Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic that is used to treat moderately-severe to severe pain. It is a powerful narcotic, and therefore it is classified by the United States Food and Drug Administration as a schedule II controlled substance. All narcotics can be habit forming, and are subsequently associated with the potential for abuse. Most individuals can take oxycodone for the safe and effective treatment of pain. Unfortunately, however, in certain instances, its use can lead to psychological or physical addiction or dependence. Those who know or suspect that they are abusing this drug should seek Oxycodone addiction treatment as soon as possible.
Similar to other narcotic painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet, oxycodone addiction can develop in a short period of time. In most cases, a doctor will prescribe oxycodone following an injury or illness that is associated with a significant amount of pain. However, even those who take their medication as directed will experience a chemical reaction in the brain that is described as euphoric. Although, this does not automatically mean that those who use such medications for legitimate reasons are doomed to become drug addicts, it is an unfortunate fact that no one knows in advance who will be susceptible to dependency or addiction.
There is a vast array of symptoms that indicate an addiction is taking hold. Some of these symptoms are overt, while others are quite subtle. For example, those who find themselves looking forward to their next scheduled dose or who begin taking more of the medicine than was initially prescribed for the purpose of experiencing euphoria are well on their way to a dependency or full-blown addiction. When this begins to occur, the individual will have to take more and more of the oxycodone to achieve the same result. Therefore, running out of the medicine long before the next refill is due is a sure sign that a person is abusing oxycodone.
Another classic sign of addiction is when a person begins visiting different doctors in an attempt to obtain more than one prescription for oxycodone. In certain states, this will prove fruitless, as some pharmacies participate in a nationwide program where such activities can be monitored by accessing a central database. If this is the case, when the individual attempts to fill the extra prescriptions, the computer will indicate to the pharmacist that he or she already has a prescription from another doctor. Unfortunately, however, many people who become addicted to oxycodone resort to purchasing their drugs on the street, which is not only illegal but dangerous as well. Ultimately, long-term abuse of medications such as this can permanently alter an individual's neuroreceptors.
As with most drug abuse programs, oxycodone addiction treatment is usually approached in a comprehensive manner and includes detoxification, counseling and follow-up care. Each part of the program is vital to the patient's overall future success. For example, simply being treated for withdrawal symptoms, but failing to receive counseling and follow-up care is likely to produce unsatisfactory results.
Within roughly 12 hours following the final dose of oxycodone, one's body will begin to experience painful withdrawal symptoms. These include deep muscle ache, diarrhea, vomiting, severe stomach cramps, high blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, night sweats, and insomnia.
Fortunately, these symptoms can be controlled with certain medications. One of the most popular drugs in this category is clonodine, which is used by many drug rehabilitation centers to make the detoxification process easier for patients. Other choices include buprenorphine and methadone, although the latter is not always a good option, as some individuals develop a dependency on this medication, which ultimately means they have simply traded one addiction for another. Vivitrol is also used in certain cases, which is given in the form of an intramuscular injection once a month.
As previously mentioned, it is essential for those who have become dependent on this drug to seek oxycodone addiction treatment as soon as possible. Statistics show that most individuals cannot overcome such an addiction without enrolling in some type of substance abuse treatment program. Those seeking help for their problem should speak to a doctor or licensed health care practitioner without delay.