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Signs of Oxycodone Addiction and Abuse

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Normal use of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is an opoid chemical that is classified as a narcotic analgesic and is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is often combined with another pain medication, such as acetaminophen and is designed as a slow-releasing pain killer that is effective over six to twelve hours. Because of this long-lasting euphoric effect, Oxycodone addiction and abuse happens frequently. In most cases, Oxycodone is prescribed for short durations where the pain is anticipated not to last more than a few weeks. For patients with chronic pain, other less addictive pain killers should be used.

Behavioral Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

As with most prescription pain-killers, the most common signs and symptoms of Oxycodone addiction will involve the patient trying to acquire and hide the oxycodone. This would include prescription fraud like visiting multiple doctors and outpatient clinics, obtaining the drug from the streets, and hiding extra Oxycodone around the house. In many cases, these behavioral signs will appear before any physical or health symptoms occur.

Focus on Acquiring and Maintaining Supplies of Oxycodone

The patient will also focus on the Oxycodone even with friends and family. They will mention the drug before leaving for vacations or extended trips and making sure they have adequate supplies will be of major importance. As the addiction develops, the oxycodone addict will frequently talk about the drug during normal conversations.

Escalation of Pain in Oxycodone Addiction

The other major sign of Oxycodone addiction is the escalation of pain. Over time, the patient will report that the pain has gotten worse which will require higher dosages and they will take the pills more frequently. Once the patient has been using Oxycodone for a few weeks, the body will gradually become more sensitive to pain. This will include pain not related to the original cause of the prescription. This often is when the patient will first start attempting to acquire the Oxycodone illegally since they run out of pills before their prescription can be renewed. As this cycle continues, the patient will become increasingly more focuses on acquiring and hording the Oxycodone.

Treatment Options for Oxycodone Addiction

Inpatient clinics are often required for the treatment of Oxcyodone addiction in order to separate the patient from their supply. By the time the addiction finally becomes known to family and friends, the addict has already developed ways to acquire the Oxycodone and has supplies hidden. The only way to break the addiction is to get the person away from that environment. Symptoms of Oxycodone withdrawal are sometimes severe, so normally there person is given decreasing amounts over a long period of time. Normal symptoms of Oxycodone withdrawal include sensations of pain, panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, and nausea.

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