Most drug addictions begin with social experimentation. However, many addictions are increasingly springing up from prescriptions received from medical care professionals.1 Oxycodone addiction is of particular concern in recent decades.
Oxycodone is a form of opioid, or painkiller drug that was once used to treat end of life pain for conditions such as cancer. Today it is prescribed by primary care doctors and can be found in many homes. According to statistics, about 2 million Americans abused prescription painkillers of this sort last year.2
It is important to seek help for any type of opioid painkiller use as soon as possible. Accidental overdose on this prescription drug will drastically slow an individual’s breathing, which can lead to death. That is why remaining monitored by a doctor during use is so important. Any complications that an individual has experienced with breathing in the past, such as asthma, will increase the risk of negative complications while taking oxycodone.
Addiction to oxycodone leads often to illegal activity, because using the drug without authorization from a doctor is, in fact, illegal. Even seemingly innocent actions can result in drug misuse, increasing the odds for addiction and/or overdose. One dangerous action is chewing the pills instead of swallowing them whole. While a person may initially do this in ignorance, the body reacts more strongly to the substance when it is chewed, and that individual is more likely to overdose or develop a compulsive use disorder. Similarly, sharing these medicines with family members or friends is also illegal. To make matters worse, those who become addicted to this drug often end up stealing medications from others.
When Oxycodone Use Becomes Problematic
You do not need to feel overwhelmed with guilt if you have developed an opioid use disorder, or oxycodone addiction. If you are not sure about your oxycodone use and think you might be addicted, a private consultation can help you to ask the right questions. Ultimately, if you have taken it more frequently than prescribed, or in any manners other than you were instructed, or have found yourself continuing to seek prescription for it without legitimate necessity of use according to the prescription you have received, you need to be open about this and get treatment.
The length of time and severity with which you have used the drug will impact the level of correction or rehabilitation that you will require. As is the case with nearly any addiction disorder, there will be a need for detoxification, with some undesirable withdrawal symptoms. These need not hold you back from seeking treatment, as the withdrawal will pass quickly and in the care of professional medical staff who are sensitive to your personal concerns and needs it will pass as comfortably as possible.
Addiction recovery from oxycodone requires more than detoxification, and some therapy will be in store also. Both inpatient care (treatment that involves staying in a facility overnight) and outpatient care (treatment that allows you to continue to dwell in your own home) provide this. If there has been a mental illness of some sort that has co-occurred with the oxycodone abuse, either before the abuse started or at any point while the drug has been used, this will be addressed too.
Benefits of Oxycodone Recovery
Do not let fear hold you back from getting treatment. Addiction causes you to become distant from people you love. Your ability to perform at work and in daily life are altered, and you cannot realistically function the way you normally would if you were free from the compulsion to take this drug. These personality and physical repercussions are what you ought to fear, if anything. On a positive note, they can all be reversed.
Individualized treatment plans for oxycodone dependence is incredibly important. If chronic pain led to addiction, it is important to also treat the chronic pain in safe ways. If addiction persists because of a mental illness such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, for instance, then it is important to receive support for both the addiction and the mental health concern. Treatment will help you establish new outlooks, new hope, and new mental and spiritual alternatives for coping with physical and emotional pain without returning to oxycodone abuse.
Oxycodone addiction can be physically expensive, but the price paid in other aspects of life might be greater than money could ever cover.3 Treatment prices are reasonable and can likely be negotiated with your insurance provider.
1. Mayo Clinic. Diseases and Conditions. Drug Addiction. Found online 2/2/16 at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/symptoms/con-20020970.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription Drug Overdose: Understanding the Epidemic. “When Prescription Becomes the Problem.” Found online 2/2/16 at: http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/
3. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 2005 Jun; 1(2): 77–82. Published online 2005 Jun. “The controversy surrounding OxyContin abuse: issues and solutions.” Found online 2/12/16 at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1661612/.