Numerous narcotic drugs are prescribed to patients suffering from severe pain following surgery, injury, or during a lengthy illness. The effects of oxycodone, for example, are coveted because the drug is released slowly over time into the brain’s pain receptors, providing relief for hours.
When used as prescribed by a doctor and pharmacist, this is a highly effective and safe medication. When abused, however, oxycodone is as deadly as heroin.
What Is Oxycodone?
This is one of several narcotic drugs or opioids as they are otherwise known. Narcotics are analgesics; painkillers which go beyond the effectiveness of over-the-counter tablets. All of them are very strong and it is never wise to take a narcotic drug without a prescription.
Why Is Oxycodone Potentially Dangerous?
If this drug is not taken as directed and treated as a recreational substance, a consumer is not under a doctor’s care. In other words, there could be interactions between oxycodone and other drugs or a medical condition the individual suffers from.
Deaths have occurred when consumers have taken too much of the drug, have taken it while also consuming prescription medication, or from mixing it with alcohol and other recreational substances. Illegal sources are also potentially tainted or concentrated so they are stronger than the prescription sources or contain poisons.
Another danger is that, while taking oxycodone, a patient or recreational user could become addicted to it. This is more likely, once more, to happen outside of a doctor’s care. Illegal use is a secret thing; loved ones and healthcare workers are not only unaware that a person is using it but also unable, as a result, to watch over a person and ensure he weans slowly from reliance on analgesic medication of this strength.
Natural analgesics produced by the body are overwhelmed by this intruder and they are not produced for a time. A body goes into physical withdrawal which signals one’s desperate need for more oxycodone and, eventually, a higher dose. It does not take long before even that is not enough and the drug abuser is mixing drugs, overdosing, and landing in the morgue or a hospital bed.
The only way to recover from reliance on narcotic painkillers like oxycodone, so easily consumed as an oral medication, is to reduce the dose slowly as directed by a doctor, at least in a legitimate situation under regular care. When one becomes addicted to illegal sources, detox is the answer and sometimes requires that one be admitted to a facility for help.
Detoxifying the Drug Addict’s Body
Medical, physical detox is step one of recovery. At this point, why a patient started taking oxycodone is irrelevant. The crisis right now is getting through withdrawal. One will usually do so in hospital with the support of healthcare workers while being treated with milder painkillers. In a private setting, these are sometimes augmented with alternative treatments such as entering a sauna to sweat out the toxins, acupuncture, or massage therapy.
Detoxifying the Addict’s Mind
Usually, illegal drug users are susceptible to substance abuse because of a pre-existing problem which has nothing to do with physical pain. The individual is suffering from the residual effects of child abuse, spousal abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or is trying ineffectively to cope with anxiety. Someone suggested he try drugs and he was introduced to painkillers which provide a calming effect. In high enough doses, they produce a strong sense of well-being.
Eradicating the addictive tendency in a person with co-existing mental health problems is not likely; these issues lurk in the back of one’s mind even after years of successful counseling. Such individuals, however, often respond well to psychotherapy where they learn to identify stressful triggers and healthier ways to cope with them.
Relapse is not inevitable but the numbers suggest people frequently return to the drug after rehab. Counselors and other professionals urge rehab participants to reconsider their home life and how this should change.
For example, conflict in the home must be addressed prior to returning. An unhappy employment situation should also be addressed and drug-using friends must no longer be part of a recovering addict’s life.