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Oxycodone Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 12, 2019

Oxycodone was originally created as a replacement for the drug heroin in the early 1900s. Since then, Oxycodone has become a widely used and abused drug throughout the United States. The highly addictive properties of this drug can lead to several negative health effects including overdose and even death.

As notorious as the drug it was designed to replace, Oxycodone, may have surpassed heroin in use and abuse since its debut, nearly 100 years ago. In 1916, two scientists, at the University of Frankfurt, in Germany, formulated Oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opiate extracted from ‘thebaine,’ an alkaloid of the opium poppy, from which morphine is also derived.

An effective alternate narcotic analgesic (pain killer) was needed as a viable replacement for heroin, whose production was curtailed by the Bayer pharmaceutical company, a few years earlier, due to the harmful and hazardous use of the drug and its addictive qualities. In some part, this effort has been accomplished with Oxycodone, in clinical use since 1917, in the U.S. since 1939, as a prescribed medication to help manage cases of acute pain, and in moderate to severe cases associated with cancer, arthritis, certain diseases, and post-operative recovery.

In spite of its highly addictive qualities coupled with the life threatening side-effects of addiction, and its status as a “dangerous drug” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in the 1960’s, Oxycodone was approved for use in the U.S. by the FDA, in 1976, as a Schedule II controlled substance.

OxyContin Controversies

Since the introduction of OxyContin, the name brand controlled-release form of Oxycodone, in 1995, it is apparent that the use of this heroin-like substitute is “out of control.” Controversy abounds over its efficacy for certain types of pain, and in what dosages, often recommended dosages could be halved and the effect on pain the same.

The ease in which it can become available to recreational users is evident in the increasing numbers of drug related arrests, injury, and deaths in the last 30 years. The numbers are staggering including teenagers, as well, lured into experimenting or abusive use, believing in a ‘perceived safety,’ of a prescription drug. Addiction is the danger and in combination with alcohol and other benzodiazepenes (depressant medications), Oxycodone can be deadly, causing respiratory depression and failure.

The desire to ‘transcend,’ to find ‘euphoria’ creates a boomerang effect creating the pain symptom for which the drug is designed to treat (hyperanalgesia) caused by tolerance and dependence on an opiate drug. Perhaps the history of heroin has come full-circle, a century later.

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Short-Term Effects of Oxycodone Abuse

Common Short Term Side-Effects can include:

  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • anxiety
  • itching
  • sweating

Long-Term Effects of Oxycodone Abuse

Long Term Use Effects from higher doses, dependency, overdose or for those intolerant of opiates can include:

  • seizures
  • shallow breathing
  • bradycardia – very slow heart beat
  • cold-clammy skin
  • apnea – arrested, irregular breathing
  • hypotension
  • myosis – constricted pupil
  • circulatory collapse
  • respiratory arrest
  • death

An addiction involving an opiate drug such as Oxycodone, OxyContin or its related counterparts – Roxicodone, Percocet, and Percodan, is a serious matter and withdrawal from use is mandatory and needs to be monitored in a controlled setting such as an inpatient rehab center. An abrupt change in dosage can trigger adverse reactions, even death, especially for those recreational users who are dependent and consuming larger amounts of the drug. Even for those new to steady use of Oxycodone may find withdrawal symptoms unbearable and will return to use again – therefore, seeking professional guidance in a supportive setting that provides medical drug detoxification will help to assure success in recovery. In either case, the choice to recapture one’s life, health, and well-being, finding the interests, abilities, and opportunities through which greater fulfillment in living is found, can be discovered or rediscovered, when complete relief from drug dependence has occurred after rehabilitation.

Getting Help for Oxycodone Addiction

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction to Oxycodone and you feel it is time to stop the abuse, we can help. Our advisers here at are experienced with opioid dependency recovery. Please call us right now, we can walk you through the appropriate steps to Oxycodone addiction treatment and help you find the right facility for treatment.

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