On average 115 Americans die from opioid overdose every day in the US. Oxycodone addiction leads to a large amount of those deaths and thousands more who deal with this serious addiction are at risk of being a part of that statistic at any moment.
It’s often a hidden addiction until it is too late. That’s why it is so crucial that you understand and recognize the dangers and signs of oxycodone addiction.
While there are addiction risk factors that make one more susceptible, oxycodone addictions don’t discriminate and can affect anyone.
Keep reading to learn more about oxycodone. We’ll cover 7 common signs of oxycodone addiction and how to recognize if a loved one has a problem.
1. Changes in Behavior and Appearance with Oxycodone Addiction
One of the most noticeable signs of oxycodone addiction may be the changes you notice in a loved one’s appearance and behavior.
There may be a remarkable difference in how they care for themselves. Previously meticulously neat individuals can become unkempt.
You may notice telltale physical signs of oxycodone use which include:
- flushed skin
- bloodshot eyes with dark circles
- dramatic changed in weight
- constricted small pupils
While some or all of these signs can indicate addiction of other substances, they may be an indicator that there is an issue with oxycodone.
Physical appearance and hygiene are just one symptom of addiction, you’ll also notice changes in the way they behave or interact with others.
The habits, choices, and behavior of someone suffering from oxycodone addiction will often seem like a stranger. They become a different person while battling their addiction.
Some of the more obvious behavior changes may include:
- moodiness and irritability
- unreliable and irresponsible action
- withdrawing from activities and social engagements
- distracted spending much of time trying to acquire pain meds
- change in appetite and sleep patterns
- nervousness and anxiety (especially during withdrawal)
- lack of interest in people and things previously important
- inability to concentrate, forgetfulness
Often opioids are first prescribed by a medical professional to manage pain. This can quickly lead to a dependency on the potent medication which can take years to overcome.
It can be difficult to know whether a loved one is simply trying to manage severe pain or have become dependent on the powerful pain medications.
Opioids have been effective in lowering pain in those suffering, offering them a better quality of life. The risk of abusing these prescriptions, however, can lead to devastating effects on one’s physical, financial and emotional health.
2. Where’s the Money Going?
Fueling an opioid addiction can be pricey. Not just for one’s physical and emotional well-being but also for their pocketbook. You may notice your loved one is having financial difficulties without a visible reason.
They may be financially struggling and asking for money at times and in ways that seem unusual for them.
Often addiction can lead individuals to sell their possessions, beg and steal from loved ones and strangers, and to make risky choices that otherwise are out of character for them.
3. Changes in Sleep and Eating Habits
Is your loved one sleeping at unusual times? Do they sleep more or less than usual for them? Have their eating habits changed noticeably?
You may notice a loved one is not sleeping for long periods of time or they seem to be falling asleep and fatigued all the time. They may avoid eating with others, lose their appetite and dramatically lose weight.
The opposite can also be true of an addiction. You may find they dramatically gain weight, especially if their addiction starts from being medically prescribed oxycodone. Their physical activity level drops due to illness, injury or surgery leaving them more susceptible to weight gain.
4. Physical Complaints of Pain Without Reason
As mentioned, oxycodone addiction often starts with a prescription that was given to help manage severe or chronic pain. This becomes an issue when the drugs are no longer taken to deal with the original pain but is needed to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Emotional and physical dependency can lead patients to believe or claim that they still have pain long after the injury or condition has healed.
Pain is difficult to measure and there’s no test showing whether a person is in fact in pain or not so doctors often continue prescribing the medication at the patient’s request.
When a doctor does realize the patient may no longer be in pain and has developed an addiction issue it is too late. The individual is already dependent and will look elsewhere to get them if the doctor stops issuing more drugs.
5. Multiple Doctors or Prescriptions
There have been many changes in how America deals with opioids addiction in recent years to try and cope with the epidemic of opioid addiction.
Oxycodone and similar drugs were considered wonder drugs when they were first marketed to doctors by the pharmaceutical companies. Many doctors believed and advised patients that using oxycodone for legitimate pain wouldn’t lead to addiction.
When the medical profession realized there was an epidemic of opioid abuse in the US it was too late for thousands who were now addicted to the powerful narcotics.
When doctors become concerned with the number of opioids being requested by a patient they may refuse to renew prescriptions, leading the addict to seek out someone else who will.
They will continue to visit hospital emergency rooms, walk-in clinics and other avenues of obtaining the drugs they’ve become dependent on.
Previously honest, reliable and health conscious individuals will lie, cheat, steal and swindle to get their addiction fed.
6. Lack of Control
An addiction takes over a person’s life and can lead to them doing and saying things they would never have considered before their dependency on the drug.
It may seem like every aspect of their life is out of control and all of their actions may be driven by their addiction.
They may be unable to think about anything that doesn’t have to do with getting and taking the oxycodone they’ve become dependent on.
Their actions and life may spiral out of control because the addict can’t think straight or concentrate on anything that doesn’t relate to their addiction.
7. Cognitive Function
Concentration, memory, rational thought, and self-esteem may all suffer greatly when dealing with an addiction to oxycodone. It takes over the mind, body, and life.
Brain cells are affected and changed by the powerful drugs. The person may lose all ability to cope with the activities of daily living. This can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed or simply avoiding every other aspect of life.
Recovery from Oxycodone Addiction is Possible
There is hope and help available. There are treatment options that have been successful in helping thousands of individuals get their lives back and find happiness after oxycodone addiction.