Native Americans and Oxycodone Use

Native Americans and Oxycodone UseNative Americans and Alaska Natives make up a significant part of the population of the United States. Both of these groups have unique cultures and subcultures, which make their substance abuse and addiction rates slightly different from the greater population. According the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, data collected between 2004 and 2008 indicated that alcohol use for these populations was lower than the national average, but binge drinking and illicit drug use was higher than the national average. One challenge the Native American population continues to face is access to appropriate treatment for substance abuse and addiction. Oxycodone, a popular drug prescribed by doctors to treat moderate to severe pain, is just one of the drugs that can cause problems in all populations, including Native Americans.

Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone is an opioid narcotic used to treat pain. Oxycodone is highly habit forming and only available by prescription. People who use oxycodone in larger amounts or for longer periods of time than prescribed by a physician risk addiction. Addiction to oxycodone begins when the person using the drug develops tolerance and needs more of the substance to produce the same level of pain relief. Once tolerance to the drug begins, users may notice more intense feelings of euphoria with each use. People who are dependent on oxycodone develop severe cravings for the euphoria the drug produces. Some of the other symptoms of oxycodone addiction include the following:

  • “Doctor shopping” to get new prescriptions for the drug
  • Debt to get and use oxycodone
  • Dangerous or illegal behaviors, such as stealing, to get and use oxycodone
  • Extreme mood swings or changes in personality
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Changes in relationships

If you or a loved one struggles with any of these symptoms, it is time to get help.

Native American Substance Abuse

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of Native Americans and Alaska Native Adults who needed treatment for alcohol or illicit drug use was higher than the national average in 2009. One in eight people from these culture groups in need of alcohol or drug treatment entered a facility and received treatment, which was about the same as the national average when the study was conducted. This study shows that education on and access to appropriate drug treatment in the Native American population remains an area of great need.

Finding Help for Oxycodone Addiction

If you are a Native American or know someone in the Native American community who struggles with oxycodone abuse, we are here to help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our admissions coordinators are ready to answer your questions about addiction and help you find the right treatment program for your unique situation.