Oxycodone, also known as OxyContin and various other names, is a type of opioid painkiller. It is a narcotic, which means it has to be prescribed by a registered medical professional. It is used to help people who have mild to severe acute or chronic pain. Oxycodone changes the way the brain perceives pain, which provides relief. It can be used both in long and short-term pain control, depending on its formulation and it can be taken as a liquid, capsule or tablet.
Side Effects of Oxycodone
Oxycodone is a very powerful opiate, which means it is effective, but it can have some very serious side effects as well. Some of these include:
- Digestive problems such as constipation, vomiting and nausea.
- Mood changes
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Dry mouth
- Itching, sweating and/or flushing
One of the most serious side effects, however, is that Oxycodone can be highly addictive. Unfortunately, it is a drug that is significantly abused in our country and it has found its way on the black market as well. Falsified prescriptions or people selling their prescriptions are common occurrences. Additionally, it is known that young people are using the drug because it is easy to get.
Oxycodone Overdose and Addiction
People who take Oxycodone can develop a tolerance to the drug. This means that they need higher dosages in order to achieve the same effect. Although this does not guarantee an addiction, it does create a dependency. Furthermore, once tolerance is present, stopping the drug will lead to withdrawal symptoms. Some people seek help at that point, others become truly addicted and continue to take more and more.
Overdosing is a particular problem. This can happen when people are inebriated due to taking the substance, which means they forget that they have already had a dosage and take more. It can also happen when people come off the drug and relapse, but return to the dosage they were taking before they went through withdrawal. The biggest danger during an Oxycodone overdose is that your breathing becomes too shallow or even stops. This has potentially fatal consequences.
Chronic Pain and Addiction
People who have chronic pain require medication in order to have a reasonable quality of life. However, they and their physicians must be aware of the possibility of addiction. This is why a physician should always screen their patients first, identifying whether they are at risk of developing an addiction. Looking into their family history is a place to start, as is whether there is a history of mental illness. People who develop an addiction to any substance often have a dual diagnosis, meaning they also have an underlying mental health problem. If a patient is prescribed a drug like Oxycodone, they must be monitored regularly to determine whether they are developing a dependency. Interestingly, it has been discovered that taking Oxycodone can actually increase pain, which means that people have a better quality of life when they come off the drug than what they did before starting it in the first place.
When someone stops taking the drug, it is likely that they will experience withdrawal symptoms. The severity of these symptoms depend on a range of different factors, including the dosage they were on, the length of time they were taking the drug, how much tolerance they have and various other physiological and psychological issues. Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and includes such symptoms as pain, tremors, restless leg syndrome, cold sweats, diarrhea and insomnia.
Sometimes, people are able to work together with their physician to wean off the drug. Other times, however, the addiction is so severe that detox and rehabilitation is needed. At Creative Care, we are there to help you come off Oxycodone and once again be in control of your life. We understand that you are likely to also have a need for pain medication to deal with your underlying chronic pain issue, and we will help you find ways to manage that through non-addictive medication and alternative therapies. We do not offer one size fits all packages, but rather develop a program that works for you as an individual. Please contact us today to help you get started on the road to recovery.