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How To Tell If Someone Is Abusing Oxycodone

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau, MSCP, LPCI, NCC

March 26, 2019

There are many signs and symptoms that may help determine if someone is abusing oxycodone. If you believe a loved is abusing or addiction to this drug, seeking treatment is the best step to take to get on the path to recovery.

Oxycodone is a common narcotic used to treat pain that ranges from moderate to severe and debilitating. This drug is an analgesic as well as a sedative. Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is similar to other opioids like morphine and heroin.

This drug is available in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It has helped countless people whose pain could otherwise not be managed. However, with all the benefits that oxycodone provides, it also comes with downsides as well.

Oxycodone comes with a warning of a high potential for abuse and addiction. When someone takes more oxycodone than what is prescribed, he or she will likely experience an intense high. This high and the euphoria it brings is a major reason why this drug is so addictive.

People who abuse oxycodone are at serious risk for developing a physical dependence and addiction to the drug. Addiction to oxycodone can have severe consequences that can range from mild to deadly.

With the rising opioid epidemic, many people may wonder how to tell if someone is on an opioid like oxycodone.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Oxycodone Abuse

When a person is abusing oxycodone, he or she will likely exhibit a number of signs and symptoms that may be noticeable to others. Knowing what to look for can help determine whether a loved one is abusing oxycodone.

Physical symptoms of oxycodone abuse include:

  • drowsiness
  • nodding off
  • upset stomach
  • constipation
  • low blood pressure
  • sweating
  • dry mouth
  • respiratory suppression
  • pinpoint pupils

Abusing oxycodone with other drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines increase the risk of overdose. When someone overdoses, they may fall unconscious and have dilated pupils.

In addition to physical symptoms of oxycodone, people abusing or addicted to the drug may also display a number of signs. These signs will likely be noticeable by loved ones.

Signs of oxycodone abuse include:

  • hiding drug use
  • lying about how much of the drug is being taken
  • withdrawing from friends and family
  • only spending time with others who abuse opioids like oxycodone
  • having trouble with work or school
  • financial difficulties
  • “doctor shopping” to obtain more prescriptions
  • withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug

Additionally, abuse or addiction to this drug can quickly lead to a tolerance being built up. This means that a person will need more of the drug to experience the same effects. This can result in someone going through his or her prescription much faster than usual which can be another sign of oxycodone abuse.

Getting Help For Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction

There are many treatment options available for those looking to overcome an addiction to oxycodone. Many people will likely need a formal treatment program to successfully quit oxycodone.

A medically monitored detox program will likely be needed before formal treatment can be given. A detox program can help a person successfully withdraw from the drug in a comfortable and safe setting. Withdrawal symptoms may be managed with medication.

An inpatient treatment program is often the next step for people struggling with an addiction to opioids such as oxycodone. Inpatient programs often offer customized treatment plans that are designed to meet each person’s needs.

To learn more about how to tell if someone is abusing oxycodone, contact our treatment specialists today.

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