Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller belonging to the opiate family. As such, those taking the drug are at an increased risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug.
Doctors typically prescribe this medication for those with moderate to severe pain and to patients who have continuous pain.
Since Oxycodone is an extended-relief medication, it slowly releases into the bloodstream, providing relief for hours.
The relief from pain and pleasurable feelings that occur because of the medication can cause addiction in some patients.
Oxycodone has been marketed in dozens of different formulations, including:
Oxycodone Abuse Treatment
Enrolling yourself in an Oxycodone rehab center can be the first step on your road to recovery. You should consider a variety of factors before you choose a rehab program, including your budget and the type of center that provides the type of support needed. One of the biggest choices that you must make is between an inpatient facility and an outpatient facility. Outpatient facilities are often less expensive because you spend less time on-site. If you want to spend time with your loved ones or you need to continue working at your job while attending rehab, an outpatient center is your best bet.
Some people find that they cannot handle living in the same home or neighborhood where they used Oxycodone in the past. If you feel the same way, you might prefer an inpatient facility.
Staff at the center will monitor you every step of the way, from the moment you arrive to long after you leave. You can even continue treatment on an outpatient basis after you leave the facility.
Oxycontin vs. Oxycodone
Oxycodone hydrochloride is an opioid painkiller. It can be found in a number of prescription medications. When it is available by itself, it is available in the form of Oxycontin. Oxycodone is also found in combination with other ingredients on a number of prescription medications e.g. Percocet.
The main difference between the two relates to the onset of action. Oxycontin is a time released drug. This means that it acts over a period of time. Usually, Oxycodone medications need to be taken every four to six hours. However, Oxycontin continues acting for at least 12 hours. That is why it needs to be taken only twice a day.
You may come across certain articles that categorize Oxycodone as a generic name for Oxycontin because it is the active substance in the medication. However, it would be incorrect to say that because Oxycodone is an active ingredient in other medications also. Most experts prefer calling Oxycontin ‘Oxycodone extended release’.
The two medications are prepared in a different manner. Though Oxycontin contains more of Oxycodone, it is also prepared in a manner that releases the medication gradually into the blood. So, even though the dosage is large, it is released slowly into the blood stream. Oxycodone is often used together with other chemicals in other medications like Percocet.
The dangers of over dosage in Oxycontin are more pronounced. Since the amount of Oxycodone is large, lack of a sustained release may have severe effects on the patient. This is especially true for first time users. The danger becomes more apparent in the case of addicts who break open the capsule and snort it in.
A common problem with quick acting painkillers is that they become nearly ineffective within a few hours. The action peaks within a few minutes, but falls within a few hours. Oxycontin aims at doing away with this problem by going for a sustained release.
Oxycodone Signs of Abuse
Before you start searching for rehab centers for a loved one, you should ensure that the person has an Oxycodone problem.
The easiest way to do this is by looking for symptoms and signs of Oxycodone abuse. While not all patients suffer the same symptoms, you should notice one or more of the following if the person abuses the drug:
- Constantly thinking about the drug
- Obtaining multiple prescriptions for Oxycodone
- Feeling phantom pains when the drug is not available
- Restless thoughts or behaviors
- Lying or stealing to obtain more of the drug
- Using the drug in secret
- Hiding the drug around the house
Effects of Oxycodone Abuse
- Drowsiness, sometimes to the point of nodding off
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Respiratory suppression
- Dry mouth
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Here are some withdrawal symptoms an individual may face from Oxycodone abuse:
- Headaches, disorientation
- Nausea, Vomiting
Oxycodone Abuse Statistics
According to Medline Plus, more than 9 percent of all Americans abused or will abuse opiates, which include Oxycodone. This statistic includes patients who started using the drug under a doctor’s care and those who purchase the drug on the street. The United States Department of Justice found that more than 13 million people in the United States abused Oxycodone or used the drug for recreational purposes. The facts about Oxycodone might be surprising to those who do not realize the serious nature of the Oxycodone problem in America.
Recent Change in OxyContin Formulation
In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration required Purdue Pharma to change the formulation of OxyContin to make it harder to abuse. The pill is now formulated so it can't be crushed or dissolved. But a person can still abuse the drug by swallowing too much of it.
Many people who were abusing OxyContin have switched to other types of opiates, even heroin, which has resulted in some overdose deaths.