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Oxycodone is a prescription pain medication used to treat acute moderate to severe pain and some types of chronic pain relief. It is used in combination with other drugs to form powerful pain relievers such as Percocet, Oxycontin, and Endocet.
Oxycodone is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that belongs to a class of drugs known as opioid analgesics. It is taken orally, though sometimes the drug had been injected in the past.
Oxycodone was reformulated in 2014 to prevent intravenous use. This was done by making the pills and tablets resistant to crushing, as well as turning them into a thick gel when added to water.
All current oxycodone medication has controlled release properties, even if turned into a gel by adding water.
Oxycodone typically affects each individual differently, but common side effects may include:
Oxycodone is highly addictive and is one of the most misused prescription drugs in the United States. Many people who are prescribed oxycodone initially take the proper amount but increase usage as their body develops a tolerance to the drug.
The transition from opioid use to opioid addiction is often quick. Oxycodone is a powerful drug and it can be hard to stay in control, especially if it provides relief from severe pain.
Recognizing oxycodone addiction early could help save someone’s life. This type of addiction is not only expensive and debilitating, but it could easily lead to overdose and even death.
It is not safe to mix oxycodone and alcohol. Oxycodone is dangerous on its own, but can become life-threatening when it interacts with another depressant such as alcohol.
Combining these substances together can increase the risks of side effects from each individual drug. Additionally, it can also cause more potential side effects that only occur from mixing.
Taking just one oxycodone tablet with even a small amount of alcohol increases the risk of experiencing respiratory depression, a potentially life-threatening side effect. This causes extremely shallow breathing or the possibility of stopping breathing entirely.
Mixing oxycodone with alcohol can cause side effects such as:
There are many risks associated with mixing oxycodone and alcohol. In addition to increased confusion, a marked decrease in responsiveness, and breathing difficulties, there is also an increased chance of overdose and death.
Alcohol is involved in more than 20% of deaths and 20% of all emergency room visits involving prescription opioid drugs.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
On top of that, more than 50% of teens that misuse opioids have combined them with alcohol at some point, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
Call an ambulance or emergency healthcare professional immediately if you or someone you know may be at risk of overdosing.
Withdrawal symptoms for both alcohol and oxycodone can be severe, though they vary depending on the individual and level of addiction. Typical withdrawal symptoms include:
Hospitals and treatment centers have experienced healthcare staff who have the tools and abilities to provide appropriate treatment for these symptoms.
Some signs and warnings signify alcohol and oxycodone misuse. These include physical, psychological, and behavioral changes that accompany substance use disorder (SUD).
Some of these signs include:
Regular use of oxycodone and alcohol together may also cause:
As with other opiates, stopping oxycodone use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. This is exacerbated further when the patient is also suffering from alcohol addiction.
Unmonitored withdrawal symptoms from both substances can be life-threatening. This is why detoxing should only be done under medical supervision.
Treatment for oxycodone and alcohol addiction is best done with professional therapy sessions, formal or informal support groups, and (in some cases) medication.
Therapy and support groups help treat the root cause of addiction, allowing patients to identify and overcome the psychological compulsion to drink alcohol and take oxycodone in the first place.
Various inpatient and outpatient treatment centers can treat this type of addiction. It is essential to find the best fit for each patient, as each person is different and has different needs when it comes to recovery.
Though it is typically best to receive all of the treatments mentioned above together, there are many cases where patients will not need to use them all, at least at the same time.
If you or a loved one suffers from alcohol and oxycodone addiction, reach out to a medical professional or healthcare provider to explore treatment program options.
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