptoms of Oxycodone abuse and addiction:
- Dilated pupils
- Short attention span
- Sense of calmness
- Depressed breathing rate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Vivid dreams
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Extreme relaxation
- Reduced anxiety
- Pain relief
- Loss of appetite
- Needing a higher dosage to achieve the same effects
- Using oxycodone in a way which is dangerous to yourself or others
- Failing to meet responsibilities
- Financial and relationship issues
- Lack of interest in hobbies and favourite activities
Oxycodone Withdrawal and Detox
Once a dependence on oxycodone has developed, quitting the drug will result in uncomfortable, and potentially painful, withdrawal symptoms. Some people relapse during oxycodone withdrawal because the symptoms are too intense. Others continue using oxycodone just to feel “normal” and avoid withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms typically appear 8-12 hours after the last dose. Once withdrawal symptoms set in, they can last anywhere from a few days to a week. In most cases, they peak within 72 hours and gradually subside. Also, the most intense psychological and physical withdrawal symptoms, also known as acute withdrawal, usually last up to one week.
Because oxycodone is the active ingredient in these painkillers, the symptoms of Percocet and Roxicodone withdrawal will be very similar. Common symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose
- Teary eyes
- Muscle aches
- Increased heart rate
- Body aches and pains
- Poor concentration
- Mood swings
- Inability to feel pleasure
Oxycodone detox is not just uncomfortable, it is also potentially dangerous. The Lighthouse Bali is one of the few rehabs in Bali able to offer a medically assisted detox. A medically assisted detox is the most comfortable and the safest way to stop using Oxycodone.
Inpatient Care and Rehab
The Lighthouse Bali’s proven combination of an initial Primary Inpatient Program*1 followed by Outpatient Care and Ongoing Therapy has helped Oxycodone addicts from around the world get their lives back on track. Through individually tailored treatment, professional therapy, and compassionate support, you will be given the tools you need to ensure the best possible chances for long term recovery.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, we urge you to reach out and contact us in confidence today. Our private programs are tailormade to suit individual needs and our doctorate level clinical staff have extensive experience in the field of addiction. If you are not currently in Bali but would like to begin a recovery program immediately, we are able to help you facilitate a special visa for entry to The Lighthouse Bali. We also have online recovery options available.
To talk to one of our team members, contact us on WhatsApp or by Phone. Alternatively, send us an email and we will either answer your questions in writing or call you back, according to your preference Contact Us
We understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help but it’s the first step towards recovery and a happier, healthier way of living.
*1 The duration of Primary Inpatient Programs and Outpatient Care varies according to individual circumstances. Both Inpatient and Outpatient treatment is based around monthly (28 day) increments. As a general guideline we recommend between one to three months Primary Inpatient Programs for Oxycodone users, followed by one to two months Outpatient Care in Bali, and up to six months of ongoing therapy (by Zoom or Skype from home). The longer you stay in rehab, the better your chances of staying clean when you return home.