Patients suffering from moderate to severe pain, such as might be experienced after surgery, may be prescribed oxycodone, a semi-synthetic opioid painkiller. The drug works by binding to pain receptors, blocking pain messages the body sends to the brain. At the same time, it causes a flood of dopamine (a “feel-good” hormone) in the brain’s pleasure centers. Despite its medical benefits, oxycodone is also known for its high potential for abuse. It is sold in the form of name brand medications OxyContin, Percocet and Roxicodone.

Oxycodone Use, Dependence, and Addiction

Patients using oxycodone as prescribed may sometimes be tempted to abuse their prescription, largely because of the euphoric high the drugs produce. Sometimes, there is absolutely no intention to abuse the drug, but over the duration of the prescription, the body becomes dependent. Users may develop both physical and mental dependence on these drugs, believing they cannot live a normal life without them. There are a number of other ways opioid drugs can be abused:

  • Taking far more than the dose prescribed to you.
  • Taking them for far longer than has been prescribed.
  • Taking someone else’s prescription.
  • Taking them specifically to get high.

A person who is abusing oxycodone may display behavioral changes, including anxiety, confusion or forgetfulness. Common effects include muscle pain, tremors, depression, chest pain, fatigue and respiratory depression. Oxycodone can cause breathing to slow dramatically, or even stop. The most dangerous effects of opioid abuse are coma, permanent brain damage, and death.

Oxycodone Use and Withdrawal

Patients prescribed oxycodone should pay attention to their intake. Continued abuse of oxycodone can cause the body to adapt to the drug’s presence, and many users may find they have built up a tolerance for the drug and need a higher dosage to manage their pain. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hypertension
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness

When taken with other substances, like alcohol, high doses of oxycodone can lead to respiratory failure and death. The intensity of such effects can vary from person to person, depending on their use and their health conditions. Users may find it difficult to stop using oxycodone as the withdrawal symptoms can be severe, which in turn can lead to long-term dependence.

How Elan Treats Oxycodone Addiction

Elan partners with a number of highly reputable inpatient detox facilities, as detox is often indicated in the early stages of treatment for oxycodone addiction. Later, when your body has begun to clear the drugs, the transition to outpatient treatment at Elan will be as seamless as we can make it. At Elan Recovery + Wellness, we use a number of treatment methods to help our guests understand, manage, and emerge from addiction to oxycodone, as well as any co-occurring mental health conditions:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Addiction education
  • NA meetings
  • Adaptive testing software, which helps us assess your mental health daily
  • Complete evaluation by a psychiatrist
  • If indicated, psychotropic medication to rebalance the brain chemistry
  • Weekly visits with our staff psychiatrist
  • Management of medications by our advanced psychiatric nurse practitioner

Am I an Addict?

Do you think you might be dependent on drugs? Take a free, confidential assessment.
Don’t put it off one more day. Find out.

Call Now