What is Oxy Addiction?
Oxy addiction is the abuse of the drug oxycodone, also known as Percocet.
These are two powerful medicines used for pain. They are also two of the most abused drugs in the United States.
People who suffer from oxy addiction typically start by taking the prescribed amount, but their body develops a tolerance.
They need more to maintain the same quality relief or high.
Because oxy pills are a powerful drug and offer much-needed relief to many people struggling with painful or terminal conditions, this aspect alone makes it hard to stay in control.
The transition from treatment to abuse can be very quick and dangerous.
What Is Oxycontin?
Oxycontin is a prescribed powerful pain reliever. Oxycodone is the main ingredient in many commonly used painkillers, such as a Percocet.
It belongs to the group of narcotic analgesics and has been classified as a schedule II drug since the 1970s.
Typically, doctors prescribe Oxy when other medications do not relieve moderate pain or cannot be tolerated.
Oxy pills come in various shapes, sizes, and colors depending on the brand and dose.
Oxycodone is often taken with other drugs, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
Different brand names are dependent on the combination and can be even taken in liquid form.
Forms of Oxycodone and How They Are Abused
- The most commonly abused form
- Control release formula provides chronic relief for up to 12 hours
- People bypass time release by crushing and snorting the drug
- May also be dissolved in water and then injected to get full effects all at once
- Combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol
- Commonly prescribed for several conditions for pain, ranging from mild to severe
- Snorting is a common method of use, common to oxycodone
- Addiction occurs when taking more than prescribed
- Chewing or injecting to achieve maximum high is common
- Rapid release formula of oxycodone that is used to treat moderate to severe pain
- Given to a patient before surgery to sedate or calm them
- Used for around-the-clock pain management
- Often crushed or melted down the tablets to be smoked or injected
What Are Oxycontin Addiction Signs?
Recreational Use Signs
- Taking more than prescribed
- Using with friends or at parties
- Looking to use for relief on bad days
- Feeling intense euphoria during use
Dependence Use Signs
- Experiencing withdrawal
- Needing more to achieve the same effects or high
- Craving when not under the influence
- Feeling “not right” when not using
Addiction Use Signs
- Prioritizing use above all else
- Endangering yourself or others
- Not caring
- Struggling financially
- Allowing health and relationships to deteriorate
This habit is dangerous, expensive, and debilitating.
Overdose is extremely real and can be potentially fatal.
Recognizing if you or your loved one has an oxy addiction can potentially save a life.
Is Oxy Addiction Dangerous?
Since oxycodone is derived from opiates, it is extremely dangerous.
Opiates have a very calming and euphoric effect, making it easy to develop a dependence. If you use this drug regularly, you are more likely to develop a tolerance or a drug addiction.
The greatest danger perhaps of all is a potential overdose.
Oxycodone is especially dangerous when taken via methods that increase the euphoric effects, such as:
- Combining the drugs with alcohol or other drugs
Signs of Oxy Addiction and Abuse
Dependent upon the severity of your abuse, the length of time the drug has been abused, how much you use, and how often you use, the signs of your addiction may vary.
Some common signs to look out for include mood changes such as depression, agitation, irritability, and restlessness.
Other signs of an oxy addiction might include behavioral changes. If you find yourself doctor shopping, meaning you look to obtain multiple prescriptions, you may be struggling with an addiction. Additionally, if you find yourself stealing or lying to obtain more of the drug, you most likely have a compulsive addiction.
Physical changes might include weight loss, a decreased sex drive, and even seizures, while psychologically, you might be struggling with many other problems.
These problems can include the inability to pay attention, having disorganized thoughts, and even psychosis.
Be aware that an oxy addiction does increase the risk of suicide. If you are feeling suicidal thoughts at any time while using oxycodone, contact a mental health professional right away.
Immediate Side Effects of Oxy Addiction
The immediate effects of oxy can range from mildly uncomfortable to potentially deadly.
If you are given oxycodone from your doctor and only use it as directed, you may still experience the following side effects:
- Mood changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Slowed breathing rate
- Vivid dreams
- Dry mouth
- Blurred vision
- Reduced anxiety
- Pain relief
- Extreme relaxation
- Loss of appetite
Long-term Side Effects of Oxycodone Abuse
As a result of drug abuse, if you have used oxycodone for a long time, you might experience physical or mental health complications.
These symptoms may include:
- Heart failure
- Swelling, especially in limbs
- Increased spinal fluid
Acknowledging the short and long-term effects of oxy addiction can put you one step closer to getting the help you need.
Mental Illness and Oxy Addiction
It has been clinically found that oxy addiction can lead to mood and anxiety disorders, which could have existed before the drug abuse.
Anxiety puts individuals at risk for dependence and addiction.
Even on their own, co-occurring disorders do not mean that anxiety is not separate from drug abuse. They both compliment each other, and leaving symptoms untreated means both are likely to reappear in the future.
If you are dealing with anxiety due to an oxy addiction, you may be at risk of panic attacks, insomnia, and other mental health-related issues.
Oxy Addiction Withdrawal
When it is time to get treatment, a doctor can help develop a withdrawal plan, usually called a taper, that gradually reduces the amount of medicine being taken.
Medication-Assisted Treatment helps minimize symptoms but is only beneficial after completing detox to reduce cravings and sustain long-term recovery.
Recognizing withdrawal can be the first step in getting you or your loved one the help you deserve.
Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can include the below:
- Various changes in mood
- Muscles aches
- Continuous yawning
- Body changes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Blurry vision
- Dilated pupils
- Shivering or goosebumps
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
Oxycontin has significant withdrawal symptoms like any opiate.
These symptoms are more likely to occur without the supervision of a professional. It is never suggested to quit cold turkey or on your own.
Withdrawal is uncomfortable but not life-threatening with oxycodone.
Often, Medication-Assisted Treatment, known as MAT, is recommended, but only under the care of a medical professional.
Support groups are the best way to maintain and reduce the chances of relapse and withdrawal. Support groups provide therapy for people suffering from psychological compulsion and mental challenges that come from addiction.
Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it?
We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification.
We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment to work for you and your financial situation.
How to Get Help
If you or someone you love is struggling with an oxy addiction, contact us immediately.
At North Jersey Recovery Center, we offer various treatment programs with dedicated staff to help you find health and purpose once again.
Call us to start your path to recovery.
It is never too late to get help.