Opiates, also known as opioids, are one of the easiest drug classes on which to become dependent. Prescribed to manage pain, tolerance builds swiftly and steadily requiring higher and higher doses to achievethe same effect. Roxicodone is one of many substances included in this drug class and all carry the same high risk of addictoin and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Roxicodone is the manufacturer's brand name for the narcotic analgesic oxycodone hydrochloride. It is dispensed in 5 mg, 15 mg, or 30 mg strengths and contains oxycodone free base. This active ingredient is a powerful narcotic that may also be prescribed under the generic name of simply oxycodone.
Being an opioid, the active ingredient in Roxicodone is derived from the poppy plant. There are many substances included in this drug class, including Vicodin, morphine, and heroin. While opiates are extremely effective at managing pain, as with all other opioids, addiction can easily set in without the patient even realizing what is happening. All it takes is ceasing consumption of the drug for a day or two to experience withdrawal symptoms and realize the full effect of the physical addiction that has developed. Even those patients who acquire a legitimate prescription from a licensed physician for a legitimate medical purpose may find themselves physically dependent on Roxicodone.
It is important for anyone taking this drug to familiarize themselves with the warning signs of Roxicodone addiction. Addiction is any compulsive activity in which an individual will not cease engagement even in the face of severe, life-altering, negative consequences. Minimization, justification, and rationalization are three significant psychiatric components that feed denial and, subsequently, addiction. Pharmaceutical addiction in particular allows for greater ease of slipping into this mind set due to the seemingly official nature of pharmaceuticals.
A doctor's prescription can act as a powerful justification tool for the addicted person. Many addicted patients feel that as long as they have a prescription to take the medication, they could not possibly be an addict. Since the term "addict" carries with it such stigma, many addictive personalities turn to doctor-prescribed pharmaceuticals, such as Roxicodone, to legitimize their use, but the truth is that addiction can happen to anyone.
1. Telling Lies - Normally the first sign of Roxicodone addiction lying to their healthcare professional about losing their prescription or the degree of pain being experienced in an attempt to gain more medication. This will typically work the first couple of times, but physicians are aware of this tendency and know to watch for repeated claims of lost or stolen prescriptions. If an individual begins to show signs such as this, a physician may cease writing prescriptions and titrate the individual down and then off the Roxicodone. Unfortunately, this does not always stop the drug seeking behavior.
2. Doctor Shopping - Once the claims of lost or stolen medications or prescriptions no longer works to gain more medication, the addicted individual may then resort to doctor shopping. This is the term describing how a drug-dependent individual may see other doctors for the same ailment for the purpose of acquiring multiple prescriptions for the same complaint.
3. Excessive ER Visits - When an individual engages in abuse of Roxicodone, the chance of running out of the drug increases and emergency room visits become common place in an attempt to get a quick fix, even during off hours when doctor offices are closed.
Being part of the opiate class of drugs, Roxicodone carries with it some of the same withdrawal symptoms as heroin, which are severe and debilitating. Opioid withdrawal syndrome may include restlessness, chills, body aches, abdominal cramps, joint pain, weakness, anxiety, irritability, backaches, insomnia, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, high blood pressure, increased respiration, increased heartrate, excessive tear production, excessive perspiration, rhinorrhea, and yawning.
Once physical dependence has set in, abrupt discontinuation of the drug is not recommended. Abrupt opioid discontinuation after heavy, long-term use is not recommended and can be life threatening simply due to the fact that the withdrawal symptoms tend to be severe, leading the individual to relapse. Once an individual relapses, many do not realize their body is no longer accustomed to such high doses, thus overdose is a distinct possibility.
Any individual who feels they, or someone they love, may be in the midst of Roxicodone dependence should seek help immediately. A licensed physician can help by titrating the patient down on the medication, allowing the patient to come off the drug with minimal withdrawal symptoms. In addition to seeking medical help, the addicted individual should also seek drug treatment counseling to assist with the psychological addiction and help prevent relapse.