Many types of substances have greatly contributed to the current addiction problem that we face in our nation. Although, one type of substance that has been a particular factor in the current state of things is opioid painkillers such as Oxycodone. There are numerous types of these medications, both naturally derived and synthetically created, but some are larger issues for abuse than others. One of the most notoriously abused opioids over the years has been oxycodone, which is a painkiller that is typically prescribed for moderate to severe pain. It may be prescribed in forms by itself or combination forms with other substances to create a more effective medication. Some of the forms include:
- OxyContin – A combination of controlled and immediate release formulations of oxycodone.
- Percodan – Oxycodone combined with aspirin.
- Percocet – Oxycodone combined with acetaminophen.
Types of Effects Brought on by Oxycodone
Most opioids are generally sourced from the opium poppy plant, but others are also partly or completely created synthetically. Oxycodone comes under the category of partly synthesized, as it is created through chemical modification of opioid precursor molecules from the plant. Even with being partly synthesized, oxycodone affects a person in similar ways as any other legal or illicit opioid. It binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, which brings about effects like:
- Pain Reduction
Oxycodone Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction
Of course, even with the valuable purpose of pain relief that oxycodone serves in the medical realm, it also produces a strong high and is abused by many people. The above effects are what many people are seeking when they abuse oxycodone. There can be a few different behaviors that come under the heading of oxycodone abuse. An individual may begin taking larger doses of their medication than prescribed or more often than they should, others may use it without a prescription, and some may crush the pill and snort it or dissolve the powder in a liquid to then inject it. Whatever the case may be, abusing oxycodone can be extremely dangerous.
While the above could be considered the desirable effects of oxycodone, these are not the only effects that it can potentially produce. Just like virtually any type of medication, oxycodone can also bring about a series of negative side effects, including:
- Appetite Loss
- Dry Mouth
- Stomach Pain
- Mood Changes
While uncomfortable, the above are some of the lesser side effects, with some of the more severe including:
- Swelling (face, tongue, throat, lips, eyes, ankles, lower legs, hands, feet, or eyes)
- Breathing Difficulties
- Extreme Drowsiness
- Breathing or Swallowing Difficulties
- Chest Pain
- Rash, Itching, or Hives
- Heart Rate or Rhythm Irregularities
- Postural Hypotension
If an individual is prescribed oxycodone and begins experiencing any of the lesser or severe side effects, they should immediately consult with their doctor. These side effects can be more likely or exacerbated when an individual takes other substances along with oxycodone, such as alcohol. Any medication combinations should be run by a medical professional to ensure that they work together.
Another potential risk of oxycodone is the development of a physical dependence. This is when an individual has been using oxycodone for an extended period of time and their body actually becomes reliant upon it. If the person stops using or goes too long between doses, they can begin to experience hellacious cravings and withdrawal symptoms, such as:
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Runny Nose
- Irregular Heartbeat
Oxycodone withdrawal can be extremely difficult and to properly come off of the drug, an individual should attend a proper detox center. Detox is the process of allowing the body to rid itself of substances in the system and readjust to functioning without them. Some people may want to attempt to buckle down and detox at home, but this is completely advised against. There are a few reasons why a person should attend a formal detox center, but one of the largest is the point of safety. Detox can be dangerous in severe cases or when done incorrectly and the individual should be monitored through the process. While in a formal center, a person can receive a correctly formatted detox and they will be constantly watched over by professionals who can respond to any complications. Many detox centers can also give the individual wean down medications to help ease the withdrawal process.
Oxycodone Facts: Risks and Dangers
As an individual continues on with their oxycodone use, they also run the risk of developing an addiction, which is distinctly different from dependence. Dependence refers to the way that an individual’s body can become physically reliant on drugs, whereas addiction is when the person continues to use despite the terrible consequences and damages to their life and livingness. Those struggling with addiction can see their relationships suffer, lose their job, harm themselves or others, and yet, they continue to use. There can be numerous reason as to why an individual develops an addiction, but it generally underlies the actual addiction itself. They may be trying to mask or relieve emotional pain, life problems, or mental difficulties that they are battling with. It can begin with them having some hard times that they use substances to seek a reprieve from, and as this behavior continues, it can become their standard operating procedure. They may reach a point where they feel unable to face life or reality without using substances. Addiction can become incredibly hellacious, and those struggling should be gotten into formal treatment. Treatment can help to address the difficulties that underlie and contribute to addiction so that the individual can break free of it.
One of the other huge risks that can come with oxycodone use is the potential for overdose. Overdose is the condition that occurs when an individual consumes more than their body can actually process and it results in a toxic shock. When an individual has been continuously using oxycodone, they can begin to develop a tolerance, which means that they will need to take larger amounts to achieve the same effects. If the person takes too large of a dose than they can handle, this can bring about overdose. While overdose can occur for anyone who takes too large of a dose, it tends to be more likely for those abusing oxycodone. This is especially true for those snorting or injecting it, as the effects can be more rapid and they may take a larger dose than they think they are. Those buying oxycodone off the street can also be at higher overdose risk, as they may purchase oxycodone cut with other drugs or they may not know the proper dose to take. Overdose can come along with symptoms like:
- Tiny Pupils
- Cyanosis (Bluing of the lips and nails)
- Clammy and cold skin
- Loss of Consciousness
- Slowed or Stopped Breathing
- Slowed Heart Rate
- Pale Skin
- Low Blood Pressure
Overdose can be extremely dangerous and an individual going through it should be rapidly administered medical care. The health impacts of overdose can become worse the longer that it continues, so if witnessing a loved one overdosing, contact emergency medical services immediately.
If you or a loved one are seeking help with a drug or alcohol addiction, give Best Drug Rehabilitation a call today. We can help you choose a comprehensive rehabilitation program that helps thousands to overcome addiction every year.