Oxycodone the Synthetic Opiate
Oxycodone is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic with effective pain relief properties. The drug is widely prescribed for moderate and severe pain but has been found to be notoriously addictive. Sold under the band names Percocet, Percodan, Oxycontin, Roxicodone and Oxynorm, the drug has increased in recreational use over recent years. The drug can cause people to feel relaxed, sleepy, euphoric, have reduced anxiety and pain. The drug has high levels of psychological and physical addiction and tolerance to the drug is easily developed.
Oxycodone is very similar to heroin in its effects, addiction risk and chemical composition. However, many people who use oxycodone do not understand the inherent risks and issues associated with using a powerful drug of this type. Young and inexperienced drug users may believe that their use of this drug is safer and not as negative as heroin is because of the ease of use and availability. They may believe that because it is a pharmaceutical medication that it isn’t as dangerous a drug. But after regular use of oxycodone, they may find themselves struggling with an addiction.
Oxycodone is a strong pain killer with effective analgesic properties. Used for its intended purpose, the drug can alleviate serious and chronic pain. This can significantly improve the quality of life for some, including people suffering from cancer or end of life issues. Oxycodone works by mimicking the action of endorphins on the opioid receptors in the body. This essentially blocks the transmission of pain to the brain which reduces the pain feelings and allows a person to relax. The condition that causes the pain is not treated but through the use of the drug, it can begin to be treated through other physical rehabilitation.
Users can experience a large number of varied side effects from oxycodone. These include pupil constriction, slowed reaction times, impaired thinking and confusion, nausea, headaches, nervousness, fatigue, constipation and abdominal pain. In some cases, people may experience seizures, blackouts, and respiratory depression. The drug should always be taken with care and caution.
Tolerance and Dependence
The development of an addiction to oxycodone does not take long for some people. Some users begin taking the medication for a real pain condition, such as chronic back pain or for migraines. But tolerance can develop very quickly with this type of drug and a person may begin to use more and more to have the same effects. Taken properly, the drug is effective at reducing pain and effective when managed by a medical professional. But when taking the drug too often, or too much of the drug, it is apparent that dependence is developing.
There are increasing reports of individuals taking oxycodone as a substitute for heroin. The drug can provide addicts with an effective, and constant high. It has been reported that the drug offers longer lasting and more intense highs than heroin, which is why some users are making the switch. Additionally, the drug is easier to access and cheaper than heroin.
As with other opiates, many people will progress from smoking or swallowing the drug to injecting the drug. This is to increase the high and obtain a more effective and long lasting experience. This raises many concerns about the health impact of injection drug use which can include hepatitis and HIV along with serious infections at the injection site. Additionally, reports of combining this drug with other drugs and administering the drug in bizarre ways such as rectal administration raise some serious concerns.
Withdrawals from Oxycodone
Oxycodone users will often experience intense and painful withdrawals when they stop using the drug. These symptoms can occur for people who swallow or snort the pill, or for those who inject the drug. Individuals may experience long lasting pain and aches, tremors, sweating and chills, nausea, anxiety, paranoia and vomiting. These symptoms will persist for a number of days and cravings for the drug can continue for much longer. Many people who attempt to stop taking the drug will have to try a number of times before succeeding.
Oxycodone is often referred to as hillbilly heroin or coal miners cocaine. This name is in reference to the high levels of abuse in poor regions of America. Users in these regions find the addiction can cause serious problems for their families and communities and crimes related to oxycodone use are at epidemic levels. However, the drug is not only or even primarily used by poor communities. Additionally, evidence is showing that individuals who are prescribed oxycodone for real conditions, such as the elderly, are being approached by people who are willing to buy, sell or steal their drugs to support their own habits.
The nature of an addiction to any drug of this class is that the dependency can cause people to commit crimes and change their behavior and lifestyle to revolve around the use of the drug. The lure of money for people who may be struggling with health and economic problems may mean that some patients prescribed the drug are selling their medication. Taken unsupervised, the medication is highly addictive and can cause immense problems for the user and communities.