Oxycodone Addiction and Misuse
Oxycodone is the second most misused prescription opioid in the United States.1 According to a 2020 survey, among Americans aged 12 and older:1,2
- 2 million (1.1%) misused oxycodone.
- 3 million (3.3%) misused prescription pain medicines.
In Nevada, prescription opioid misuse is slightly higher than the national average. Between 2018 and 2019, 3.87% of Nevadans aged 12 and older misused prescription pain medicine.9
What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a prescription opioid medicine used to treat pain. It is classified as a Schedule II drug, which means that it does have legitimate medical uses, but also has a high potential for misuse and abuse. Oxycodone is also known on the street as Hillbilly Heroin, Kicker, Ox, Roxy, Oxy, and Perc.4
Pure oxycodone is sold as the brand name OxyContin. Percodan is the brand name for oxycodone combined with aspirin, and Percocet is oxycodone combined with acetaminophen.4,5
Oxycodone Health Effects
No matter which oxycodone formula a person uses, they have similar side effects. In general, the short-term effects of oxycodone or other opioids may include:4,6
- Feeling fatigue (overly tired).
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Feeling dizzy.
- Slowed breathing, which can be life-threatening.
These side effects can appear even if you take oxycodone exactly as your doctor told you.2 Regular opioid use or misuse can also lead to:2–5,7,8
- Tolerance, where you need higher doses of the drug to get the same effect.2,5
- Dependence, which means that if you suddenly reduce your dose or stop using oxycodone, you may have withdrawal symptoms.
- Addiction, which is a chronic disease that involves compulsive substance use no matter the harm it causes. The clinical term for opioid addiction is “opioid use disorder,” or OUD.
- Taking too much oxycodone or other opioids can slow or even stop your breathing, which can eventually lead to coma and death. Overdose is a medical emergency. If you think you are someone else is overdosing, call 911 right away and give naloxone (if you have it) while you wait for help to arrive.
Long-Term Effects of Oxycodone
Other long-term health effects of regular oxycodone or other opioid use include:10
- Accidents and injuries.
- Dry mouth and nose.
- Chronic constipation.
- Vision problems.
- If injected: vein damage, skin infections, tetanus, HIV, hepatitis C, tuberculosis.
When you are dependent on oxycodone or other opioids and stop using, you will likely go through withdrawal, which can be very difficult. Withdrawal symptoms include:8
- Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Muscle spasms.
- Goosebumps and chills.
- Bone and muscle pain.
- Rapid pulse.
Types of Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
Medical detox is often the first step in treating oxycodone addiction and withdrawal.8 Opioid withdrawal is often intensely uncomfortable, and many people are tempted to start using opioids again to ease their symptoms.8,11 Detox can help you through this period while keeping you as safe and comfortable as possible.8 During detox, your care team may give you prescription medicines such as buprenorphine and methadone to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.8,11
Detox can help you safely withdraw from opioids, but it doesn’t address the underlying issues that led to opioid use disorder in the first place.11 To learn how to address these issues, many people continue treatment after detox in one or more of the following ways:2,8,11,12
- Behavioral therapy, which helps you change your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around substance use and learn how to cope with your triggers (the people, places, and things that make you want to use substances).
- Medication for addiction treatment (MAT), which uses prescription medicines that are FDA-approved to treat OUD both short-term and long-term. The OUD medicines methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone can help reduce cravings and prevent overdose or relapse (return to opioid use after a period of not using). These medicines are often started in rehab but can also be given outside rehab settings by certified doctors.
- Inpatient rehab, where you live at a treatment center for the length of treatment. This will vary depending on your recovery needs (for example, 30, 60, and 90 days are common stays).
- Outpatient rehab, which offers much of the same programming as inpatient treatment, but you live at home.
- Mutual support groups, such as SMART Recovery or 12-step programs.
Finding Oxycodone Detox or Rehab in Las Vegas, NV
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of oxycodone detox and rehab in Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as nationwide. We offer personalized treatment plans and skilled, caring staff members to guide you through every step of your recovery. Call us today at —our 24/7 free and confidential helpline—to talk about your treatment options.