Oxycodone ranks as one of the top opioids that lead to an overdose death. The drug, which is often found in drugs such as Percocet and OxyContin, is an opioid prescription drug. However, due to its effects once ingested, it is highly addictive.
The drug was initially administered to cancer patients dealing with a great deal of pain. Over time, other patients dealing with physical injuries could also get a prescription. This, of course, increased the availability of the drug to others, even if it was for purposes of pain relief.
The increase in people that could use the drug under prescription also saw the risk of an increase in addiction cases. Its high risk of abuse and addiction led to the creation of Oxycontin, a time-release capsule. This means that instead of the pill dissolving into the bloodstream immediately, it takes a 12-hour period.
Many people struggling with Oxycodone addiction found a way around this. Instead of taking the pill orally, they crush it so that the release is faster. Others even go to the extent of diluting it in water and injecting it straight into their bloodstream. Of course, crushing and sniffing it is also an option and a method they use.
All the above facts boil down to one question: why is Oxycodone so addictive?
Oxycodone is often compared to Heroin and with good reason. Its effects are similar to that of Heroin or even methadone. Once it enters into the bloodstream, it attaches itself to the opioid receptors in the brain and the spinal cord.
This gives the drug the ability to manipulate and mimic the function of the receptors. Firstly, it helps relieve pain. Secondly, it stimulates an increase in the release of dopamine. This is what is responsible for the feeling of euphoria the user usually experiences.
Long term use of the prescription drug can easily have the patient hooked. At first, they might just be upping the intake to experience pain relief. Before they know it, they’re using more of the drug and often enough for it to become a problem. If they can’t function without it, it has undoubtedly become one.
In an attempt to get a refill on their prescription, they might resort to lying to their doctor. Others may resort to stealing others prescription drugs or simply buying them from the streets. Yes, you read that right: Oxycodone is sold in the streets illegally.
On the streets, Oxycodone is known as oxy, kicker, hillbilly heroin, and roxy just to name a few. Please note that buying street drugs can put you on the wrong side of the law. Additionally, such drugs may be laced with other drugs, making them more potent and life-threatening.
Is Oxycodone Addiction Treatable?
Someone you care about has crossed the line from the simple use of Oxycodone to addiction. You can tell because of certain behavioural and physical changes that they’ve been exhibiting. If it’s not the sharp decline in relationships, it’s the neglect of academic or professional work that tipped you off.
The question you probably want to be answered is: can it be treated? Yes, it can. You should consider having your loved one checked into rehab. Below are the reasons as to why a person addicted to Oxycodone should be checked into rehab. They include:
- Overdose: It is very easy for a user to overdose on Oxycodone. The more they use it, the more of it they’re going to need. One day the high amount they’ve been injecting or snorting won’t be enough.
In a bid to curb the withdrawal symptoms or satiate their craving, they go a dose higher. Some even go as far as mixing it with other sedative drugs and alcohol. This will increase their chances of an overdose and maybe even, death.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Almost any, if not all, addictive drugs and substances come with a set of withdrawal symptoms. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms happen to be one of the most uncomfortable ones and even potentially dangerous.
Sweating, diarrhea, and vomiting can expose one to severe dehydration. Muscle and abdominal cramps coupled with a headache can be excruciating. All of the aforementioned symptoms including tremors and high blood pressure can make it extremely difficult for someone to quit.
- Additional problems: There’s also the issue of contracting other life-threatening diseases. People addicted to drugs often lack the ability to make wise decisions, especially when it involves the drug they’re addicted to. In this case, sharing a needle to inject the diluted Oxycodone can expose someone to HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.
Don’t be afraid to have your loved one checked into a rehabilitation centre. If you feel like you’d rather take things slow, then be sure to consult a doctor about the situation. Complete transparency will help the doctor understand exactly what they’re dealing with.
The doctor may suggest rehab or prescribe medications to make it easy for the person to quit. They may even suggest an opioid maintenance treatment (OMT) which can also be administered in a rehabilitation centre. All in all, if the situation is serious, having the person join a rehab centre would be wise.
Advantages of Joining Rehab
- Management of withdrawal symptoms: people suffering from Oxycodone addiction often go through a detox. This is to help remove the drug from their bloodstream. This can be especially difficult due to the withdrawal symptoms.
However, the counselor or doctor in charge should be able to administer medication that can help curb the pain.
- Provision a controlled and safe environment: Having them in such an environment can help them focus more on recovery. Also, it will help cut off any temptations that can send them spiraling back into addiction.
- Minimizes the chance of a relapse
- Increases the chance of a long-term sustainable recovery
- Group support: Knowing that they’re not alone in their walk towards recovery but be a great encouragement. Having someone they can relate to as well, helps them feel less judged and more accepted.