Oxycodone use disorder occurs when the user needs this drug in order to function normally. When you become physically dependent to oxycodone, a sudden stop in regular use will lead to abrupt and harsh withdrawal symptoms. Oxycodone addiction is diagnosed when a person feels a strong urge for the drug, obsesses over obtaining and using it, and is unable to stop.
Are you or someone you know physically addicted to oxycodone? Do not be afraid because help is readily available. In this article we review the signs of oxycodone addiction and offer alternatives for getting help. At the end, we welcome you to post your questions and we will try to answer them as quickly as possible.
Physical dependence on oxycodone
Physical dependence and addiction to oxycodone explain two different stages of drug abuse with different manifestations. One thing they have in common is that both, physical dependence and addiction come as a result of chronic oxycodone abuse.
Physical dependence to oxycodone is a state of adaptation, which is manifested with specific withdrawal symptoms that occur when oxycodone is abruptly discontinued or doses are rapidly reduced. Oxycodone addiction, on the other hand, is a chronic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors which can influence its development and manifestations. Oxycodone addiction is also characterized by drastic behavioral changes.
Physical signs of addiction to oxycodone
There are several symptoms which may signal the start of physical oxycodone dependence. If you recognize your behavior among these symptoms, you probably need to question your oxycodone dependence. Signs of oxycodone dependence include:
- Increased tolerance to oxycodone – This means that the user needs more oxycodone in order to feel therapeutic effects. As tolerance increases, the regular doses don’t provide the same effects anymore, so the amount of oxycodone needs to increase.
- Using oxycodone to for prevent withdrawal symptoms – When you quit or lower doses, withdrawal symptoms occur. If you are taking oxycodone just to stop the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that appear as the drug is eliminated from your system, you are physically dependent on it.
- Occurrence of withdrawal symptoms – As mentioned above, these symptoms occur when the user stops taking oxycodone.
They signal that your body has gotten accustomed to the presence of oxycodone and cannot maintain it’s balance without it.
Physically addicted oxycodone users will manifest visible changes in it’s appearance and behavior due to oxycodone withdrawal. These oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include:
- dry mouth
- mood swings
- nausea and vomiting
TIP: Tolerance does not equal addiction! However, this should be the firs red light that continued use and ever increasing amounts can lead to the development of an addiction.
Treating physical symptoms of addiction to oxycodone
Every treatment begins with a consensus that there is a present problem and willingness to work towards resolution. So first, the oxycodone user needs to accept that there is a problem and acknowledge the harm their addictive behavior is causing.
During treatment, oxycodone is either slowly withdrawn or stopped abruptly. Support and trust are also key elements in the treatment process because they are the motivator for an oxycodone abuser to remain drug free.
NOTE: People with oxycodone overdose may need emergency treatment in a hospital. In cases like this always call 911.
Detoxification is a process of withdrawal from oxycodone done in an safe environment, with the support, supervision, and round-the-clock medical care of experienced professionals. Detox can be done in an inpatient or outpatient treatment setting. Also, sometimes doctors will prescribe another drug with a similar action or effect to reduce the unwanted side effects and the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.
Residential treatment programs have the capacity to monitor and address possible withdrawal symptoms and risky behaviors. These programs use techniques to get users to recognize their behaviors and learn how to stay oxycodone-free.
Another tool that accompanies the treatment of oxycodone addiction are support groups. Most of these groups follow the 12-Step model. It is important to explore every available option that can be helpful.
Physically addicted to oxycodone questions
Do you still have questions about physical dependence and oxycodone addiction? We invite you to leave your questions below. We try to answer each one personally and promptly, or refer you to professionals who can help.
Reference sources: University of Wisconsin – School of Medicine and Public: Regulatory Issues & Addiction
Healthdirect: What is addiction?
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