Oxycodone Addiction Symptoms, Causes, Signs & Withdrawal Side Effects

Oxycodone is a prescription painkiller that is often prescribed by doctors to alleviate pain. Whether meant to relive discomfort due to injury, surgery, or a medical condition, this painkiller is effective, yet highly addictive at the same time.

Understanding Oxycodone Abuse

Learn More About Oxycodone Addiction

In fact, oxycodone and other opioid painkillers are likened to heroin because of how potent and addictive these sort of substance can be. Given this fact, many people, perhaps even you, have developed an addiction to this painkiller and are unable to go about the day without taking one or more doses of this medication.

The longer that you abuse oxycodone, the more likely you are to become tolerant of it and need greater amounts of this medication in order to keep withdrawal symptoms at bay. As time goes on, your chances of forming a severe dependence on oxycodone rises, which can make professional treatment your only option for defeating this sort of addiction. What’s important for you to bear in mind, however, is that while seeking treatment can seem intimidating, it’s actually a life-saving decision that you can make for yourself to improve not just your health, but your future as well.


Statistics of Oxycodone Addiction

Nearly two million American men and women abuse prescription painkillers including oxycodone and oxycodone-based medications. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, or ASAM, oxycodone abuse is more common among women, as they have a higher likelihood of experiencing chronic pain conditions than men. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that the vast majority of prescriptions for oxycodone are written in the United States, which is a contributing factor to the ever-present opioid crisis that currently exists. Lastly, with the abuse of painkillers rising, so are the number of people experiencing oxycodone and other painkiller overdoses in recent years.


Causes and Risk Factors for Oxycodone Abuse

You may be wondering why you’re struggling with the abuse of oxycodone and why your life has taken such a dark turn. Researchers have tried to answer these questions, and they have concluded the following possible causes and risk factors for oxycodone abuse:

Genetic: Many people have a family history of substance abuse and addiction. The reason for this, according to experts, has to do with specific genes that can make certain people more vulnerable to the abuse of substances like oxycodone.

Environmental: If you’ve been prescribed oxycodone to treat pain, or if you’re able to get this medication easily, your risk of oxycodone abuse increases. Additionally, if you are without beneficial coping mechanisms, lack a positive support network, or associate yourself with those who are accepting of prescription drug abuse, you’re even more at risk of misusing oxycodone. These examples demonstrate how your environment can affect whether or not you may engage in the abuse of oxycodone and develop an addiction to it as a result.

Risk Factors:

  • Mental illness
  • Personal history of substance abuse
  • Having a prescription for oxycodone
  • Trauma
  • Family history of addiction
  • Early exposure to substance abuse
  • Poverty


Signs and Symptoms of Oxycodone Abuse

If you’re curious whether your abuse of oxycodone has developed into an addiction, it could be helpful to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction. Therefore, take stock of your current disposition and see if the following are present in your own life:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Abusing oxycodone even after experiencing negative outcomes as a result
  • Trying to get oxycodone illegally
  • Frequent absences from work
  • Attempting but failing to end one’s use of oxycodone
  • Trying to steal oxycodone that has been prescribed to someone else
  • Lying about whereabouts or activities
  • Abusing oxycodone when it is obviously risky to do so
  • Declining performance at work

Physical symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • Numbness to pain
  • Breathing problems
  • Problems with balance
  • Coordination difficulties
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive yawning
  • Itchiness
  • Faint pulse

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Problems focusing
  • Impaired memory
  • Impaired judgment
  • Difficulty with concentration

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Loss of interest in significant activities


Effects of Oxycodone Abuse

If you haven’t experienced the detrimental effects of abusing oxycodone, you soon will if you continue to abuse this medication. However, you must know that the following can be avoided if you start treatment to recover from your oxycodone abuse problem:

  • Loss of child custody
  • Unemployment
  • Financial ruin
  • Social withdrawal
  • Heart damage
  • Lung damage
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Damage to vision
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Family discord
  • Job loss
  • Legal problems
  • Suicidal actions
  • Physical injury due to impaired judgment
  • Damaged relationships

Co-Occurring Disorders

Learn About Co-Occurring Disorders

Oxycodone addiction is a chemical dependency concern that frequently exists at the same time as other substance abuse and/or mental health concerns. So, if you start addiction services, know that you could be treated for the following co-occurring disorders at the same time:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Other substance use disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of Withdrawal and Overdose for Oxycodone Abuse

Effects of oxycodone withdrawal: The longer you abuse oxycodone, the more likely you are to develop a tolerance to this medication. Because of this, you will probably experience the following, as these effects are those that signify that you’re experiencing oxycodone withdrawal:

  • Intense cravings for oxycodone
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Runny nose
  • Profuse sweating
  • Tics or tremors
  • Shakiness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Nausea
  • Watery eyes
  • Painful abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea

Effects of oxycodone overdose: When you delay treatment for an oxycodone addiction, you remain at risk for an overdose.  This effects of oxycodone abuse could be life-threatening if the below listed warning signs are ignored:

  • Pupillary constriction or dilation
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Bluish tint to skin near lips and/or fingertips
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Breathing problems
  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

My Oxycodone addiction was out of control before rehab. Park Royal Hospital helped me find the other side of this terrible disease and take back control of my life.

– Anonymous Patient