What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is an opiate, derived from the opium poppy plant. It is a semi-synthetic drug, meaning scientists create oxycodone in a lab using the opium extract, thebaine. If you have ever misused oxycodone, you are not alone. More than 13 million Americans abuse oxycodone, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, making the drug one of the most abused substances in the United States. Oxycodone is also one of the most dangerous drugs, sending more than 175,000 people to the emergency department, in 2009 alone.
Oxycodone provides twice the pain-relieving power as morphine. Doctors prescribe oxycodone to patients suffering from moderate to severe pain. Drugmakers offer oxycodone in 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg tablets for oral consumption. Oxycodone is available in immediate-release and extended-release formulas. The immediate-release formula delivers a moderate dose of oxycodone right away, while the extended-release delivers greater amounts of oxycodone over several hours. Oxycodone also produces a pleasant, euphoric effect that makes it highly attractive to the recreational user.
Oxy Use and Effects
Most people use oxycodone properly, meaning they take the correct dose at the right time and use the medication only for the illness for which it was prescribed. Indeed, some people abuse oxycodone for recreational purposes – to get high. However, others misuse oxycodone by taking more potent doses than prescribed, taking the pain reliever more often than prescribed, or using it to relieve symptoms of a completely different ailment. Many people save leftover prescription drugs to use “just in case” they become sick or injured. Also, a large number of people use oxycodone to “self medicate” in an attempt to treat a physical problem, anxiety, or emotional trauma without the help of a physician or trained medical professional. This type of behavior often leads to the need for oxycodone detox.
Street names for oxycodone include:
- Hillbilly Heroin
- Poor Man’s Heroin
- Oxy 80′s
Most often, the drug abuser starts out taking the drug by mouth and usually in therapeutic doses of one or two moderate-strength tablets to get high. However, with continued use, his body grows tolerant of the effects of these dosages, so he must take increasingly strong dosages to achieve the same effects.
Some abusers crush the pills and snort the drug to increase its potency and effects. A few users heat a tablet by placing it on a piece of foil and then inhaling the fumes. Others mix the crushed tablets with a solution and then inject oxycodone for a more significant buzz. Also, many users inject the extended-release formulas, which then causes the quick release of large amounts of oxycodone into the blood.
All medications, from aspirin to oxycodone, produce desirable therapeutic effects and undesirable side effects. However, the longer someone uses oxycodone, especially at high doses or by using improper administration, the greater the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects from the drug. Side effects range in severity from mild to potentially life-threatening.
Mild to moderate side effects of oxycodone include constipation, fatigue, nausea, headache, lightheadedness, anxiety, dry mouth, loss of appetite, nervousness, diarrhea, cramps, and abdominal pain. Whereas severe side effects include shallow breathing, cold and clammy skin, low blood pressure, pinpoint pupils, circulatory collapse, respiratory arrest, and death. Impotence and enlargement of the prostate gland can happen, but it is rare.
In fact, long-term use of oxycodone with acetaminophen, a non-prescription pain reliever that enhances the analgesic effects of oxycodone, may damage your liver.
Oxycodone Addiction and Dependence
One of the most significant side effects of oxycodone is its increased risk for addiction and dependence, primarily when used continuously or at high doses. In general, addiction and abuse of Oxycodone have dramatically increased by 300% in the past decade. This addiction affects people of all ages and all walks of life.
Moreover, if you become addicted to oxycodone, you will experience cravings and drug-seeking behavior when you stop using the drug. Then dependence will cause unpleasant flu-like symptoms when you stop.
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms begin a few hours after your last dose and, without medical intervention, can persist for days or even weeks. Additionally, these withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person but are uncomfortable for almost everyone. If you are like many people, severe withdrawal symptoms prevent you from quitting oxycodone abuse. Surely, just the fear of withdrawal symptoms might be enough to discourage you from seeking treatment.
Withdrawal symptoms develop as your body adjusts to lowered opiate levels. In fact, withdrawal symptoms include:
- Other forms of gastrointestinal upset
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Aches and pains
- Chills or hot flashes
- Runny nose
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- Rigid muscles
- Sleep disturbances
In particular, severe withdrawal symptoms can include seizures. Complications of withdrawal include aspiration, which is the inhalation of vomit, and dehydration. Above all, relapse is the primary complication of oxycodone withdrawal.
Oxycodone Detox Treatment
Waismann Method® Rapid Detox Center
Waismann Method® Treatment Center offers a humane and dignified rapid detox protocol for Oxycodone detox, which reverses physical dependence. Our procedure is one of the safest in the nation because we perform in-patient in the ICU of a full service accredited hospital. Our patients have their own private recovery and ICU room. Patients are put under moderate sedation instead of general anesthesia and have very little to no conscious memory of the withdrawal from oxycodone during the procedure. Once medically stable, we then transfer our patients to Domus Retreat for further supervision as they mentally and physically recuperate. Call us today to find out why we offer the safest way to detox rapidly.
“The Waismann Method® will deliver you from the cruelty of withdrawal right into the arms of the loving and caring staff at Domus. Every moment of fear and pain and loss and anxiety was answered with kindness and professionalism beyond my expectations. My life has been saved, and my gratitude is boundless.” – Oxycodone Treatment Patient