Oxycodone Addiction Symptoms

Even when taken following a doctor’s prescription, oxycodone has side-effects. Oxycodone addiction creates worse symptoms, and poses a grave risk to the user’s health.

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic analgesic, a medication belonging to the category of prescription painkillers. Just like heroin, the source ingredient of oxycodone is the poppy plant, and it is an opioid medicine. It is marketed under the brand names OxyContin and Roxicodone, among others, and falls under schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act – substances with a high potential for abuse and dependence. Like other narcotics, (heroin, morphine, fentanyl, and opioid prescription painkillers), oxycodone has a very high addiction profile, and its use frequently leads to substance abuse.

What is Oxycodone Prescribed For?

Oxycodone is prescribed as a pain reliever for moderate to severe pain. It is often given, for example, to patients in a postoperative phase, or to cancer sufferers, though it can also be recommended for treating chronic painful conditions Alongside pain relief, oxycodone induces a feeling of relaxation and euphoria in the user, hence the potential for oxycodone abuse.

How is Oxycodone Taken?

When taken on prescription, oxycodone is ingested orally, in the form of extended-release tablets or immediate release capsules. People abusing oxycodone may also dissolve crushed tablets in water and inject it, or heat a tablet on silver foil and inhale the vapors.

Can Oxycodone Use Lead to Oxycodone Addiction?

Simply using oxycodone in any shape or form can be one of a number of causes and risk factors in developing an oxycodone addiction. Oxycodone’s potency, the sense of well-being it causes, and the psychoactive effects of oxycodone when it is taken in even marginally higher than recommended doses, make it a prime candidate for substance abuse. In 2020, the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics found that over 30% of Americans aged 12 and over were using prescription painkillers, and that more than five million were misusing hydrocodone, a very similar opioid medication to oxycodone.

Oxycodone abuse is, by definition, non-medical use of the medication, and is one of the risk factors that can lead to oxycodone addiction – when a person starts taking it in quantities larger than recommended, in order to improve how they feel, a substance abuse disorder may be just around the corner. Opioid use disorder is one of the most lethal forms of drug abuse, and in 2017, 67,8% of drug overdose deaths were opioid-related (source: NCDAS, as above). From an outsider’s perspective, oxycodone addiction signs may, at least initially, be difficult to detect, since the appearance of some side-effects of oxycodone is par for the course. However, these are mostly physical and may be felt only by the user. Nevertheless, signs and symptoms of a substance use disorder will always become apparent sooner or later. When a person is abusing oxycodone, changes in lifestyle habits, behavioral symptoms and cognitive symptoms usually surface even when physical symptoms are kept hidden or are less pronounced.

Signs and Symptoms of Oxycodone Abuse

Prescribed oxycodone has predictable side-effects, which do not normally outwardly affect a person’s life. Anyone concerned their use of the medication may be becoming habitual would do well to be wary of further symptoms appearing, as these might represent early oxycodone addiction signs.

Side-Effects of Oxycodone Use

Expected side-effects include:

  • headache, dry mouth, tiredness
  • sweating, itchiness
  • loss of appetite, nausea
  • vomiting, constipation.

Oxycodone Addiction

In medical circles, the term substance use disorder is sometimes used in place of the term addiction, as a more clinically accurate description of this behavioral health issue. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is even more specific, and refers to opioid use disorder, which oxycodone addiction would come under. Regardless of terminology, the point of the manual is to establish, with some thoroughness, whether the magnitude of a person’s substance abuse justifies regarding it as an actual addictive pattern of substance abuse. However, ideally, nobody would wait for such a diagnosis before they seek professional treatment, since the risk of fatal overdose is very real with oxycodone, and therefore its abuse represents a threat to an individual’s life.

Certain risk factors can predispose a person towards developing an addiction to prescription opioids like oxycodone. Genetic and environmental factors play a big role, for example, whether or not there is a history of addiction in the family, or if the person grew up or is currently surrounded by people who abuse drugs. The person may also have a personal history of substance abuse problems, a mental health disorder of some kind, or behavioral health concerns. Coping with a challenging life situation may also create the temptation to abuse oxycodone.

Physical Symptoms of Oxycodone Abuse

When under the influence of a high dose of oxycodone, people may display these symptoms:

  • drowsiness, disturbed sleep
  • pupil constriction
  • poor coordination
  • psychomotor agitation.

Emotional and Cognitive Symptoms

Oxycodone can be severely disruptive to a person’s thought processes and feelings. They may visibly be experiencing:

  • difficulties concentrating or focusing
  • memory problems
  • impaired judgment
  • abnormal thoughts or even hallucinations
  • extreme mood swings, outbursts of anger or violence
  • anxiety and paranoia
  • social withdrawal and other psychosocial symptoms.

Behavioral Symptoms

These can be signs and symptoms both of a developing oxycodone addiction or of a full-blown substance abuse disorder. A person will begin to display behaviors characteristic of a person trying to conceal or feed their habit, such as:

  • attempting to borrow or steal oxycodone that has been prescribed to someone else
  • trying to borrow or steal money in order to buy oxycodone
  • visiting a number of doctors in different places, in order to try and get oxycodone prescriptions (known as doctor shopping)
  • jeopardizing home and work obligations and responsibilities by prioritizing the acquisition of oxycodone
  • being untruthful or deceptive about their whereabouts or activities
  • using oxycodone with a complete disregard for their own and other people’s safety, such as when driving, or when already drinking alcohol
  • Neglecting their appearance and personal hygiene
  • Attempting unsuccessfully to stop or reduce their oxycodone use
  • Persisting in their use despite negative outcomes.

Oxycodone Overdose Effects

One of the principal dangers of oxycodone abuse is the risk of overdose. Symptoms of an oxycodone overdose vary depending on the individual and the quantity of the medication taken, but include:

  • extreme lethargy
  • slurred speech
  • extreme disorientation and confusion
  • difficulty breathing or respiratory depression
  • cold, clammy skin
  • bluish lips and fingertips
  • seizure or blackout.

These are all definite signs that a person’s body is unable to safely process the amount of oxycodone ingested, and requires urgent medical attention.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone abuse will result in a person developing a degree of tolerance to the synthetic opioid, as well as a certain physical dependence. As a result, any attempts to abruptly reduce, or even completely discontinue, their oxycodone intake will lead them to experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can manifest to some extent even with prescribed oxycodone, if a person takes the progressive lowering of their dosage into their own hands.

Withdrawal symptoms can appear as soon as six hours after use, or as long as 30 hours afterwards. They include:

  • excessive perspiration, nausea, vomiting
  • diarrhea and abdominal cramps
  • high body temperature and muscle aches
  • bone pain
  • runny nose and dilated pupils.

Emotionally a person may feel surges of anxiety, depression or agitation.

The opioid withdrawal process has its own risks, including severe dehydration from vomiting, sweating and diarrhea. A person may also be tempted to relapse, or reach for any other drugs or medication they use, in order to escape the pain. This is why whenever possible, it is advisable to seek medical help and advice, and perhaps even enter a treatment center for a supervised detox.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

As with all opioids, excessive use of oxycodone puts the body and mind under great strain. There is a genuine risk of permanent liver damage, and irreversible harm to the body from overdose. That’s why oxycodone addiction treatment needs to help the person not only quit oxycodone, but also help them on the path to lifelong recovery, if they are to avoid further negative impact on their health and lives.

Treatment of opioid use disorder is often medication-assisted – this approach allows a person’s system to get gradually accustomed to no longer ingesting oxycodone, and lessens the urge to return to it. In comparison to other types of drugs that are regularly abused, there are many pharmacological options for treating opioid abuse. However, it is a fact that medication alone is unlikely to produce lasting freedom from a drug habit. Appropriate therapy and an adequate support network are required if a person is to find stability in their recovery.

The sooner a person finds the right treatment for their oxycodone addiction, the better their chances of avoiding lasting mental and physical health concerns and especially overdose. At the same time, it is never too late to reach out for help. At NP Addiction Clinic, we offer a wide range of treatment programs, and a safe, nurturing environment, to help our clients regain wellness and find freedom. With a compassionate team of experienced experts in our field, we are here to serve.

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Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner

Facilitator

As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns

Clinician

Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
 
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine