Oxycodone Abuse & Addiction & Side Effects & Testing
Oxycodone is a prescription drug that acts as a depressant of the central nervous system. It is a narcotic, much like Vicodin and morphine and is used to treat moderate to severe pain like that caused by fractures, arthritis, childbirth and serious diseases like Cancer
Going by such brand names as Percocet, OxyContin, Tylox and Percodan, oxycodone is an opiate that is highly addictive and is being abused by many. When taken repeatedly, one can become tolerant to the drug, therefore requiring higher doses to experience the same effects. Oxycodone is often mistakenly referred to as oxycotton. While OxyContin is a brand name of the drug, oxycotton is just a misspelling of the name. This drug is also referred to as oxy and hillbilly heroin on the street.
Oxycodone Side Effects
Oxycodone is very addictive and is often abused by individuals who begin taking the drug as a part of a prescription but spiral out of control into actually abusing it. As their tolerance increases, they require a higher and higher oxycodone dosage to achieve the same effects, such as euphoria, pain relief and the prevention of withdrawal symptoms.
When taken as prescribed, oxycodone can cause several side effects including constipation, headache, nausea, excessive sweating and dry mouth. An oxycodone overdose can cause severe symptoms including seizures, coma, dizziness, clammy skin and slowed breathing.
Abusers of oxycodone may either take it in its original pill form or crush it into a powder to be snorted. The drug can also be melted in water and injected. Because the drug is meant to act as a time-released pain reliever, when crushed or injected oxycodone causes an intense high that involves feelings of euphoria. This is how abusers experience an oxycodone overdose, due to the large amount of the substance being released into their system at once, rather than slowly released over time in the oxycodone pill form.
Signs of Oxycodone Addiction
If a person’s use of oxycodone is radically different from their prescription or doctor’s recommendations, or is taken without a prescription, they may be addicted to the drug. Oxycodone abuse can be seen in those who have developed a dependence on the drug and will continue to take it despite negative consequences. Their bodies go through withdrawal when the intake of the drug is ceased. Withdrawal symptoms are quite obvious and include anxiety, diarrhea, nausea, muscle cramping, especially in the legs, and restlessness.
How To Test For Oxycodone Abuse
There are many different types of drug tests available that detect oxycodone. When searching for one, look for those that test for opiate abuse. Also look for drug tests that test for another opiate, hydrocodone. This substance can be found in drugs such as Vicodin and produces much of the same affects as oxycodone. Drug testing kits come in several types including oxycodone urine tests, saliva tests and hair tests.
Employers, in particular, are often concerned with drug testing and how to go about administering it, yet don’t know where to turn. Liability rests on the shoulders of the employer, making drug abuse of utmost concern. While abusing oxycodone can decrease a person’s ability to make sound judgments and decisions, the abuse of any drug in the workplace can potentially lead to disastrous results. This is why employers often opt to start an employee drug testing program.
Parents, too are worried about drug use in their homes. Teenage drug abuse of substances such as oxycodone is a serious matter. Even the slightest suspicion of teen drug use, and a drug test should be administered.