Oxycodone is a type of prescription painkiller given to patients who are in severe, acute pain. While it is an opioid, it is considered a semi-synthetic agent since it is made from an ingredient, thebaine, which is derived from the poppy plant. Oxycodone, commonly referred to as “oxy” is available only by oral ingestion in the United States. Cancer related pain, acute pain post surgery and pain not controlled by any other means are the few instances which opioids can be prescribed. Unfortunately, oxycodone is now being manufactured and distributed on the streets, increasing its usage around the world and causing more deaths due to abuse and overdose.

Oxy is commonly mixed with other pain relievers and distributed by pharmaceutical agencies. Combunox is oxycodone mixed with ibuprofen, oxycodone with acetaminophen is known as Percocet, oxycodone mixed with aspirin is Oxycodan and OxyContin is controlled-release pure oxycodone.

The DEA classifies oxycodone as a schedule II drug in the United States. Taken orally, 20 mg of immediate release oxycodone is equivalent to 30 mg of morphine. Extended release oxycodone is considered to be twice as potent as oral morphine.

Addiction To Oxycodone

The opioid epidemic is rampant around the world. Oxycodone is being overprescribed and sold illegally on the street creating addiction, overdose and death. Side effects from oxycodone use include the following:

  • Constipation
  • Pruritus (severe itching of the skin)
  • Euphoria
  • Lethargy
  • Respiratory depression

When taken not as prescribed, these medications can cause a lethal overdose due to severe respiratory depression. The opioids attach to the mu opioid receptors in the brain thus decreasing the rate of breathing in the medulla oblongata in the brain. The body has natural painkillers in the brain known as endorphins which are down regulated after chronic use of exogenous opioids. After taking opioids for a sustained amount of time, the body also develops a tolerance. When combined with an increased tolerance and a lower regulation of endorphins, a larger and more frequent dose of opioids is needed in order to elicit the same effect.

Withdrawal From Oxycodone

Opioid intoxication can lead to overdose and death. Thankfully, the withdrawal phase, as painful as it may be, does not. Withdrawal from oxycodone is known to be extremely painful and can cause relapse. Withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety

Medication-assisted Treatment For Oxycodone Addiction

Like all other opioids, oxycodone addiction treatment is best managed with pharmacological therapy that includes both opioid agonists and antagonists which can be found at an oxycodone rehab. An agonist is a medication similar to opioids that binds to the same receptors in the brain. Antagonists act opposite to opioids but also bind to the opioid receptors in the brain blocking opioids. Methadone, naltrexone and Suboxone can be used to treat opioid dependence by reducing the side effects of withdrawal and curbing cravings which can lead to relapse.

Treating opioid addiction with medication-assisted treatment has been ongoing for over thirty years. Initially methadone, which is a type of opioid, was the treatment of choice for oxycodone addiction treatment but has to be used carefully as it has a high addiction risk. This opioid agonist binds to the same receptors as heroin resulting in a similar high. The amount of methadone is slowly tapered overtime to help the body readjust.

In 2002, the FDA approved the use of the combination of buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) to manage opioid dependence. This combination medication is known as a partial opioid agonist/antagonist and antagonist combined and acts by blocking opioid withdrawal symptoms.

Naltrexone is a well-known an opioid antagonist used for the treatment of opioid addiction and is used to prevent relapse after the opioid withdrawal. It is extremely important that the body is completely opioid free otherwise, when naltrexone is administered, severe withdrawal effects will occur as this medication eliminates all opioids in the body.

Most drug-rehabilitation facilities offer at least one of these medications as part of their oxycodone treatment options.

Comprehensive Oxycodone Treatment At Sovereign Health’s Adolescent Program

Sovereign Health provides comprehensive and effective treatment for adolescents and teen struggling with mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, behavioral health disorders and co-occurring conditions at its location in Rancho San Diego. We make sure to find an accurate diagnosis for each patient before providing them with an individualized treatment program specifically built to address their needs. For a teen seeking help from our oxycodone rehab we can offer careful and professional care. This will normally include medication-assisted treatment paired with effective therapy options such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and group therapy along with holistic therapeutic approaches like yoga and equine therapy. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego also encourages the support of families in addiction treatment, offering non-confrontational interventions in a relaxing environment.

We are accredited by the Joint Commission and licensed for mental health to diagnose and treat co-occurring disorders. If your teen is struggling to gain oxycodone recovery, feel free to contact our admissions team today at our 24/7 helpline.

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