Oxycodone is an extremely addictive opiate narcotic that is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. When taking oxycodone, it is important to be aware of its addictive nature, because addiction is very unpleasant and requires a difficult (but doable) withdrawal period. The best way to stop an oxycodone addiction is never to start taking the drug.
How does an Addiction Develop?
Oxycodone creates artificial chemicals that the brain normally produces. When the brain detects these abnormally high levels of pleasure-inducing chemicals, it stops producing them naturally. Thus, when the supply of chemicals, the drug, is stopped, there are no more of these chemicals, and withdrawal symptoms occur. Small, controlled uses of oxycodone can be useful, but it becomes dangerous when higher doses are taken for longer periods of time.
Who is Most at Risk?
People most at risk for an oxycodone addiction are those who use the drug for chronic pain. They first develop a dependency on it, and then an addiction. Dependency is simply if withdrawal symptoms are experienced upon ceasing taking the drug, while an addiction is when a person becomes obsessed with the drug and “getting high” from taking it. Therefore, those at high risk are those who take it illicitly for pleasure, but even people who take it simply for pain after surgery can experience an addiction.
Signs and Symptoms of an Addiction
People taking oxycodone must be careful not to become addicted. If a person on oxycodone exhibits any of the following signs, a doctor or rehabilitation facility should be contacted. Signs of an addiction are:
- a preoccupation with the drug
- compulsive behaviors revolving around getting or using the drug
- physical illness if the drug runs out
- personality changes
- lack of motivation
- severe mood swings
- legal issues
- running out before a prescription ends
- changing doctors rapidly
- money shortages
How can an Addiction be Stopped?
Once an oxycodone addiction begins, it is very difficult to stop. Therefore, the best advice as to how to stop an addiction is not to start. For people who have been addicted for a long time to high amounts, the safest way to quit is through an oxycodone detox.
In a detox, a person goes to a controlled medical facility that provides constant care to make sure that the withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone are managed and the addiction is actually conquered. Quitting “cold turkey” from a high-dependency state can result in seizures or even death. However, if a person is a lesser user, he or she may be able to quit by simply reducing dosages and experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms.
There are many benefits to the painkiller oxycodone. It can dull severe pain from surgery or other major injuries. However, it can be dangerous as well, especially when used in high quantities or when used beyond a doctor’s prescription. Some doctors are not aware of the highly addictive nature of the medicine, so it is always better to err on the safe side with such drugs. Oxycodone addictions are unpleasant situations that can involve significant pain.