While the United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis, it is important now more than ever to educate yourself and loved ones about prescription drug abuse. This epidemic is taking innocent lives, leaving families brokenhearted and devastated. It is costing the country billions of dollars, draining state emergency resources. One of the most abused prescription opioids is oxycodone, a painkiller prescribed to manage moderate or chronic pain. More and more people are in need of oxycodone addiction treatment due to its high risk for dependency when it is taken outside of prescribing parameters.
Just behind alcohol, opioid painkillers like oxycodone are the top reason for emergency room visits in the U.S. In fact, a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says there was a 30 percent jump in emergency room visits due to opioid overdoses from July 2016 to September 2017. These opioid-related hospital visits are costing Florida alone more than $1 billion, says the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the CDC have released several more startling statistics about the opioid epidemic:
- Approximately 4 million Americans abuse opioids
- 130 people lose their lives daily from opioid overdoses
- More people are dying from drug overdose than car accidents
- Overdose deaths involving opioids have quadrupled since 1999
- The U.S. makes up around 4 percent of the world’s population, yet consumes 80 percent of the world’s supply of opioids
- More than 183,000 people died from prescription medication-related overdose from 1999 to 2015. In 2016 alone 42,249 people lost their lives to opioid-related overdose.
If you or a loved one is addicted to painkillers, help is available 24/7 at our oxycodone addiction treatment center. Call to get help now.
WHAT IS OXYCODONE?
Oxycodone is a prescription pain medication that is most commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. For example, oxycodone can be prescribed to alleviate pain caused by a surgical procedure, such as a C-section or a hip replacement. It can also be used to treat pain caused by broken bones or severe chronic pain.
Even though oxycodone was first introduced to the United States in 1939, it wasn’t until 1996 when Purdue Pharma began manufacturing OxyContin, the brand name version of oxycodone. At that time, Purdue reassured prescribing professionals that OxyContin was a safe, non-habit-forming medication that would revolutionize pain management practices. And while OxyContin definitely did the latter, it was never a drug that didn’t possess habit-forming qualities. Today, the purposeful misinformation that Purdue Pharma gave to providers in the ’90s is being heavily examined, as their direction and reassurance are one of the biggest reasons why the United States is faced with an opioid crisis today.
Despite knowing that oxycodone is extremely addictive, it is still one of the most commonly prescribed opioid-based medications in the country. There is also higher demand than ever before for illicit oxycodone, as many of those who are addicted to this opioid are using much more than what can be legally prescribed.
When someone uses oxycodone as prescribed or for recreational or self-medication purposes, it immediately binds to the opioid receptors in the brain. The brain then releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of euphoria and reward. So, not only is oxycodone working to treat physical pain, but it also produces a pleasing psychological effect that in itself is very addictive. The more oxycodone that is consumed, the more intense the release of dopamine is. As a person continues to abuse this opioid painkiller, the brain begins to change in ways that support the regular presence of oxycodone. One of the changes that occur is that the brain stops producing its own natural dopamine, meaning that people who are addicted to opioids struggle to get any type of dopamine rush from anything other than abusing oxycodone or other opioids. This one change in the brain and its overall function is a major driver in the continuation of oxycodone abuse, as a user is constantly in need of that dopamine release to feel good.
Unfortunately, along with oxycodone abuse comes several consequences of that abuse that can impact all areas of a person’s life and jeopardize his or her wellbeing.
SIGNS OF OXYCODONE ADDICTION
The disease of addiction is very complex and does not resolve itself when a person stops abusing a mind-altering substance like oxycodone. When someone is addicted to oxycodone, he or she is powerless over his or her active addiction, causing him or her to engage in questionable and potentially dangerous behaviors that he or she may have never engaged in before. While every oxycodone user is different, most users will display some or all of the following signs of oxycodone addiction:
- Using oxycodone outside of prescribing guidelines or for longer than intended
- Requiring more oxycodone in order to achieve desired mental and physical effects
- Experiencing feelings of being unwell when unable to use oxycodone, such as having stomachaches, headaches, changes in appetite, muscle cramps, or tremors
- Continuing to abuse oxycodone despite the negative consequences of that use
- No longer participating in activities or hobbies that were once thoroughly enjoyed
- Becoming socially isolated
- Engaging in secretive behaviors, primarily to hide the extent of the oxycodone addiction
- Experiencing frequent, unpredictable mood swings
- Having trouble with money, leading to stealing it from others or asking to borrow money with no intention to pay it back
- Being unable to carry out responsibilities at home, work, or school due to oxycodone abuse
- Using in situations where it is unsafe for the user or others
- Struggling from chronic unemployment
- Engaging in frequent conflict with friends, family, and loved ones
- Experiencing changes in physical appearance, including weight loss/gain and poor hygiene
- Combining oxycodone with other drugs or alcohol
- Feeling unable to function without oxycodone
A person does not need to experience every single one of these symptoms of oxycodone addiction to be addicted to this drug. Even experiencing just one or two of these symptoms can signify that a problem is occurring. It can be pivotal to get professional help at an oxycodone addiction treatment center in order to stop this type of addiction in its tracks before it leads to negative effects, including overdose, which can be fatal.
SIDE EFFECTS OF OXYCODONE ADDICTION
Contrary to the perceived notion of oxycodone addiction, a person does not need to be a hardcore oxycodone user for negative side effects to occur within his or her life. Addiction impacts everyone differently, meaning that someone who abuses oxycodone for one month can suffer more significant damage to his or her life than someone who abuses it for a year. Anytime oxycodone is being abused for any reason whatsoever, side effects can occur.
When in active addiction, someone who abuses oxycodone can experience the following side effects of use:
- Changes in mood
- Chest pain
- Stomach pain
Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant, meaning that when it is abused, it slows the natural functions of the body. So, not only can a user experience any one of the side effects above, but he or she can also suffer from slowed heartbeat, pulse, or breathing as a result of use. When a person’s use affects his or her vital organ function, he or she is at high risk for suffering an overdose.
When someone abuses too much oxycodone, he or she can experience side effects that range from being minor to deadly. Something as serious as respiratory depression or slowed heartbeat caused by the misuse of oxycodone can lead to death. This is because oxycodone sends signals to the body to slow down basic functions. Therefore, blood flow slows and so does one’s breathing. These two functions need each other because when someone breathes in oxygen, that oxygen goes to the bloodstream, which sends it off to organs in the body like the liver, kidneys, and heart. Respiratory depression, distress, and failure can all cause a lack of oxygen in the organs, causing them to shut down. This is often what occurs when someone fatally overdoses on oxycodone. In some instances, an opioid overdose can be reversed through the use of Narcan, however, that is only possible if administered in time.
The best and most effective way to prevent any of these side effects (including fatal overdose) from occurring is to stop abusing oxycodone immediately. This can be extremely difficult for many, however by reaching out to our professional oxycodone addiction treatment center, even those who are completely and utterly hooked on oxycodone can begin to end their addiction and establish a solidified recovery.
OXYCODONE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS
Many people addicted to oxycodone make attempts to stop using on their own, however, it is very rare when this is successful. Because the body is accustomed to the presence of oxycodone, when it is withheld, the body starts to scramble to figure out how to function without it. That “scramble” is felt through the many withdrawal symptoms that a person can experience.
At our oxycodone addiction treatment facility, even those who have made several attempts to stop using oxycodone on their own can finally make it through detox and into recovery. This is because the support we offer at our oxycodone addiction treatment center is unparalleled to any other program, allowing clients to feel comfortable and encouraged to continue the detox process.
We know that oxycodone withdrawal can be both physically and psychologically painful, therefore seeking professional help, such as that at our oxycodone addiction treatment, is recommended. Without the use of oxycodone, a user is bound to feel irritable and experience symptoms including:
- Muscle aches and pains
- Stomach cramping
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Inability to sleep
In addition to these flu-like symptoms, clients at our oxycodone addiction treatment center can also experience symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, both of which are highly common during this time. For some clients, a mental health condition like depression or anxiety has been occurring for a long time, but the oxycodone abuse has been masking it. When enrolled at our oxycodone addiction treatment program, all clients will benefit from learning more about their physical and mental wellbeing, including if they are dealing with a co-occurring condition, which is when a substance use disorder and a mental health condition are occurring at the same time.
Regardless of what might pop up during detox, the team at our oxycodone addiction treatment center is ready to help provide as much help as possible so that every single client can complete detox in full and move into the therapeutic stages of his or her treatment plan.
SIGNS YOU NEED OXYCODONE ADDICTION TREATMENT
When someone is addicted to oxycodone, it can be a confusing time for everyone involved. In fact, it is very common for friends and family members of someone addicted to oxycodone to deny that he or she has a problem, simply because admitting to it may be too painful. It is just as common for the user to deny that he or she is addicted to this substance, especially if he or she feels like the use is controllable (even if it isn’t). For many users and their families, this denial, while extremely normal, has led to fatal overdoses because help was not obtained in time.
If someone has been abusing oxycodone, it is not too late to reach out for help. It is also not too late to consider that an addiction to this opioid-based drug may be occurring. If you or someone you love has been abusing oxycodone and has noticed these behaviors, it is time to consider oxycodone addiction treatment:
- You go to more than one doctor or pharmacy to get oxycodone to avoid running out
- You lie about how much you use to others
- You are still taking oxycodone, even though your original symptoms have cleared
- You are having financial problems, or you are having trouble with relationships, at work or at home
- You have tried to quit but keep going back to using
- You keep using because you’re afraid of withdrawal
- You’ve stopped doing the things you used to love doing, such as exercise or recreational activities
- You spend more time alone, isolated from others
- You are having trouble with memory or concentration, or you fall asleep at inappropriate times
- You combine oxycodone with alcohol or another drug or you modify it to get a faster high
- You have stolen medicine from another person or bought it on the street
At any point, if you or your loved one feels as those an oxycodone addiction is happening, stopping everything and finding someone who can help is always the best possible idea. At our oxycodone addiction treatment program, we speak with countless people each day who are concerned that they or a loved one might be addicted to a drug like oxycodone. By simply calling, we can help you determine what may be going on so that you can make the most informed, helpful decision for yourself or a loved one.
OPIOID ABUSE IN FLORIDA: WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Opioid addiction is something that is occurring all throughout the United States. From bustling cities like Los Angeles and New York City to small towns with only a handful of stop lights and one high school, opioids are being abused everywhere and by everybody. People of all ages, teenagers to the elderly, are caught in the throes of the opioid crisis, which is continually growing by the minute.
Here in Florida, Governor Rick Scott declared the opioid epidemic a state emergency in 2017, allowing $54 million to be used to combat key factors contributing to the crisis, including growing use, overdose, and the trafficking of illicit opioid drugs, such as heroin and synthetic fentanyl. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), approximately 4,728 Floridians died of an overdose death in 2016. In fact, nearly 12 percent of the country’s fatal overdoses occur in Florida.
In 2018, Aetna pledged $6 million total to states hit hardest by the epidemic, earmarking $1 million for the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. The money will help with two major projects – transitioning overdose patients from ER rooms to community-based treatment and helping recovery groups gain accreditation so that people in recovery have more support.
Seeking treatment for oxycodone addiction is critical for many reasons. Most importantly, it can save people from a potential overdose or long-term health problems. But another one of the lurking dangers is that many who develop an addiction to prescription drugs like oxycodone transition to the illicit street drug heroin. Heroin produces a similar high, it’s easier to score and it’s a lot cheaper. Therefore, even though there are plans put in place to help combat the opioid crisis, there are still several temptations and opportunities to both start and continue using in the Florida area.
OXYCODONE ADDICTION TREATMENT IN FLORIDA
When you enroll in our oxycodone addiction treatment program in Florida, you will receive the best in evidence-based treatments that not only address the disease of addiction, but also the underlying reasons for the oxycodone abuse. We provide onsite detox where we can not only give you a clean, safe, and comfortable place to go through withdrawal, but we can also prescribe FDA-approved medications that can make this process much less distressing. We are proud to have a caring and dedicated staff that helps manage our clients’ withdrawal symptoms so that their wellbeing is preserved as much as possible. Our staff members are available on an around-the-clock basis, allowing for those enrolled in our oxycodone addiction treatment program to get the appropriate support they need to get through detox.
Our oxycodone addiction treatment is much more than just detox. Our holistic recovery program is designed to treat all aspects of our clients’ wellbeing, including the mind, body, and spirit. You will learn about the disease of addiction and how it has impacted you, how to manage cravings, and how to avoid the triggers that lead to your desire to abuse oxycodone or other substances. You’ll begin to understand why your oxycodone abuse and addiction became a problem, and if you are dealing with any mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, a plan for addressing these issues will be incorporated into your individual treatment plan. At our oxycodone addiction treatment center, it is imperative to treat both issues simultaneously to help you achieve long-term sobriety. As time passes and you make your way through the program, you will begin to return to the person you were before substance abuse took over your life. When your program ends, you’ll join a family of recovering addicts who know what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle, free from the chains of substance abuse.
GET PROFESSIONAL OXYCODONE ADDICTION TREATMENT TODAY
At our oxycodone addiction treatment center, we understand just how difficult it is to stop abusing a drug as addictive as oxycodone. We know that abusing oxycodone is not just about getting high. We know that there is much more to each and every person’s oxycodone addiction and we are honored to be able to help determine what those factors are so that our clients can go on to live happy, healthy lives.
When you reach out to our oxycodone addiction treatment center, you have already taken one of the biggest, most challenging steps in your recovery. Simply admitting that you have a problem is a big deal and we applaud anyone who takes that action. We are prepared to meet your call for help with compassion, support, and a plan that will help you end your active oxycodone addiction, get sober and find your footing in recovery.
It won’t be easy, nor will it be an overnight fix, but we guarantee that with your determination and effort paired with our expertise and skills, that you will be living a better, more fulfilled life in no time. So, do not hesitate for even one second. If you want to stop abusing oxycodone for good, call our oxycodone addiction treatment center right now.