Doctors: Is Your Patient Addicted to Oxycodone?

Doctors, is your patient addicted to Oxycodone?A doctor may prescribe oxycodone to any patient for pain relief. Like many other prescription drugs, oxycodone has the potential for dependency. An addiction to oxycodone may develop innocently with a patient legally prescribed the drug. Others will find ways to illegally obtain the drug for personal use or sale. It can be difficult to know for certain if a patient has developed an oxycodone addiction, but there are a number of both physical and behavioral symptoms that may suggest addiction.

Doctor Precautions for Oxycodone Prescription Abuse

A doctor has precautions to take before prescribing oxycodone to patients. Patients who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse should not be prescribed a drug as potent as oxycodone. There are other pain relievers that have less addiction potential and should be prescribed first. Doctors and pharmacists must make sure oxycodone and other drugs are securely kept out of a patient’s sight. It is not uncommon for oxycodone addicts to steal. Doctors are also responsible for alerting patients of the high risk associated with mixing oxycodone and alcohol. These simple precautions can eliminate a doctor enabling a patient’s possible drug abuse or addiction.

Physical Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction

There are ways to determine whether a patient has an oxycodone addiction. Physical side effects of oxycodone addiction may include any or all of the following:

  • Decreased pupils
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Apathy
  • Tiredness, passing out
  • Slowed breathing
  • Slowed heart rate

If a patient displays any of these physical symptoms, they may have developed an addiction to oxycodone. If symptoms are severe, such as slowed breathing or heart rate, it is imperative to assist the patient with the correct medical treatment.

Behavioral Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction

An addiction to oxycodone will also alter a patient’s behavior. Behavioral warning signs may include the following:

  • A patient using an oxycodone prescription faster and more often than recommended
  • A patient complaining of irregular, inconsistent or constant pain
  • A patient switching health care providers or physicians frequently to receive numerous prescriptions
  • A patient shows signs of secretive, dishonest or suspicious behavior, including paranoia
  • A patient admits to unexplainable changes at work, school or home
  • A patient displays apathy or an “I don’t care” attitude
  • A patient has unexplained financial changes
  • A patient displays a change in personal grooming habits

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Once a doctor believes a patient has developed an addiction to oxycodone, it is his or her responsibility to take action. A sudden withdrawal from oxycodone can be dangerous or even fatal. The best way to end oxycodone use is by a tapering method. While some patients can do this with limited medical assistance, others will recover best through care from a treatment center. A treatment center can provide medical supervision during detox as well as therapy and aftercare to assist symptoms of depression, suicide and anxiety.

Oxycodone Addiction Recovery Help

If you believe a patient has an addiction to oxycodone, it is time to get help. Prescription drug abuse can destroy a patient’s life. Look for the warning signs of oxycodone abuse and help prevent a future addiction. Our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day to provide you or your patients with information on oxycodone addiction and recovery.