Oxycodone is a strong opiate painkiller that is highly habit-forming. Medically, it is meant to ease medium to severe chronic and terminal pain. People who receive such medication find that it also brings about a euphoric feeling that they deem desirable. For this reason, they may end up taking increasing doses of the medication in pursuit of that euphoric sensation. Even worse is the fact that many oxycodone abusers may use other means to experience the high effect of the narcotic drug. Usually, this will take the form of directly injecting it into the bloodstream or sniffing the drug after crushing its tablets.
Unfortunately, these are only the initial steps to what might end up being a lifelong dependence on the drug. The problem is that the human body tends to develop resistance to the opioid drugs much faster compared to other drugs. Because of this, an person with dependence on opioids will have to increase the amount consumed regularly in order to experience the same level of highness that they’re used to.
It is worth noting that many patients who take the drug as prescribed by a qualified doctor never fall into oxycodone addiction. Just as it is with alcohol and other leisure drugs, addiction will vary from person to person.
Causes of oxycodone addiction
As already established, not everyone who uses this substance will get addicted to it; although chances are high that many will end up addicted. Scientists have not been able to come up with a sole cause of oxycodone addiction but the following are generally regarded as key causes:
Mental disorders- Most people suffering from mental disorders experience stress, sometimes even in relation to tasks and interactions that people without the condition would deem simple. They may not be able to perform basic tasks correctly or as expected. Life in general can be an unpleasant experience for them. Such people may find that the world this drug takes them to is so pleasant that they never want to feel their real life
Brain malfunctions- Some people, it has been discovered, have defects in the parts of the brain which responds to pleasure. This is usually associated with low dopamine levels. For such people, addiction is quick as oxycodone provides rapid relief for pain and stress that they feel, leading them to cleave to the drug as the only way they know to solve their problems.
Genetics- Often, addictions run in families. If a person in your family is struggling with opium addiction, the risk is increased that you may end up in the same situation.
Symptoms of Oxycodone Abuse
Oxycodone abuse can be detected with a lab test. While a number of observable symptoms are related to its use, these symptoms are quite generic and resemble those caused by a number of other conditions. Observable symptoms related to oxycodone abuse include:
- Light headedness
- Anxiety, mood swings and irritability
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Constriction of the pupil
Psychologically, the abuser may experience hallucinations, paranoia, depression, delusions and worsened mental illness. The person also tends to abuse other drugs more often. Their thought patterns are distorted, memory blurred and they have a hard time paying attention.
Extreme cases of overdose can even cause death due to the excess suppression of the respiratory system. This occurs more frequently when the drug is used with other respiratory suppressant drugs such as alcohol. Abuse of this drug can also lead to suicidal ideation.
Effects of Oxycodone Addiction
Oxycodone addiction has severe effects on almost every part of the addict’s life. The most significant effects are often in terms of financial and interpersonal problems. Financial stress occurs because of the need for a constant supply of the drug and its expensive nature. Similarly, inter-personal relations deteriorate as the user is preoccupied with thoughts of how to obtain the drug. The abuser often also develops mental problems with increased use of the drug and thus finds it hard to relate to people.
The addict will also experience health problems. Liver damage and respiratory damage are common. Other health risks include circulatory problems, breathing problems and low blood pressure.
Recovering from Oxycodone Addiction
As all drug abusers end up discovering, recovery is the hardest part of the cycle of addiction. When a person with a drug problem enters the recovery process, addiction symptoms and cravings are experienced just as they were before, only that this time, the individual must call on mental, physical, and social supports in order to overcome the craving, rather than giving in and ingesting the drug. The severity of the withdrawal symptoms often lead people to abandon the whole process or even commit suicide. It is extremely important, therefore, that the detox and rehabilitation process be done under the supervision of trained and experienced medical staff.