Can Oxycodone Affect My Memory?

Can Oxycodone Affect My Memory?Oxycodone is synthesized from the same plant as heroin, and it is the narcotic compound found in painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet. Doctors prescribe oxycodone to treat moderate to severe pain, but many people seek the medication for its euphoric effects. Whether people take the drug for medicinal or illicit purposes, this drug can trap users in an addiction that produces powerful health risks. One of these side effects is memory loss.

How Painkillers Cause Memory Loss

Dopamine plays a pivotal role in addiction. This neurotransmitter affects the reward center in the brain, but drug abuse desensitizes the neural receptors that process it. This means that the drug motivates addictive behaviors in the following ways:

  • Narcotics flood the brain with dopamine
  • Desensitized receptors limit the neurotransmitters’ effects
  • The reward center becomes more difficult to stimulate
  • Users require higher drug doses to feel any reward

As receptor sites become desensitized, users need more and more drugs to experience reward, while other experiences produce less pleasure. This explains why addicts are driven to abuse drugs, but it also affects memory. Simply put, dopamine facilitates memory, so dopamine levels from drug use affects more than just the brain’s sense of reward. In fact, addiction causes the following neurobiological problems:

  • Nightmares and night terrors
  • Mood disorders like anxiety and depression
  • Lightheadedness and headaches
  • Dizziness and nausea

Dopamine disruption is a major cause of memory lapses, but researchers currently study other ways that opiates affect memory. However, what is absolutely clear is that these memory lapses can be dangerous.

Dangers of Memory Lapses

The memory problems from oxycodone abuse present the following risks:

  • Overdose dangers as users lose track of oxycodone dosage
  • Cognitive impairments that increase the risk of accidents
  • Difficulties remembering critical facts or recent experiences
  • Greater willingness to engage in risky behaviors
  • Neglect of important responsibilities and obligations

Opiate highs can lead to blackouts, which means users have no memory of what they did. During these blackouts, decision-making skills are seriously impaired, and risky acts like driving while intoxicated are far more common.

Oxycodone Addiction Rehab

Professional rehab treats painkiller addition with the following techniques:

  • Tapered withdrawal that weans drugs out of a user’s system
  • Mental health screenings and treatments for co-occurring mood disorders
  • Examination of the underlying causes of oxycodone use
  • Counseling to determine personal drug use triggers, including people, places and emotions
  • Behavioral therapies to shape how patients absorb and process information
  • Group counseling to encourage patients to share and build support structures

Holistic treatments to minimize withdrawal symptoms and to heal problems like memory loss. These treatments include acupuncture, meditation and nutritional guidance for foods that are healthy for the brain.

Oxycodone Abuse Helpline

Do you or a loved one struggle with painkiller abuse? Our staff is available 24 hours a day to discuss addiction signs, treatment methods and facility options. If you have health insurance, we can also check your policy for rehab coverage. Our helpline is toll free, so please call now.