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Oxycodone is a prescription painkiller used for mild to severe pain. While it is normally available in 10 to 80 mg tablets, oxycodone comes in a time-released 5 mg tablet that can take effect within minutes.

Despite its use as a painkiller, oxycodone’s potential for addiction or abuse is high. In 2010, SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) found that oxycodone was implicated in more than 182,000 emergency room visits in the United States that year.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Oxycodone Use

Oxycodone is a powerful pain reliever, so its most notable effect is instilling feelings of calm and euphoria while relaxing physical tension. Other side effects include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Chills

  • Twitching
  • Tremors
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy

Complications of Oxycodone Abuse

Oxycodone is highly potent and easily available to the general public, a combination that gives the drug a high potential for addiction. Addiction can affect all aspects of your life, and while physical health issues can seem the most prominent, addiction can hit your personal life hardest. The disease can force you to act recklessly, pushing away the people you love and hurting yourself in the process.

There are numerous health complications associated with drug abuse and addiction, but the most common associated with oxycodone abuse include:

  • Kidney disease
  • Cardiovascular failure
  • Liver disease
  • Soft tissue damage

Dangers of Oxycodone Use

Oxycodone is most dangerous to those with existing health problems as it may stop your breathing entirely. Other common dangers from long-term oxycodone abuse include:

  • Convulsions
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Dehydration
  • Swelling in the arms, legs, or face
  • Chest pains
  • Abdominal cramps

Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction

Addiction to oxycodone is based on its chemical response in the body. It’s not a personal choice. Oxycodone alters how you react to pain by modifying a variety of chemicals, including dopamine, a hormone involved in motivation and reward. Many users may use oxycodone because it triggers that sense of reward. Your brain also attempts to keep that dopamine in check by limiting or blocking its effects. This essentially forces you to take more oxycodone to initiate that dopamine rush and feel normal.

Common Symptoms include:

  • Using oxycodone as a stress reliever
  • Running out of oxycodone faster than it is prescribed
  • Using oxycodone for longer than the prescribed length of time
  • Exhibiting withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug
  • Neglecting responsibilities to use or obtain oxycodone


  • Irritability
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Pain in bones
  • Stiff joints
  • Depression
  • Cravings

Medical Intervention for Oxycodone Addiction

Medication plays a key role in detox treatment, especially with a potent drug like oxycodone. Medication can help to correct chemical balances, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and keep cravings at bay.

For oxycodone, doctors generally prescribe opiate antagonists to block the drug’s effects. Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Naloxone
  • Methadone

Oxycodone Detox Process

Detox is an important rung in the ladder of recovery. It involves ridding your body of harmful toxins by tapering off use and administering necessary medication. Inpatient care is the best option for detox treatment. It gives you a safe, controlled, and positive environment to undergo the detox process along with a trained medical staff to ensure that you don’t go through the journey alone. Counselors can provide motivation and lend an ear and advice when you need emotional support, while the medical team can administer scheduled medication and keep you healthy and comfortable as possible.

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