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Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a member of the powerful class of opioid narcotics (also known as opiates), which are derived naturally, or synthetically from the opium poppy plant. Also known as “hillbilly heroin,” oxycodone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain, doing so by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to physical affliction. The drug is available in various forms, including the time-release tablet marketed as OxyContin. In addition, oxycodone is the active ingredient in commonly prescribed pain relievers such as Percocet, Percodan, and Tylox. When used properly for medical purposes and under appropriate supervision, oxycodone can be beneficial in treating moderate to severe pain. However, if used without a doctor’s prescription or in ways other than how it is prescribed, oxycodone can be highly addictive and dangerous.

The Addiction

Oxycodone has a high potential for abuse or addiction, and its continued abuse over the past few decades has prompted the U.S. government to classify it as a Schedule II drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Oxycodone is available only through a non-refillable prescription, its medical uses are limited, and the doses that are prescribed are much lower than those typically abused. As with other opiates, oxycodone acts by attaching to specific receptors located in the central nervous system and with long-term use, this process changes the way nerve cells work in the brain. At first, pleasurable effects are produced, ranging from blocking the perception of pain to inducing euphoria which are similar to other drugs of abuse such as alcohol, heroin, and marijuana. Oxycodone elevates levels of dopamine, the neurotransmitter linked with pleasure experiences which make the nerve cells dependent on the presence of the drug, and reducing or stopping use illicits a range of severe withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, fevers, and other flu-like symptoms. These mechanisms are the basis through which users abuse or become addicted to oxycodone.

Help and Treatment

There are two types of treatment that have been documented as the most effective for oxycodone addiction which include a long-term, residential, therapeutic community type of treatment; and long-term, medication-assisted outpatient treatment. Some addicted patients who are highly motivated and have very good social supports may occasionally be able to benefit from treatment with naltrexone, but only after first undergoing detoxification. However, most patients benefit most from treatment with the following pharmacological options:

  • Methadone is the most commonly prescribed medication for opioid addiction treatment in the United States. It eliminates withdrawal symptoms and relieves craving and has been used successfully for decades to treat people addicted to opiates.
  • Buprenorphine, a more recently FDA-approved medication for treating addiction to other opiates, can be prescribed by certified physicians in an office setting, is long-lasting, is less likely to cause respiratory depression than other drugs, and is well tolerated.

Oxycodone Rehab Centers

Oxycodone and OxyContin rehab centers offer care and treatment for patients who are battling through addiction. Detoxification programs for oxycodone and OxyContin provide assistance in easing withdrawal symptoms in a safe and controlled setting. . Learn more about oxycodone addiction and treatment by going to our discussion forum on oxycodone and connect with others who have their own experiences with the drug or are also on the road to recovery.

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