Oxycodone is one of the most potent painkillers used in managing chronic pain after surgery or as a result of an illness. It is an opioid and one of the most abused drugs.
A dependence on Oxycodone does not begin overnight. People who struggle with addiction to the drug started with a prescribed amount. Over time, however, they start developing a tolerance for the pharmaceutical, which causes them to take higher doses to experience the effects of the drug.
Are you worried that you might be struggling with an oxycodone addiction? Recognizing the signs and symptoms could be the first step to saving your life.
What are the Effects of Oxycodone?
If you take more Oxycodone than the doctor has prescribed, take it for longer than you should, or ingest it by chewing, snorting, or injecting, then you will be abusing the drug and risking addiction. While Oxycodone is prescribed for pain relief, people who use it do it for the euphoric effects and not so much pain relief.
Several signs and symptoms can help identify if you are addicted to Oxycodone. These include:
- Inability to make sound judgments.
- Excessive sleepiness and lethargy.
- Compromised coordination.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Severe constipation.
- Change in mood and behavior. Some people become anxious and depressed.
- Poor sleeping patterns.
- Feelings of lousiness and hopelessness.
- Incoherent speech.
- Extreme agitated and anxious.
Other signs of an overdose include a suppressed pulse rate, loss of consciousness, and dilated pupils. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Another way to identify if you are abusing oxycodone is when you start exhibiting opiate withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Body pains and shakes that are uncontrollable.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Sweats and chills.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Extreme fatigue.
How can I tell I am Addicted to Oxycodone?
1. I am experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms are easily identified when you stop taking Oxycodone. These symptoms exhibit within a couple of hours or days and are usually very uncomfortable. In extreme cases, they have to be managed in a treatment facility by health professionals. Sometimes medication is administered to help cope with the withdrawal symptoms. If poorly managed, the withdrawal symptoms can be fatal. For instance, if a patient is experiencing excessive diarrhea and vomiting, they could end up extremely hydrated to the point that their body organs fail.
2. Obsessing over Oxycodone.
If you notice that you’re spending a considerable time thinking about Oxycodone when to take it, how to get it, and even considering illegal means to acquire it, this clearly shows that you are going through addiction.
3. I am struggling with sticking to the prescription.
Individuals who abuse Oxycodone often have a prescription, at least at the onset. As the dependency on the drug develops, it becomes harder and harder to stick to the medication. The effects of the drug also wear off with time, making one feel the need to either take more than prescribed or ingest the drug in unconventional ways such as snorting, injecting, or smoking it. The more one takes the drug outside the prescription, the higher the risk of getting hooked to it.
4. Doctor shopping
Doctor shopping is a term used to refer to a patient who visits different doctors seeking to get a prescription for the same drug. If you find yourself looking for oxycodone prescriptions from various doctors, then you are most likely heading down the slippery slope of addiction. Doctor shopping is time-consuming and an expensive habit.
5. When you start acting and thinking differently
If you are abusing Oxycodone, you will slowly begin to notice that everyday activities are a challenge. One of the effects of misusing the drug is extreme drowsiness. You might find yourself falling asleep in the middle of work, at school, or while engaging in other activities. Oxycodone can also cause mood swings and paranoia, and this behavior change is noticeable to those around you. As the addiction intensifies, you might start doing things out of character, such as stealing to obtain the Oxycodone.
Recovering from an Oxycodone Addiction
Recovery from an Oxycodone addiction occurs in stages, and there is no telling how long you will take to move from one step to the next. Seeking treatment from a credible treatment center is crucial if you hope to beat the habit and stay clean.
The stages of recovery include:
This phase is inevitable during recovery because as soon you stop taking the drug, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. It is, however, a critical phase because it helps one to detoxify.
While some choose to go ‘cold turkey’ and discontinue oxycodone use, others need to take smaller doses of the drug until they ultimately stop taking it. In some cases, health professionals give the recovering patient medication to ease the symptoms of withdrawal. This medication may include painkillers and sedatives.
Pink Cloud Stage
In this phase, the cravings for Oxycodone begin to cease, and one starts regaining composure. In this phase, patients seem optimistic about everything. Their mood is elevated, and they see life through perfect eyes.
In this stage, you will experience an emotional thump as you start facing the realities of life. The optimism experienced in the pink cloud stage begins to fade away. As you integrate into society, the realities of hard work and other stresses become a reality. At this point, you must work extra hard to stay clean because frustrations that could have led you to addiction could crop up once again.
Staying clean requires a deliberate effort. Being part of a support group can be helpful because you will have a safe space to share your struggles and experiences and accountability from individuals who truly understand what you are going through.