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One of the great modern medical breakthroughs in pain relief medication was the development of Oxycodone. A powerful, partly synthetic opiate painkiller, Oxycodone has been a blessing to those suffering debilitating pain from diseases like cancer, bone degeneration and other conditions that can result in intense pain of a sort that was difficult to relieve before the arrival of Oxycodone. However, Oxycodone has a dark side to it as well.
Despite its wonderful pain relieving properties, Oxycodone is highly addictive. Of the 60 million prescriptions for Oxycodone prescribed each year, it is estimated that as many as 15 million people will develop some degree of dependency to it, sometimes resulting in full blown addiction. There are over 150,000 emergency visits to the hospital due to Oxycodone related issues each year and over 30,000 opiate related deaths, many involving Oxycodone and other forms of pain killer medication. The best known form of Oxycodone is in the formulation known as Oxycontin along with similar sounding drugs such as Oxygesic, Oxyfast, and Oxycocet. However drugs marketed with very different names, such as Endocet, Percocet and Roxicet also contain Oxycodone.
Identifying Pain Killer Addiction
Addiction to Oxycodone can develop so subtly that many addicts are at first unaware that they even have a problem. Some may suspect something is wrong when they have to keep increasing the dose to get the same effects. Others only discover that they have become an addict once they no longer have legal access to the drug and begin going through withdrawal. However, there are symptoms of pain killer addiction that appear earlier if you know what to look for:
- Frequently feeling drowsy
- A feeling of sedation
- Random feelings of euphoria
- Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
- Unexplainable itching
- Feeling nauseous and upset stomach
- Chronic constipation
- Drop in blood pressure
- Slow, shallow breathing
- Frequent headaches
- Frequently thirsty with dry mouth
- Sweating profusely for no reason
Withdrawal from Oxycodone can be very unpleasant. The symptoms of withdrawal can include a feeling of constant agitation, sweating, pain in the muscles and joints, attacks of diarrhea, the chills, an inability to sleep plus nausea and an upset stomach. Because of these unpleasant symptoms, many addicts hesitate to seek treatment because they don’t want to go through withdrawal. Fortunately, there are now rapid detox methods that use opioid blocking drugs to quickly neutralize any withdrawal symptoms. Some innovative rapid detox methods that use anesthesia are considered more humane and easier on the person trying to get their system clean. While effects may vary depending on the individual, many addicts experience rapid detox treatment as virtually painless.
The Danger of Delay
For those who don’t recognize and take action to recover from their addiction soon enough, the results can be disastrous. For example, once an addict no longer has a legal prescription for oxycodone, they may turn to the black market for similar drugs, including heroin. Many oxycodone addicts describe heroin as the drug whose effects most mirror oxycodone, although other black market drugs may work as well. Once an addict has entered the world of the illegal drug trade, new and more dangerous risks arise such as arrest, imprisonment, overdose and even death.
Pain Killer Addiction is Blameless
People have become addicted to oxycodone even though they were taking the drug exactly as the doctor told them to. Others may have abused it by taking a little more than they should, unaware of how quickly addiction can set in. However, if you or a loved one are addicted, it is useless to try to blame oneself or others for what happened. The sole focus once an oxycodone addiction develops should be on seeking treatment before the inevitable downward spiral gets out of hand and personal misfortune or tragedy occurs.
Oxycodone addiction can feel like being trapped in a nightmare from which you cannot escape. The good news is that there are ways of recovering from addiction, treatments that not only return you to your pre-addiction state, but will actually help you to become better than you ever were before. New life skills can be acquired that make it easier to live drug free. In fact, a treatment program can be developed that is tailored specifically to match your exact needs, personality and personal history. However, these possibilities for a new life will not just suddenly appear. You must take the first step by reaching out for help. Do it today, so that you can begin your own wonderful journey to recovery.