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September 20, 2018

Oxycodone Addiction: When Drugs Meant to Help Hurt

Racing to get to the office on time, you didn’t see it. The car ahead of you. Between the sunrise making it difficult to see and email notifications on your phone distracting you, you saw it too late.

When you realize what’s about to happen, you take a shocked, frightened breath. Then you slam into the car in front of you.
You escape with a minor concussion, a broken ankle, and a prescription for Oxycodone to help manage the pain. You were lucky.

But as the weeks go by, the pain from the accident is still there. Your coworker accidentally bumps your leg? Take a painkiller. Your dog hits your leg with his tail when he greets you after coming home? Take another painkiller. Even after starting to walk again, you complain to your doctor you’re still in pain and he writes you another prescription.

Before you know it, you’re looking for any excuse to pop a pill. Your relationships and career all take a back seat as Oxycodone becomes the center of your entire life.

While Oxycodone may be prescribed by a doctor, it doesn’t change the fact that it is a drug you can become addicted to – even without realizing it. Find out why Oxycodone is so addictive and what you can do to stop it.

What Is Oxycodone, and How Does It Work?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid. That means it originally comes from elements of the opium plant and is then modified in a lab. This particular drug is the main ingredient in drugs like OxyContin and Percocet.

When Oxycodone enters the bloodstream, it binds to areas of the central nervous system responsible for communicating pain.

It also releases a surge of dopamine—the natural feel-good chemical your system produces when you receive a hug from a loved one or eat your favorite food.

This rush can be quite an experience—particularly for someone who has been dealing with constant pain. It’s often intended for a slower release, but those addicted to Oxycodone will seek for a stronger effect by:

• Crushing and snorting pills
• Chewing the pills or capsules
• Dissolving the medication in liquid and injecting it

Diminishing Returns Leads to Dependence and Worse

As you continue taking Oxycodone, your body builds tolerance. This can lead to situations where you feel like you have to take more and more to feel better. A typical progression may look like this:

1) Normal prescription use helps you deal with your pain
2) A tolerance develops, leading to you increasing the dose
3) As you up the intake, your body feels like it depends on the drug to function normally.
4) You might start hiding your use out of shame or guilt, and addiction causes you to put using above personal and professional responsibilities.

When prescriptions run out or when the habit becomes too expensive, many people struggling with Oxycodone addiction turn to heroin to get their fix, which leads to an even greater addiction.

The Doctor Told Me to Take These. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

The widespread availability and social acceptance of prescription painkillers has contributed to the opioid epidemic plaguing California and the rest of the nation.

The initial experience with Oxycodone can lull you into a false sense of security, as it makes you feel:

• Happy
• Confident
• Less anxious
• Relaxed

However, it’s not all good feelings all the time. Common side effects of Oxycodone may include:

• Blurry vision or dizziness
• Depressed breathing
• Headaches
• Nausea and vomiting

When you continue taking the drug, you might also experience:

• Constipation
• Heart failure
• Insomnia
• Muscle pain and cramps
• Seizures

As tolerance increases, you also increase your risk of overdosing. When combined with other drugs (like alcohol or benzodiazepines) that depress the central nervous system, the risk of overdose and death is much greater.

Get Help for Oxycodone Addiction in Palmdale, CA

You’ve figured out you are abusing painkillers and you want to stop. But how?

Trying to stop quit Oxycodone cold turkey is both difficult and dangerous. Many doctors and treatment programs recommend gradually reducing your dosage to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Depending on how long you’ve been using or abusing the drug and a number of other factors, you might experience mild flu-like symptoms as your body begins to detox.

However, heavier users may face intense withdrawals similar to heroin or morphine users. While withdrawals from Oxycodone typically aren’t life-threatening, you do face a significant risk of relapse due to the pain and discomfort. Tolerance can fade somewhat quickly, which can make an accidental overdose much more likely.

At Cycles of Change Recovery Services, you don’t have to try to overcome your Oxycodone addiction alone. We provide the support you need throughout your recovery journey. From the initial detox period to counseling and therapy to beyond your initial inpatient treatment, our staff cares about your success and will be here for you every step of the way.

We understand the guilt and shame that can come with addiction. Don’t let those feelings stand in the way of getting help for this chronic disease. Begin the healing process and contact us now.

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