Oxycodone is a primary ingredient in most name-brand pain relievers like Percocet and OxyContin. However, since it has strong sedative properties, Oxycodone usually has a high potential for addiction and abuse in users.
It can be challenging to identify Oxycodone abuse if you’re unaware of what to check for, especially since most people abusing this drug often take a pill without using paraphernalia, making it easy to hide their abuse. When you can identify the signs of Oxycodone abuse, you’ll be able to notice when someone is heading towards addiction and realize the need for Oxycodone rehab.
Psychological and Physical Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
Individuals abusing Oxycodone will go through various symptoms and signs in relation to the drug’s action on the body’s opioid receptors. This medication depresses several body functions like other opioid substances.
The indications of Oxycodone abuse will differ based on the exact drug formulation used. Extended-release OxyContin will produce lower-intensity symptoms lasting longer (e.g., even 12 hours). On the other hand, immediate-release variations of this drug, such as OxyIR, can trigger symptoms lasting shorter periods. The exact method of use and dosage amount will also impact the effects of the drug on the individual.
As a legal prescription medication, Oxycodone is typically abused when individuals start using it in ways or amounts other than prescribed. This is another sign that an individual needs Oxycodone rehab. Examples of such instances include crushing the tablets to inject or snorting them and dissolving them in a solution for injection to get a more intense euphoric feeling.
For an individual to be diagnosed with an opioid use disorder, they must have experienced at least 11 potential symptoms within 12 months. The extent of the disorder can vary from severe to moderate or mild. The more symptoms presented, the more extreme the condition, which calls for an immediate need for Oxycodone rehab. Addiction is typically characterized by showing at least six symptoms.
The symptoms of Oxycodone use are also referred to as side effects, but they do not precisely mirror the substance use disorder experience. When an individual is suffering from an Oxycodone addiction, they will experience more severe side effects with increased use of this drug. For example, if one prescribed user experiences nausea as a side effect, they might vomit if they take too much medication.
Regardless, it is still advisable to know about Oxycodone’s reported side effects to understand what abuse or addiction looks like in users.
Side effects of this drug include:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite loss
Some people abusing Oxycodone might be at risk of experiencing respiratory depression or seizures. Other side effects indicating Oxycodone abuse are:
- Abnormal thoughts
- Abnormal dreams
People abusing Oxycodone are at a very high risk of overdose, which can become fatal. Potential symptoms of an overdose include:
- Small pupils
- Extreme fatigue
- Shallow breathing
Addiction is also another potential outcome of oxycodone abuse. When you use a habit-forming drug, your body typically builds up a tolerance as a response. This means you’ll have to use higher Oxycodone amounts to attain the pleasurable, familiar high. As you continue using the drug, you also develop a dependence.
When one reduces their usual dosage significantly or stops using this medication altogether, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Based on various factors such as the individual’s volume and duration of abuse, they can start having withdrawal symptoms 6-30 hours after their last dose. These symptoms can be different throughout the withdrawal period, but they may include:
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose
- Abdominal cramping
- Muscle aches
Additionally, opioid withdrawal can be hazardous because of complications caused by withdrawal symptoms, like dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea. This is why people are usually advised to get assistance from a medical detox or oxycodone rehab program when they experience these symptoms.
Aside from the health hazards, the seriousness of the withdrawal effects can cause the user to relapse. Usually, people relapse during that period to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms.
Behavioral Effects of Oxycodone Abuse
The behavioral indications of an Oxycodone abuse disorder will vary depending on factors like the severity of the person’s addiction, assets, finances, or living arrangements. The five main signs of opioid abuse are as follows:
- Secretiveness: People abusing Oxycodone can typically find themselves living a double life, considering they are engaging in illegal activity. This also means they’ll go out of their way to hide their drug use and use different terms or code names when talking about their drug use. Some street names for Oxycodone include hillbilly heroin, kickers, oxy-cottons, killers, oxy 80s, blue, or oxy.
- A change in appearance: Aside from presenting side effects such as drowsiness, the individual will also become careless regarding their personal care routines. This means they will look especially untidy, stop purchasing and using grooming products, and wear dirty clothes.
- Personality and lifestyle changes: The person might also struggle to maintain friendships and other personal relationships. Thus, they might withdraw from engaging in activities they used to enjoy, such as social events and sports. They will become socially isolated but might also hang out with new crowds to participate in drug use.
- Being unable to reach former performance standards: Drug abuse upsets one’s cognitive functioning, making it hard to focus. This makes the person unable to meet their school, work, home, or life requirements. This can look like someone’s performance level reducing, leaving early, or missing work altogether.
- Fatigue: The person will seem drowsy or tired outside regular nap or sleep times as part of a continuous pattern.
If one is abusing Oxycodone by swallowing the pills, you wouldn’t be able to know because you wouldn’t find any paraphernalia. However, you may find different prescription pill bottles from multiple pharmacies and doctors with overlapping dates. People abusing Oxycodone can get the drug from individuals selling their prescriptions, buy it on the street, or they will doctor shop. This involves moving from one doctor to another to get multiple oxycodone prescriptions so they can move undetected.
Anyone injecting Oxycodone would have paraphernalia that includes a heat source, somewhere to “cook” the drug, a syringe, and a belt or rope to tie to the arm so it’s easier to find a vein. In cases of rectal oxycodone administration, the person will need a suppository or enema of some kind. The euphoria from this route of administration is supposedly higher than using the drug orally, but it can also help users prevent undesirable gastrointestinal symptoms.
A supervised detox in a certified oxycodone rehab program is recommended to manage withdrawal from the drug from the user’s system. The treatment is typically carried out in an inpatient environment to ensure the patient’s comfort and safety. Anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms of abuse or addiction should seek assistance and know that it is possible to recover from an opioid use disorder.