Many painkillers contain a powerful ingredient known as Oxycodone. As expected, painkillers are prescribed to people who are living with severe pain due to underlying health conditions. Oxycodone comes in various dosages of either tablet or liquid form. Sometimes, it is prescribed alongside other drugs like ibuprofen.
In 2011, there were approximately 32 million prescriptions written for Percocet, an Oxycodone-based drug. This number has of course doubled or tripled over the years. It is clear that the Oxycodone is widely used and accepted in the medical community to treat patients with mild or severe pain. Unfortunately, oxycodone is one of the most abused prescription drugs in the market.
Dealing with a person with Oxycodone addiction
Recognize the addiction
It is useful for people to be able to recognize that someone is getting addicted to oxycodone in order to help them before things spiral out of control. Given that oxycodone is a prescription painkiller whose use is generally accepted in the society, it can be difficult to identify let alone address its abuse.
In most cases, addiction simply starts out with a prescription for the drug. Over time, the individual becomes used to the euphoric feeling and relief he or she got from the drug and develops tolerance.
There are hallmarks of every stage of transition from use to abuse. Descent will usually begin at the recreational use stage where a person begins to take more Oxycodone than prescribed just to test the waters. Afterwards, they begin to use the drug at parties or with friends. At this stage, they begin to look for Oxycodone for relief on bad days. They get an intense euphoric feeling during use.
Dependence is the stage where individuals begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. They have developed tolerance and now need more Oxycodone to achieve a high. They begin to crave for the drug when they are not under its influence. They become so dependent on the drug that they don’t feel right when they are not using it.
Addiction is the full blown stage where users prioritize the drug above everything else. They are willing to endanger themselves and others. They develop a don’t care attitude towards people and are no longer concerned about their relationships and other issues of life.
It is also important to be aware of the signs of abuse so that you can notice when someone is just slipping into addiction. Signs of abuse include dilated pupils, apathy, drowsiness, short attention span, sedation, and a sensation of calmness.
Stage an intervention
An intervention as the word implies is stepping in and having a conversation with the person with substance abuse problems usually under the supervision of an intervention specialist. Interventions are important because they can literally save a person’s life. Interventions charter a way for loved ones to express their feelings in a constructive manner.
Approaching someone who is struggling with an addiction is not easy. You may mean well for them but you may not know what to say. Furthermore, the person may deny that they have an addiction making the conversation difficult.
Be on the lookout for these signs as they indicate that they are struggling and an intervention is necessary:
- Secretive behavior
- Borrowing funds
- Aggressive tendencies and behavior
- Decline of physical appearance
- Lethargy and lack of motivation
- Issues at school or work
- Health challenges
When you decide to stage an intervention, ensure you consult an intervention specialist who can be helpful especially in helping a person with addiction problems break the circuit of denial. It is also important to form an intervention group of friends and family, as well as to develop a strategy.
Don’t wait too long to stage an intervention. It said that it is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, as soon as you notice something is not right, you should immediately consider an intervention. Don’t be afraid of ‘overstepping’ as it may seem.
Supporting their treatment
When it comes to treating Oxycodone addiction, a medically managed detox is necessary among other steps of treatment. Stopping the use of the drug can have severe withdrawal effects on the addict. These symptoms can drive an someone to relapse for alleviation. Depending on the severity of the addiction, a person can be admitted to an inpatient treatment program where they spend their period of treatment in a facility full time or an outpatient program where they go home after treatment. Regardless, of the treatment program, patients need a lot of support. Those in outpatient programs will need a conducive environment that does not provide opportunities to relapse.
In most cases, treatment will also involve therapy and counselling sessions especially for close family and friends of the person so as to ease their transition into normal living. It is important to be available for such sessions and help the them on their journey to recovery.
Be prepared for anything
It is really unfortunate that despite the dangers of Oxycodone, people still use it even combining it with other drugs like alcohol. Oxycodone may bring relief for people suffering with chronic and traumatic pain. However, the dangers of the drug are becoming clearer. Its euphoric effects drive people to abuse it despite the risks.
You need to prepare for anything when it comes to dealing with someone with an Oxycodone addiction. They can easily relapse especially during the detox stage when they go through the withdrawal symptoms. Besides the challenges of the detox stage, staging an intervention may also not go as you expect it. You need to be prepared that it can go sideways even when you have tried your best.
Addiction can have an emotional toll on anyone who has a close friend or relative who is addicted. The addiction not only affects the patient but those close to them. However, loved ones can only do so much to help. The individual needs to make the choice to get treatment and recover. They have to make a choice to be committed to the process.