Oxycodone Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire

Oxycodone addiction can be devastating, but it's not too late to quit.

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Millions of Americans have misused prescription opioids over the years. Nearly a quarter of drug abusers grapple with an opioid disorder, as per the Drug Abuse Statistics.

In 2021, New Hampshire saw over 400 lives lost to opioid-related overdose, with oxycodone and similar drugs contributing to a portion of these tragic deaths.

The state previously sued OxyContin (a popular oxycodone brand) maker Purdue Pharma for its deceptive marketing practices fueling the opioid crisis.

Dealing with oxycodone addiction is a mental health battle, but the good news is that successful recovery isn’t impossible to achieve.

If you or someone you care about needs intervention, this oxycodone addiction treatment guide is for you.

What Is Oxycodone and Its Effects on the Brain?

Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller for treating moderate to severe pain. Common brand names include OxyContin, Percocet, and Roxycodone.

It’s given to people suffering from painful conditions, including arthritis, neuralgia, cancer, and other physical disorders. Doctors also prescribe a short course of oxycodone for pain management after trauma or surgery.

Oxycodone is a prescription opioid (narcotics), along with hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, and morphine.

Aside from easing your pain, oxycodone may cause the following:

  • Intense pleasure or happiness (euphoria)
  • Stress relief, calmness, and relaxation
  • Reduced anxiety

Why Is Oxycodone Addictive?

Oxycodone floods your system with endorphins, creating temporary bliss and pain relief. It attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and throughout the body, effectively blocking pain signals. It also triggers the release of the pleasure hormone dopamine.

And this is why oxycodone can become habit-forming. The rush of these feel-good chemicals tricks your brain into liking oxycodone a little too much.

How Does Oxycodone Addiction Develop?

Oxycodone addiction happens when someone:

  • Takes more than the prescribed doses
  • Uses it for longer than recommended
  • Uses methods like chewing, snorting, inhaling, or injecting for faster, more intense effects

Oxycodone addiction, like other forms of opioid use disorder, often starts with a genuine need for pain relief. The drug can feel like a lifesaver at first.

Your brain then gets used to the feel-good effects it provides. You start craving those pleasant feelings more and more.

Over time, your body builds a tolerance as you continue using it. The same dose of oxycodone doesn’t give you the same relief or pleasure as before.

You need higher doses to chase that initial high, along with a constant urge to use it again as soon as its effects wear off. You associate it with survival—you feel like you can’t live without it.

Since oxycodone is closely regulated, some people try to get more prescriptions from different doctors. Others may engage in risky behavior to obtain it.

This cycle of tolerance, craving, physical dependence, and escalating use is how oxycodone addiction takes hold.

High-Risk Groups for Oxycodone Addiction

Many people who take oxycodone for pain don’t get addicted. However, some groups are more vulnerable to developing opioid addiction.

These factors can increase your risk of abusing oxycodone:

  • Young age
  • Poverty or unemployment
  • High-stress environment
  • Personal or family history of alcohol abuse or substance use disorder
  • History of mental health disorders like depression or PTSD
  • Thrill-seeking behavior
  • A concurrent health condition
  • Chronic pain

Side Effects of Oxycodone Addiction

The challenge with oxycodone abuse is that it’s not always easy to detect, especially when it’s initially used as prescribed. Once dependence develops, it can quickly spiral into a full-blown addiction.

Some physical symptoms to watch for include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Itching and sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or sleepiness

Oxycodone addiction also affects one’s behavioral health. Consider these signs:

  • Eating too much or too little
  • Social withdrawal
  • Losing interest in things they used to enjoy
  • Sleeping at odd hours
  • Irritability and sudden mood swings
  • Worsening of mental illness
  • Neglecting responsibilities (family, school, or work)
  • Getting into legal and financial trouble

Recognizing the signs of oxycodone abuse and addiction can help save lives. If you or a family member ever find yourselves in this situation, please ask for help. Your healthcare team can find safer options and guide you through reducing your opioid use.

What Are the Dangers of Oxycodone Addiction?

Oxycodone comes with a high risk of abuse. Even a short course of the medicine can quickly escalate to addiction. This is why healthcare providers can be cautious about increasing doses or issuing refills.

Some people may end up looking for opioids from illegal sources. A study found that most oxycodone abusers entering treatment don’t even have a medical reason to take the drug; they’re just after the buzz.

Others switch to other substances, which can be riskier due to potential contamination or the presence of stronger opioids like fentanyl. Those who misuse oxycodone by injecting it also have higher chances of contracting bloodborne diseases like HIV and hepatitis B or C.

The worst-case scenario is that oxycodone addiction can lead to a fatal overdose. Overdose symptoms include:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Bluish lips, skin, and nail beds
  • Slurring
  • Extreme drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Fainting
  • Shallow breathing or slow heart rate
  • Coma

Taking oxycodone with the antidepressant drug SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) increases the risk of overdose. Also, mixing oxycodone with depressants like benzodiazepines and alcohol is fatally dangerous.

That said, don’t stop taking oxycodone abruptly on your own, as it can cause withdrawal symptoms. Always talk with your doctor first if you’re thinking about stopping so they can wean you off the drug safely.

Withdrawal Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction

Stopping oxycodone can trigger several withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Goosebumps
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Stomach cramps, nausea, or vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Teary eyes or runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Yawning

Occasionally, withdrawal symptoms can be severe enough to require hospitalization. You can self-check the intensity of your symptoms using the Subjective Opioid Withdrawal Scale (SOWS).

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Options

Treatment programs for oxycodone addiction typically involve a combination of approaches tailored to one’s specific needs. The most common types of treatment include:

1.   Medical Detoxification

Medically supervised detox programs may be necessary for those experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. These programs provide medical support and round-the-clock monitoring to ensure safety during detox.

2.   Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are medications commonly used in MAT. They target semi-synthetic opiates like oxycodone and hydrocodone by:

  • Suppressing opioid cravings
  • Blocking the euphoric effects of oxycodone
  • Reducing withdrawal symptoms

These medicines are safe for long-term use, whether that means a few months, several years, or even a lifetime. Along with counseling and behavioral therapies, they’re a crucial component of ongoing recovery.

MAT programs for oxycodone addiction are often available through specialized treatment centers or SAMHSA-accredited substance abuse treatment facilities.

3.   Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHP for oxycodone addiction sits right in the middle of inpatient and outpatient rehab programs. You get substantial daily care but still go home at night. It’s ideal if you need more than regular outpatient visits but don’t need 24/7 monitoring in a residential setting.

4.   Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOP is a step down from PHP and typically involves several hours of therapy sessions each week. It gives you comprehensive care while leaving plenty of time for your family, school, or work.

5.   Therapy Programs

These programs offer a holistic approach to treating oxycodone abuse:

  • Individual Therapy: This one-on-one session with a therapist allows you to explore your struggles, triggers, and goals. It’s a safe space to work through your emotions and develop coping strategies.
  • Group Therapy: Sharing experiences, offering support, and learning from others going through similar challenges can be incredibly reassuring. In group therapy sessions, you’re sure to find a sense of empowerment and comfort.
  • Family Therapy: Oxycodone addiction affects both you and your loved ones. Family therapy sessions help address family dynamics, communication issues, and ways to uplift each other during your recovery.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: This goal-oriented therapy focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. CBT helps you build healthier coping mechanisms and skills to manage cravings and triggers.

6.   Sober Living Program

A sober home is a supportive environment where individuals in recovery can live together in a drug-free space. It’s a place where you can continue to heal and grow before reintegrating into society.

Here, residents follow structured routines, attend support group meetings, and engage in activities focused on maintaining lifelong sobriety.

7.   Aftercare and Relapse Prevention

After completing your treatment program, you’ll need ongoing support and encouragement to stay sober and prevent relapse.

Staying on track with your recovery means checking in regularly with counselors or support groups. These sessions help you stay focused on your goals and deal with any hurdles along the way.

Conclusion: Getting Help

Oxycodone addiction can be devastating, but it’s not too late to quit. We understand if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about how to begin, but you don’t have to face this alone. The most important step you can take today is to seek professional help.

You deserve to live a life free from oxycodone addiction, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our team offers personalized treatment plans and an excellent level of care tailored to your needs. Please reach out to us—a sober life is well within your reach.

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Published on: 2024-05-07
Updated on: 2024-05-12