Oxycodone brings relief for many people who are suffering from traumatic pain. However, it is quickly becoming a popular choice among illicit users because of its euphoric effects. Despite the health risks, people are abusing oxycodone on a regular basis, making it similar to both heroin and morphine.
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid. It is synthesized from thebaine, one of the common opioid alkaloids found in the opium poppy, specifically the Persian poppy.
It is a potent opioid analgesic, and is commonly prescribed for pain relief. It can treat pain ranging from moderate to severe.
In fact, it is approved in the US for use in children as young as 11 years old. It can help fight trauma pain, cancer pain, and post-surgical pain.
In the medical industry, it is considered a powerful pain relieving drug, especially for those who are in dire need of it. The problem is not in its medical properties, but in what happens when the drug is abused by those who want to use it recreationally.
Oxycodone was first developed in Germany, back in 1917, in order to improve on the existing opioids of the time. It was among the several semi-synthetic opioids produced for this purposes, and is one of the few that successfully fulfilled its initial purpose.
However, up until today, experts are divided over whether the drug is truly effective for non-cancer-related chronic pain. They believe that because of the drug’s potential for developing dependence, oxycodone is also putting the patient at risk of experiencing paradoxical pain sensitivity.
How is it Made?
Oxycodone is usually produced using one of two methods. One involves creating tablets that contain only Oxycodone. The other involves creating a tablet of Oxycodone mixed with Acetaminophen. For the latter form, there are many popular brand names such as Percodan, Tylox, and Percocet.
The one made purely of Oxycodone is more commonly abused by recreational users.
Why is it Abused?
Abusers often start out using the drug according to prescription. They follow their doctor’s instructions carefully. However, due to the euphoric effects of oxycodone, it is quite habit-forming. It can easily cause dependence, which leads to a number of different problems for the user.
It is extremely addictive because it is derived from opiates. Patients are recommended to stick with their prescription. Do not take this drug for longer than is recommended.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Addiction?
A drug test can easily determine if someone you love is addicted to oxycodone, or any other drug, for that matter. But there are other signs you can look out for including: drowsiness, itchiness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, respiratory depression, headaches, and excessive sweating.
A bit of trivia: fatal overdose is commonly caused by respiratory suppression. This is why it’s important to confirm your suspicion if you think someone is abusing a substance, especially oxycodone.
Because the drug is addictive, they will often act irrationally when they cannot gain access to the substance. They will even suffer from withdrawal symptoms.
They will be restless, agitated and sweaty. In worse cases, they may suffer from bone and muscle pain.
Getting access to the drug becomes their primary priority. They may start neglecting their health, as well as other important aspects of their life such as family, work, friends, and other responsibilities. Financial problems are common, and relationships tend to crumble during an addiction.
Oxycodone produces various adverse effects, making it that much more dangerous for the person’s body. They feel euphoric and relaxed, but they will also experience other harmful effects.
Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, nervousness, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are common short term effects. In higher doses, the effects are more serious. This includes low blood pressure, slowed heart rate, shallow breathing, respiratory arrest, and even death. Some users have experienced brain ischemic brain damage due to drug overdose.
There are many treatment facilities that may help a person who has developed dependence for the drug. Finding the right one that is convenient and well-equipped is the first step to a person’s recovery.
Most rehabilitation centers will make use of techniques that involve medically managing the withdrawal symptoms as they gradually lower the user’s drug intake. This detoxification process has been shown to be one of the most effective ways to treat any sort of addiction. There are specific drugs that can help prevent oxycodone withdrawal while decreasing cravings. These substances also block the effects of oxycodone in case a person relapses.
Not all treatment centers employ medically-managed detoxification. The patient will typically undergo medical examination in order to determine the best treatment plan. Rehabilitation may be an outpatient or an inpatient process—this depends on the person’s condition.
Achieving long term abstinence is the ultimate goal in oxycodone rehabilitation. However, it is rarely achieved with successful detox alone. You will need to provide support for the patient throughout this difficult journey. It is important that the patient receives love, care and guidance from those people they trust.
There are also many support groups and counseling programs available that allow patients to recover in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.
Oxycodone strikes both the body and the mind. For this reason, both physical and psychological dependency issues must be treated at the same time.
Withdrawal symptoms will work as the biggest obstacle against a person trying to recover from oxycodone addiction.
The risk of experiencing these symptoms is high especially if a patient who has become physically dependent on the drug abruptly stops taking it. The user’s body has learned to adjust to the drug’s presence, and now cannot function properly without it. This is the reason withdrawal symptoms occur.
Handling these withdrawal symptoms will be a challenge, but with professional support, the patient may soon find their way back and live a sober life once more.