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Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

By In Uncategorized
Posted February 26, 2015

Oxycodone addiction. How does it begin?

For thousands of individuals, the deadly cycle of opioid addiction begins innocently enough. A surgery, injury or muscle sprain warrants a prescription. Unknowingly, those with a propensity toward addiction often fall into the trap unaware of what lies ahead. For some, that first opioid prescription comes from the dentist, the emergency room, or another medical specialist with limited contact or family background information. One young girl we recently spoke to had her first experience with oxycodone after an abortion procedure, “The prescription was for the pain and cramping after the abortion, but I noticed right away that the pills were numbing the emotional pain and shame of what I had just been through. I was full of energy, happy, and felt a sense of confidence about myself that I hadn’t experienced before. It only took a couple days and I knew I wanted more.”

How serious is the opioid epidemic?
259 million prescriptions for painkillers were written in 2012 alone. It’s estimated that almost 10% of all adults in the United States have or will abuse narcotic pain killers sometime in their life. Research conducted by the US Department of Justice revealed that over ten million individuals use prescription pain killers for recreational purposes. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drug misuse and abuse caused over two million emergency department visits in 2011. Of these, more than one million were related to prescription drugs.
If you or someone you love has been prescribed opioids such as oxycodone, vicodin, or codeine, here are some signs to be aware of.

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

Similar to heroin, oxycodone produces a euphoric high caused by stimulation of the reward center of the brain. Oxycodone elevates levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is considered the pleasure chemical of the brain. This is why, along with pain management, the drug is sought out by those seeking an escape from anxiety, pressure, their past, or from life in general.

Symptoms of oxycodone or OxyContin addiction or abuse will vary greatly from person to person. Some warning signs to look for include the following:

  • Depression
  • Euphoria
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Looking at these signs of oxycodone addiction more closely, some real behaviors you can watch for are:

  • Lying about the amount taken.
  • Asking loved ones or friends if they can have their “extra pain medication.”
  • Doctor shopping: Once the individual begins to run out of their oxycodone, vicodin or other pain medication before the next prescription is due they will often make appointments with dentists or pain management doctors to attempt to “fill the gap” in a way they can mentally justify (since it’s legal). Doing this often keeps the addict in denial for long periods of time.
  • Hiding oxycodone or other pain pills around the house.
  • Keeping pain pills with them at all times (in pockets, wallet, purse). Generally, prescription medication is taken at certain times per day. An individual would not normally need to bring a supply of pain medication wherever they go. Take a look at the prescription recommended dose to help you decide if there may be a problem.
  • Borrowing money: Later in addiction, large sums of money may be spent on pain medication.
  • Increased drowsiness during the day.
  • Mood swings: From happy, talkative and full of energy to exceptionally tired or depressed.
  • Constipation and weight gain. Looking “puffy.”
  • Dry mouth.
  • Nausea and vomiting if medication isn’t kept at certain levels.

These are just some of the common signs of oxycodone addiction or pain killer abuse. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please contact us today. The Shores Treatment and Recovery is here to help you every step of the way. There is no shame in falling into addiction. The most important thing you can do is ask for help. You deserve a better tomorrow.

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