Given the opioid epidemic that is currently hurting communities throughout the US, all US residents must have some knowledge about opioid addiction. By opioids, we are referring to illicit drugs like heroin and fentanyl as well as prescription drugs like painkillers. All of these substances are subject to abuse because of the initial euphoria they offer to the drug user. Unfortunately, these same drugs are highly addictive, resulting in significant health and social problems throughout the nation.
One of the more popular opioid substances addiction sufferers are known to abuse is oxycodone, often sold under the brand name Oxycontin. This is a high-level prescription painkiller that’s readily available on the streets because of the drug’s popularity. This is a substance that’s so powerful and addictive that some drug users report falling prey to the drug within weeks of first use.
Signs of Oxycodone Addiction
Before addressing the severe nature of oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, a better understanding of oxycodone addiction seems in order. Oxycodone addiction has a habit of sneaking up on people, especially patients who use the substance under orders from their physician.
The drug’s initial euphoria invites the user to keep using the substance at unacceptable rates. As indicated above, the drug’s addictive nature is what eventually leads oxycodone users to run down the path to dependence, which soon turns into a full-blown addiction.
To help you better understand what oxycodone addiction looks like, here are a few notable signs that might become apparent. Remember: the symptoms could be physical or behavioral:
- Intermittent loss of motor control
- A constant state of drowsiness
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Inability to manage personal responsibilities
- Illicit behavior to secure drugs or money for drugs
- Failing relationships
- Flushed skin
If you or someone you love displays any number of these symptoms, there’s cause for concern.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
The decision to break the cycle of oxycodone addiction is not an easy decision for an addiction sufferer to make. Anyone who finally steps forward to battle their addiction is worthy of respect. However, the addiction sufferer must exercise a high level of caution before they decide to stop using any addictive substance without help suddenly. To be clear, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can be just as dangerous as the actual drug abuse.
The onset of oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will usually appear within eight hours of the addiction suffer’s last dose. Over the next five to seven days, a series of escalating oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will serve to make the individual’s life seem like a nightmare. By the way, the severity of an individual’s withdrawal symptoms will typically depend on factors such as the length of time the individual has been abusing the substance, the doses they are taking, and the frequency of the drug abuse.
As a point of reference, here’s a list of the most ominous symptoms one should expect to encounter:
- Great difficulty breathing
- An alarming increase in blood pressure and heart rate
- Loss of motor control and the ability to concentrate
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Body convulsions and tremors in the extremities
- Hallucinations and nightmares
- Difficulty sleeping
- The onset of psychological issues like depression and anxiety
Some of these oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can cause lasting psychical issues, even death. For this very reason, the medical and addiction treatment communities highly recommend that no one attempts to stop using any opioid without some professional intervention suddenly.
Medically Monitored Detox Programs
Opioid addiction is not something the addiction sufferer is going to be able to get past on their own. The only reliable course of action someone can choose is to seek treatment from a professional drug and alcohol addiction treatment center.
With oxycodone addiction, participation in a medically monitored detox program is almost always the first step in the treatment process. It’s the best way to ensure the addiction sufferer has a safe environment in which to deal with their oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
Under the watchful eye of the treatment facility’s medical staff, the client will begin the detox process. While there will be hope the client can get through their withdrawal without medical intervention, that’s seldom the case. As soon as the client starts showing signs of pain and discomfort, the medical staff will determine whether or not to prescribe relief medications. At all times, the client’s health and welfare is the staff’s number one concern.
If everything goes well, the client should start feeling better by the end of the first week of detox. In cases where the addiction sufferer’s addiction is quite severe, they may get placement in a suboxone tapering program. By using Suboxone as a substitute for the oxycodone, the client will be allowed to detox over a more extended and safer period. Such programs can last as long as a month, though caution is required due to the fact suboxone is also addictive.
Regardless of the detox process, the facility’s treatment professionals employ, the client will be ready for therapy once they have cleared their oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
A Word About Therapy
Contrary to some opinions, the client needs an education about the nature of their addiction. They need to understand the issues that are driving them to abuse harmful substances. Without this level of information, it will be difficult for the client to develop the coping skills they will need to avoid relapses in the future.
In therapy, it’s incumbent on the client to be open and honest with their therapist. It’s the only reliable path to the truth about their addiction. If they can dig out the driving force behind their desire to hide behind drugs, they can position themselves for lasting recovery from their addiction. The subsequent development of better life and coping skills should enable them to deal with the temptations and triggers they will inevitably encounter in the future.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction to oxycodone or any other opioid substance, you are putting your life at risk. It’s time for you to consider reaching out for help. When you are ready to make your stand against your addiction, you need to contact a reputable rehab facility like ours. With our help, there’s a real chance you can walk out of treatment with the ability to live life on life’s terms without taking drugs.