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Oxycodone-vs-Hydrocodone

An addiction to an opioid like Oxycodone can happen easily and quickly. It is the main ingredient found in both Percocet and Oxycontin. While used medicinally as a painkiller, Oxycodone is a habit-forming drug in which a tolerance and dependence can develop rapidly, creating the urge to misuse it.

While Oxycodone is prescribed to manage severe pain in an individual, it can also produce a high. Individuals might use it to relieve symptoms of arthritis, cancer or pain relief following surgery. Oxycontin is the most commonly prescribed form of this opioid. When ingested orally, it has a controlled release that minimizes or eliminates pain for up to 12 hours. However, using Oxycodone recreationally by snorting, crushing or injecting it results in a euphoric feeling. Taking any medication in a manner not prescribed, such as injecting a dissolved pill, may result in a deadly overdose.

Even if used properly to manage pain, the same Oxycodone dosage will not be as effective after a few days of use. More of it will be necessary to manage the same symptoms. This contributes heavily to the risk of misuse, even in cases where it is not an individual’s intent. Unfortunately, more than 13 million Americans misuse Oxycodone including children as young as 12 years old.

How Does Oxycodone Work?

Oxycodone attaches to opioid receptors found in the brain, changing the way an individual experiences pain symptoms. It also activates the brain’s reward centers creating a rush of dopamine that causes a euphoric feeling.

Identifying an Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone is considered a gateway drug for some. Many who began using Oxycodone recreationally or regularly take more than the prescribed dosage are at high risk for addiction. For some, the effects are so close to heroin’s effects that when they cannot get Oxycodone, they turn to heroin because of its availability. Effects include:

  • Relaxation
  • Happiness
  • Euphoria
  • Confidence
  • Drowsiness
  • Pain relief
  • Dizziness
  • Shallow breathing

It is difficult to identify if someone is addicted, especially if they have a prescription for an opiate for pain management. It is helpful to examine and understand the effects that Oxycodone use has had on an individual’s life. There are many physical and psychological signs that one can look for:

Moderate physical effects include:

  • Dry Mouth
  • Constipation
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Hallucinations
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

More severe physical symptoms that appear once the addiction is present include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Hallucination
  • Confusion
  • Abnormal thoughts

Lifestyle factors include:

  • Unsuccessful attempts to stop using
  • Life is focused on consuming the drug
  • Cravings
  • Detrimental effects on personal and professional life, broken relationships, being fired, etc.
  • Inability to fulfill obligations
  • Poor decision-making
  • Use continues even if psychological symptoms worsen
  • Irritability

While the euphoric effects of Oxycodone create a considerable risk of addiction, to begin with, additional factors can add to this risk. These can include environmental factors and genetics.

Oxycodone Withdrawal

If an individual exhibits withdrawal symptoms once they stop using Oxycodone, they have developed a tolerance and dependency due to an addiction. Depending upon length and frequency of use, symptoms can appear as soon as 6 hours or up to 30 hours after the last use of Oxycodone. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Anxiety
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches

Withdrawal is usually complete within 1-2 weeks, with the most intense symptoms clearing up after three days. However, during withdrawal, many are inclined to relapse to find physical and emotional relief from withdrawal symptoms. Going through the withdrawal process alone is not recommended, and seeking help from a professional facility sets the course for a better chance at recovery.

Oxycodone provides relief for many who use it as directed by their doctors. It is impossible to predict who will become addicted to an opioid; regular contact with one’s doctor to review dosage and discuss concerns is essential. However, if you find yourself struggling with Oxycodone, don’t hesitate to get help. Call or chat with one of our addictions specialists today. We are experts at treating opioid use disorders in our world-class detox and treatment facility.