There is an opioid crisis in this country and Roxicodone is one of the drugs playing a role. Most of us have heard about the growing number of problems with opioids. Some areas have seen a greater negative impact than others. Not only are more people using opioid drugs. The drugs that are available have become deadlier. A growing number of people are becoming addicted. More people are also overdosing and dying from them.
Opiates are narcotics; painkillers formulated to replicate the properties of opium. This class of drugs is beneficial for patients with chronic or terminal pain. However, the number of people using prescriptions and street drugs keeps rising. Many experts feel that over-prescribing these drugs is part of the problem. Often, family members begin taking them when they are prescribed for someone else in their household.
Some forms of opioids are made by drug companies. Others are made in a lab and sold only as street drugs. The appeal of these drugs is the temporary feeling of euphoria that they create.
The number of overdose deaths rose to 72,000 in 2017. That’s a record number and it reflects an increase of about 10% from the year before. This number is higher than the number of deaths from car crashes, shootings, and HIV combined. One reason for the bleak numbers is the availability of synthetic opioids. Laboratory-produced Fentanyl, which is easily transportable, is one of the major problems. But there are also unique properties that make Roxicodone an increasing concern.
What Is Roxicodone?
Roxicodone is the brand name for a powerful opioid drug. Its generic name is oxycodone hydrochloride. The drug is classified as an opioid analgesic or an opiate painkiller. It comes in pill form and is characterized by an immediate-release formulation. There is also an extended-release form that is prescribed for round-the-clock pain treatment. The medication works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain. This results in a feeling of euphoria, which is what people are after when they abuse the drug.
Roxicodone is used to treat moderate to severe pain when given as a prescription. The dosage is usually started low and adjusted according to the individual patient’s needs. The highly addictive nature of the drug makes it necessary to discontinue its use slowly. Patients should also be monitored carefully for signs of withdrawal.
Roxicodone Side Effects
Roxicodone has the potential to produce a broad range of side effects when given as a prescription. The potential for side effects and overdose increases when Roxicodone is taken as a recreational drug. Some of the common side effects include:
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Dry mouth
More serious side effects that require immediate medical care include:
- Shallow breathing/ slow heartbeat
- Cold, clammy skin
- Severe weakness
- Feeling like you might faint
The primary danger from all opioids is respiratory depression. Breathing problems are more likely to occur after an initial dose, a dose increase, or after taking the wrong dose. This occurs most frequently in elderly or debilitated patients, often after the initial dose. Giving the drug in combination with other depressive agents increases the risk for respiratory depression. Some other types of medications alter how the drug is removed from your body. This can affect how the drug works in your body.
Roxicodone becomes more dangerous if it is taken with alcohol. When given as a prescription, doctors are careful not to prescribe the drug to people with certain health conditions or those with acute alcoholism. When taken illicitly, users are more likely to take the drug with alcohol. The side effects may be more severe and can even result in death.
Symptoms of Roxicodone Withdrawal
Once an addiction to Roxicodone occurs, going through a safe and professional recovery program is important. If you stop using the drug suddenly, it can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. Even those who haven’t developed an addiction can experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.
Using the opioid in the long-term can result in a tolerance to its effects and side effects. Users then will increase the dosage to get the same results. This is how addiction and the risk of overdose get out of control.
Withdrawal symptoms vary among users. Some people experience symptoms similar to those of a cold or allergies. They may have watery eyes and sneezing.
Other symptoms include mood changes, often becoming irritable or depressed. There’s a broad range of physical withdrawal symptoms including:
- Muscle Cramps
- Muscle Pain
- Rapid Heartbeat
A treatment center might prescribe substitute medications to minimize withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone, Subutex, and Zubsolv are sometimes used to reduce cravings and the discomfort of other symptoms.
What Is the Difference Between Roxicodone and Percocet?
Roxicodone is prescribed alone for pain that doesn’t respond to other painkillers. Percocet is a combination drug that contains both oxycodone and acetaminophen. The combination of these ingredients makes Percocet one of the strongest painkillers offered by prescription. It is also one of the opioids most likely to be abused.
Roxicodone Street Names
The appearance of Roxicodone varies in shape and color, depending on where it is made and its strength. Often, street names are given which reflect a characteristic of the drug. Some of the street names used to describe Roxicodone include:
– Roxi – The shortened ‘nickname’ for the drug.
– Blue – This street name refers to the color of the pill. Other names are used more frequently since it isn’t the only ‘little blue pill’ on the market today.
– Hillbilly Heroin – A nickname that has been given to other drugs in the past, including hydromorphone.
– OC – This nickname is a shortened version of the name ‘Oxycodone.’
– Kicker – This nickname is often used to describe the effects Roxicodone has on you. It creates a high that feels like a physical and mental ‘kick.’
Often, the street names are used for different drugs within the same class. For example, although ‘Roxi’ is taken from the name of Roxicodone, it is often used to mean oxycodone or oxycontin.
Who Shouldn’t Use Roxicodone?
Anyone who has had an allergic reaction to opioid medications before should not take Roxicodone. This includes cough medicines that contain drugs like codeine or hydrocodone. No one should take the drug during an asthma attack or if they have a condition called’ paralytic ileus’, which is a type of bowel obstruction. People with certain medical conditions might not be able to take Roxicodone. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following:
- A history of drug or alcohol addiction
- Mental illness
- Asthma or other breathing disorders
- Underactive thyroid
- Curvature of the spine that impacts breathing
- Epilepsy or another condition that causes seizures
- Liver or kidney disease
- Current or history of head injury or brain tumor
- Difficulty swallowing
- Blockage in the digestive tract
- An enlarged prostate or other urination problems
- Low blood pressure
- Addison’s disease or another adrenal gland disorder
- Gallbladder disease
Oxycodone has become popular for treating post-cesarean section pain. A few small studies have shown that taking Roxicodone during pregnancy is not likely to harm the baby. However, the research is limited with regards to the impact of the drug on stillbirths, low birth weights, and heart malformations. Treating pain during pregnancy is important for the mother and the developing child. However, opioids like Roxicodone should only be used when other pain relievers fail to control the pain. There has been some evidence that babies suffer from withdrawal after being born. The drug should never be used recreationally during pregnancy.
Roxicodone is not recommended for mothers who will be breastfeeding. The drug can pass through a mother’s breast milk and may harm the baby. These studies are limited as well but showed that babies experienced symptoms of lethargy or extreme sleepiness when exposed to the drug. There is a danger that the drug can cause respiratory depression in the infants.
Women who are planning on getting pregnant are advised to tell their doctors before beginning Roxicodone. The length of time the drug stays in a person’s system depends on a number of factors. Their gender, age, kidney or liver health, and history of drug use are some factors to consider.
Describing the impact of the opioid crisis in this country is difficult for the average person to comprehend. Looking at some of the statistics makes the concept a lot easier to grasp. Some areas of the country have a bigger problem with opioid abuse than others. But the overall scope of opioid use is startling, and it’s growing.
- Over 2 million Americans are dependent on or have abused prescription pain pills and street drugs
- There were over 63,600 overdose deaths in the US during 2016. Of that number, 42,249 were opioid-related
- According to the International Narcotics Control Board, America represented about 99.7% of the world’s use of Roxicodone in 2015
- From 1992 until 2012, opioid prescriptions by physicians increased from 112 million to 282 million.
- In 2016, the number of opioid prescriptions fell to 236 million
- Hydrocodone (Roxicodone) was the most widely prescribed opioid from the period between 2007 and 2016. The more potent Percocet was the second most prescribed.
- Most opioids are made using a combination of synthetic and natural ingredients. Fentanyl is fully synthetic. It is approximately 100 times more powerful than morphine. This drug has been responsible for a large portion of the opioid overdoses during recent years
- Methadone, like fentanyl, is a fully synthetic opioid. This drug is often used during recovery to alleviate the symptoms of withdrawal.
- The opioid crisis doesn’t just affect adults. An estimated 11.5 million Americans aged 12 and older misused some type of prescription pain reliever in 2016.
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 50% of young people who use heroin started with prescription painkillers. They believe they turned to the street drug because of its lower cost
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction
The most important thing you can do for a loved one with an opioid addiction is to get them into recovery treatment. But an addiction isn’t always that easy to see when you aren’t familiar with the effects of the drug. Some signs of opioid abuse or addiction are listed below.
For those on prescription opioids, any of these behaviors should be considered a warning sign:
– Going to multiple doctors for duplicate prescriptions
– Stealing prescription pads or altering their prescriptions
– Crushing pills before taking them
– Taking pills with alcohol or other drugs to intensify the effect
– Lying or becoming defensive when asked about their pill use
In anyone who is abusing or is addicted to Roxicodone, physical signs usually occur, including:
– Extreme weight loss
– Loss of appetite
– Slow breathing
– Pallid complexion
– Sunken eye sockets
– Nausea and/or vomiting
– Chronic constipation
– Twitching, frequent obsessive scratching, and/or having tremors
– Appearing intoxicated without the use of alcohol
Oxycodone addiction often causes personality changes, too. The person begins spending more time alone and avoids family or other social activities. They lose interest in the things they used to enjoy. They might experience mood swings, sometimes becoming irritable or nonresponsive.
Painkillers like Roxicodone are the most abused prescription medications. Many people find them readily accessible through their own or other people’s prescriptions. The drugs are also sold on the street for the purpose of illicit use. Once you become addicted, breaking the addiction is both difficult and dangerous. No one should try to quit taking Roxicodone on their own.
The best treatment for drug addiction incorporates a variety of treatment types. Getting the addictive substance out of your body is just one part of the recovery process. Through various types of therapy, you can learn the coping skills you need to move on with life without the drug.
Contact Recovery Oasis Treatment Center to learn more about getting help for you or your loved one. We offer individual, group, and family counseling, and stabilization and withdrawal drug replacement to those who choose to accept help with their addictions. Don’t let your Roxicodone addiction control the rest of your life. Take control of your addiction today and don’t become a statistic!