One of the most commonly prescribed painkiller for moderate to severe pain in oxycodone, particularly the brand OxyContin. This synthetic opioid has seen a dramatic increase in its prescription over the past several years. Concomitant with this rise in the number of prescriptions is the growing need for a more efficacious oxycodone addiction treatment.
Reasons for Abusing Oxycodone
In the past decade, the management of chronic intractable pain required the use of time-release formulations of pain relievers. This is to provide a more sustained relief from pain especially those from severe burn injuries, heart attacks, various forms of cancer, and bone conditions. One of the more challenging issues about this particular formulation of drugs is that it was very easy to circumvent.
While it is true that oxycodone was a prescription-only painkiller and that only a licensed physician can prescribe it specifically for the management of pain, there was a growing number of the drug being diverted and eventually sold in the black market. Because of the loophole in its formulation, many of the earlier recreational users of opioid analgesics experienced a certain kind of euphoria that is distinctly different from the one experienced from heroin. This is in addition to the pain relief that these drugs provided. However, it was the euphoria that people achieved from using the drug that predisposed to its abuse. And considering the fact that the drug was prescribed by physicians, many people soon believed that it was safe to use. Soon, many were already experimenting with the use of a different variety of opioid painkillers.
Oxycodone Abuse Effects
Abusing narcotic analgesics like oxycodone can bring about a variety of unwanted effects. These can include loss of appetite, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting, and even dizziness. It is also possible to experience severe headaches, very volatile mood swings, and even difficulty breathing. Sadly, these symptoms do not go away with prolonged use. Instead, they get worse.
The Addictive Potential of Oxycodone
Like all opiates, the addictive potential of oxycodone can be traced to its ability to bind with opiate receptors in the brain and the spinal cord. This coupling floods the central nervous system with drug-induced endorphins creating comforting sensations and a warm euphoric feeling for the person. Normally, only pleasurable events are able to stimulate the release of endorphins. Now, it’s the drug that’s providing the impetus for endorphin release. Unfortunately, with chronic use of oxycodone, the brain’s pleasure and reward center gets dampened that it no longer produces the endorphins. Instead, it is now reliant on the drug. To continue experiencing the euphoric “high”, people need to continue taking oxycodone to supply the much-needed endorphin-like substances.
Because the body is receiving very artificial pleasurable sensations, it tries to adapt to this new norm. By the time it has adapted, the previous dose and frequency will already be insufficient to produce the “high” that people want. They have reached a point where the brain has become tolerant of the effects of the drug. The only way to achieve the euphoria is to increase the dose or the frequency of drug consumption or even both. Regrettably, doing so only creates a vicious cycle of tolerance-dose increase. Over time, the body will be so dependent on the drug that it feels like shutting down unless the person is able to supply the drug. This cycle of tolerance and dependence ultimately boils down to addiction.
Manifestations of Addiction
The problem with oxycodone addiction is that many people don’t necessarily think that it’s dangerous enough to require addiction treatment from a professional facility. Oftentimes, they have to be forced by their loved ones into admitting themselves into a treatment facility. At other times, they may experience a near-death situation or even a severe blow to their personal and social life that they find just enough courage to seek addiction treatment. There are many ways in which you can identify a person who really needs professional help. These can include the following.
- Hiding the drug so no one else sees it and to ensure instant access anytime.
- Secretly uses the drug.
- Feels phantom pain whenever he is unable to consume the drug.
- He obtains multiple oxycodone prescriptions from several doctors.
- Exhibits restless behaviors and thoughts with a clear preoccupation about the drug.
The Best Oxycodone Addiction Recovery Program
People struggling with oxycodone dependence require quality addiction rehabilitation and treatment. While the reason for such need is inherently tied to the long-term effects of oxycodone on one’s health and well-being, there is actually a more serious problem that a high quality oxycodone addiction treatment and rehabilitation can help prevent – the likelihood of the individual progressing to use heroin. Studies have shown that majority of those who become heroin addicts have their beginnings with narcotic analgesics like oxycodone.
As such, it is very imperative that individuals struggling with such addictions or dependence, seriously consider seeking the best oxycodone addiction recovery program. For this to be successful, it is important to choose a treatment facility that already provides three fundamental treatment methodologies: detox, inclient treatment, and outclient rehab.
Detoxification is a critical component of a comprehensive and high quality oxycodone dependence treatment program. This helps individuals successfully complete the absolute removal of the addicting drug from the body with very minimal withdrawal effects because these are managed judiciously by highly qualified healthcare professionals.
While the detoxification is undergoing, addiction treatment can be initiated. This includes a variety of treatment modalities that have been scientifically proven to give the best possible outcomes for the addiction recovery program. Cognitive behavioral therapies remain a cornerstone of therapy although experiential therapies, group and family therapies, and other forms of therapies can be provided, often depending on the personal wishes and the nature of the individual’s drug dependence.
Lastly, it is equally important that the best oxycodone recovery program provide opportunities for the person’s continuity of care.
Help is available to those who need it. Oxycodone addicts and dependents only have to choose the best available program for them.