Oxycodone Dependence after Surgery

Oxycodone Dependence after SurgeryOxycodone is an opiate painkiller often prescribed for pain that is mild to severe. It elevates dopamine levels in the brain and changes how the central nervous system reacts to pain. The calm and euphoria it creates make it highly addictive and explains why it is so widely abused. Prescription drug abuse is defined by the following behaviors:

  • Taking medication prescribed for someone else
  • Taking your own medication at a dosage or in a way other than how it was prescribed
  • Taking medication for the feeling it induces

Some people become accidentally addicted to oxycodone when a doctor gives them a legitimate prescription after surgery or injury. Use leads to tolerance and the need for greater doses to achieve the same effects. Individuals then take more of the drug, with or without doctor approval, in order to keep pain at bay. Oxycodone dependence can occur within one week to several months, depending on individual tolerance. Signs of addiction include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Constricted pupils
  • Lethargy and drowsiness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Mood swings
  • Continued use despite negative consequences
  • Preoccupation with finding and using drugs
  • Depression or anxiety when not able to take drugs
  • Loss of motivation
  • Inability to handle typical pressures
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

The myth that prescription drug abuse is not dangerous because pills can be obtained legally leads some individuals to ignore their oxycodone addiction. In reality, an addiction to oxycodone can be just as dangerous as an addiction to street drugs. Oxycodone addiction requires immediate treatment.

How to Break an Oxycodone Addiction

With professional help, full recovery from oxycodone addiction is possible. Treatment begins with detoxification. During detox an individual is given tapered doses of oxycodone in order to minimize withdrawal effects. The process can take between three and 30 days depending on the severity of the addiction. Once the drug is removed from the system, other root causes of the addiction can be addressed. Psychological dependence is commonly treated with the following approaches:

  • Counseling to identify emotional and mental issues behind the addiction
  • Ongoing therapy to boost coping skills and prevent relapse
  • Family therapy for affected loved ones
  • Attendance at a 12-step support group such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy to correct faulty thinking and generate healthy emotions
  • Spiritual guidance

Individuals who stay in rehab for a minimum of 90 days are more likely to stay sober and avoid relapse. Remaining in treatment has been shown to yield the following benefits:

  • More post-detox treatment – People who spend several weeks withdrawing physically may need more time to address the psychological and emotional aspects of their addictions.
  • Brain retraining – The brain requires a minimum of 90 days in order to heal adequately and begin processing thoughts more clearly.
  • Practice time – Being thrown back into the real world too fast can trigger relapse.
  • Opportunity for new habits take root – Establishing a new habit takes between 30-90 days. People who practice a recovery lifestyle including attending support group meetings, talking with a therapist and building sober friendships will be more secure in recovery outside of the structure of rehab.

Individuals leaving rehab take a new set of coping tools with them.

Getting Help for Oxycodone Addiction

If you or someone you love suffers from addiction to opiates and oxycodone, help is available. Recovery counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to a drug-free life. Don’t go it alone. Please call today.