Oxycodone Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment
Medically reviewed byIsaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC
March 20, 2019
Oxycodone is an addictive opioid drug that can pose serious health risks when misused. People who are addicted to oxycodone may need inpatient treatment.
Oxycodone is a potent opioid capable of relieving moderate to severe pain. Similar to other prescription opioids, oxycodone has a high abuse potential. This means there is a significant risk of misusing the drug, which can lead to severe physical and psychological dependence.
Opioid abuse is a serious problem that leads to tens of thousands of fatal overdoses in the United States each year. Oxycodone addiction poses several harmful health risks that can have both short and long-term consequences. This includes damage to the brain and respiratory issues.
Recovery from oxycodone addiction is possible with proper treatment. Although addiction can be difficult to face alone, having the right resources on your side can help treat the damage caused by drug abuse.
What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone belongs to the semi-synthetic opioid drug class. Doctors may prescribe oxycodone for short-term use to treat severe pain following major medical procedures. In some cases, it may be used to treat severe chronic pain in patients that are unable to take other medications.
The most common brand names for oxycodone:
- Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen)
- Percodan (oxycodone and aspirin)
Oxycodone acts on parts of the brain that control mood and our response to pain. Taking oxycodone as prescribed can relieve pain and produce a relaxing sensation. As a depressant, it also slows activity in the central nervous system. This can cause breathing to slow, as well as decreased heart rate and body temperature.
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Taking the drug for longer than prescribed is dangerous and can lead to misuse. Misuse of oxycodone involves taking it in any way other than prescribed by your doctor. This can include taking it more often or in higher doses than directed.
Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction
Taking regular doses of oxycodone can quickly lead to tolerance. This causes decreased drug effects, requiring you to take more of the drug to feel the desired effects. Dependence can also occur with chronic use as the body adapts to the presence of the drug in your system.
Physical dependence puts you at higher risk for developing an addiction. The psychological aspects of addiction, including drug cravings, can make it difficult for a person to stop on their own.
High doses of oxycodone are capable of producing an intense rush of pleasure and relaxation, which can be addictive. Taking oxycodone in any way other than directed may cause even more intense effects. This includes snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug. Using it this way can be dangerous and put you at higher risk for overdose.
Opioid addiction can have a negative impact on physical, mental, and psychological health. Without treatment, opioid abuse can lead to fatal consequences. People addicted to oxycodone may need treatment within an inpatient facility to overcome their drug abuse.
Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Options
Opioid addiction is a complex problem that can cause changes in the brain over time. These changes can affect how you behave, your outlook on life, and your ability to function in day-to-day life.
Effective treatment for oxycodone addiction addresses all of the ways your drug use has impacted your physical and mental health. This begins with detox, and may be followed by an inpatient rehab program.
The first step in treating oxycodone addiction is to undergo detoxification, or detox. This is a process of allowing your body to remove the drug from your system. How long this process takes may depend on how long you have been abusing oxycodone, as well as some other personal factors.
People who have become dependent on oxycodone are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms as the drug is leaving their system. Oxycodone withdrawal can be an uncomfortable process with flu-like symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Some other potential withdrawal symptoms include:
- difficulty sleeping
- muscle and bone pain
- cold flashes
- uncontrollable leg movements
- strong drug cravings
Attempting oxycodone detox without medical supervision is not recommended. Although oxycodone withdrawal is not life-threatening on its own, the symptoms can be difficult to manage alone. Attempting detox without medical support also increases risk for relapse and complications due to severe dehydration.
Medically Assisted Detox
The safest and most effective way to remove oxycodone from your system is medical detox. This offer a safe environment for patients to undergo drug withdrawal under medical supervision. Within this setting, doctors can monitor your vitals, keep you hydrated, and provide non-opioid medicines to ease intense withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient treatment is a common recommendation following detox for lasting drug addiction recovery. Oxycodone addiction can have effects on mood, behavior, and physical well-being that can persist after you have stopped using the drug. Most often this involves symptoms related to mood or drug cravings.
Inpatient rehab programs offer a structured environment for people to address these problems with specialists. These programs most commonly last between 30 and 90 days. However, longer stays may be an option depending on the offerings of the facility and the needs of the patient.
Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is one type of treatment within many inpatient programs that can be effective for opioid addiction. This involves the combined use of certain medications and behavioral therapy to treat the whole self.
Inpatient rehab programs may also offer:
- group therapy
- family counseling
- mindfulness skills
- art therapy
- relapse prevention
- aftercare support
People who do not complete an inpatient program or leave early against medical recommendation may be at greater risk for relapse. Relapse prevention is a crucial piece to explore with your inpatient treatment team to prepare you for struggles you may face following program completion.
Outpatient Treatment And Sober Living
Many people who have completed an inpatient program will need to continue receiving treatment on an outpatient basis to help them maintain their sobriety. In some cases, this can involve treatment within a partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient program.
The type of treatment needed to stay sober can differ from person to person based on personal needs. People who have access to a strong support system at their previous residence may be able to continue their care with an outpatient team. This team may consist of a counselor, medical doctor, and any other specialty providers as needed.
People who do not have a supportive environment to return to after inpatient may benefit from seeking housing within a sober living community. These substance-free communities can be conducive to maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.
Signs Of Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction
Signs of oxycodone abuse may not be obvious at first. However, over time, chronic abuse of oxycodone can have noticeable effects on the mind and body that are not as easy to overlook.
In addition to changes in physical health, addiction can cause changes in mood and behavior that may be noticed by friends, family members, or caregivers.
Signs of oxycodone abuse and addiction can include:
- taking the drug more often than prescribed
- taking high doses
- continuing to take the drug after the prescription runs out
- taking it for its effects (i.e. to get high)
- snorting, injecting, or smoking oxycodone
- lying about the extent of their drug use
- being unwilling to stop or reduce their drug use
In addition, some common symptoms of oxycodone addiction:
- poor judgment
- sleeping troubles
- decreased coordination
- slow or shallow breathing
Treatment For Oxycodone Addiction
Addiction is not a battle you have to face alone. If you or a loved one is addicted to oxycodone, we can help.
Contact us today to learn more about treatment options for overcoming oxycodone addiction.Article Sources
Center for Substance Abuse Research - Oxycodone