Dealing with Roxicodone Addiction

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The risk of addiction is not limited to the use of illicit substances like heroin or cocaine. Legal drugs have the potential to cause devastating addiction, as well, even if they were initially legitimately prescribed. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has uncovered alarming information related to substance use, abuse, and addiction in the U.S.:

  • 6.5 million people reported nonmedical use of medications within the last month of the survey.
  • Of these 6.5 million, 4.3 million people were abusing prescription pain medications like Roxicodone.
  • Painkillers are the second most abused type of substance. Only marijuana is abused more frequently.

One such prescription pain medication is Roxicodone. It is a brand name for an opioid painkiller called oxycodone. The medication is prescribed for relatively severe levels of pain, and it can be abused for its ability to produce a pleasurable high 4, 5, 7.

Your friends, family, coworkers, and other loved ones are all vulnerable to the negative influence of addiction in their lives. If you love someone with an opioid addiction, don’t wait another day to reach out and get help. Call 1-888-744-0069 today.


How to Approach an Addict

As someone who cares about the well-being of your loved one addicted to a substance like Roxicodone, you can take practical steps to limit the negative consequences and improve long-term outcomes. Appropriate steps focus on education, observation, and communication.

Education

The process will be more productive if you stay calm and solution-oriented. Discussing these issues when negative emotions are high can turn your loved one away and may prevent them from accepting your offers for care and treatment.

Before approaching someone who is struggling with an addiction to any substance, first educate yourself about drug abuse and addiction, as well as their particular substance of abuse. Gaining a deeper understanding of the power of addiction and the difficulty of quitting substances like Roxicodone will help you to empathize with your loved one and may help you to seek out better solutions 2. Remember, “just quitting” is extremely difficult for someone in the throes of addiction.

Observation

Now that you have an idea of what Roxicodone is and the power of addiction, observe your loved one’s behavior to try and determine their level of use and how it may be affecting them. Look for 2:

  • The amount of Roxicodone consumed.
  • How it is consumed (e.g., oral ingestion, snorting, injecting).
  • Behavior while using the substance vs. behavior while not using.

NOTE: Someone can be addicted to Roxicodone even if they have a prescription for it, but using the medication without a prescription or using the medication in ways not prescribed can increase the risks of adverse health consequences and addiction development.

Communication

With the information gathered, you can now approach your loved one. The process will be more productive if you stay calm and solution-oriented. Discussing these issues when negative emotions are high can turn your loved one away and may prevent them from accepting your offers for care and treatment.

When communicating, attempt to 3:

  • Approach the situation with care and respect. Passing judgment, doling out blame, or being disrespectful can quickly derail a conversation.
  • Limit distractions. The time together should be focused on the conversation only. Minimizing distractions reduces the risk of miscommunication.
  • Ask a lot of questions. Making too many statements, such as “your drug use is hurting the family” can put your loved on the defense. Be sure to engage them in conversation with questions and be receptive to the answers.
  • Stay positive and encouraging. Find ways to focus on the good your loved one possesses, and encourage them to make appropriate choices in the future.
  • Remain patient. People in addiction commonly lie due to shame, anger, and fear. Allowing this to trigger your anger or diminish your patience may make your loved one less receptive to what you have to say 2.

CRAFT

If approaching your loved one about their substance use feels too overwhelming, you might consider seeking professional help. One such option is called Community Reinforcement and Family Training, or CRAFT.

CRAFT helps concerned significant others (CSOs) manage their responses to the identified patient (IP) through a series of structured sessions.

Woman in CRAFT session with therapist

Topics include 8:

  • Starting treatment.
  • Improving motivation and desire for positive change.
  • Recognizing intoxication.
  • Ways to modify behavior.
  • Enhancing communication.
  • Learning self-care to avoid burnout.
  • Allowing negative, natural consequences rather than covering up the risks.

CRAFT teaches you as the CSO that you are not responsible for your loved one’s substance use. Instead, it recognizes the role you play in their addiction and ways that you can worsen use or improve the situation. Through CRAFT, you’ll work to find the right time and place to encourage your loved one to commit to formal treatment 8.

Interventions

Another treatment option, the formal or staged intervention, is a planned meeting between the addicted individual and their close support network.

The goal of an intervention is to confront the substance-using individual in an attempt to get them to accept treatment. Those involved will attempt to do so by expressing their concerns about their loved one’s actions and by setting clear boundaries and consequences for not getting help. This approach carries risks, though, due to the level of emotionality from all involved. To improve the likelihood of success, consider using a professional interventionist, a person that coordinates and leads the intervention. This person will be well suited to guide the process towards better outcomes 2.

Addiction specialists are a vital part of Roxicodone recovery

Having an addiction treatment specialist present during recovery can make a huge difference for a recovering Roxicodone user. A 2017 study found that death rates for opioid users who worked through recovery in a formal addiction treatment program were significantly lower than the death rates for those who only went to the hospital. Having a specialist present during recovery can help a person identify addiction earlier, recognize factors that have contributed to their problem, and develop the skills needed to avoid relapse.

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2017). Opioid Abusers at Higher Death Risk When Addiction Specialists Not Part of Care. Medline Plus.


Addiction Treatment

Successful painkiller addiction treatment tends to have multiple facets, including detox, therapy in an inpatient or outpatient setting, and aftercare; however, treatment plans will vary according to the individual.

Detox

Roxicodone is a potent opioid medication, so those who’ve become dependent on it will likely experience an array of uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms when quitting. These include 6:

  • Increased pain.
  • Restlessness and anxiety.
  • Chills with goosebumps.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Muscle twitches.

Withdrawal symptoms can trigger relapse, so professional treatment in the form of properly supervised detoxification is preferred by many individuals attempting to quit Roxicodone. Detoxification permits the body to remove the oxycodone while symptoms are managed and progress is tracked by trained professionals to help ensure safety 9.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

A treatment that may be used in conjunction with detoxification or independently is medication-assisted treatment (MAT). During this, the person will be prescribed a medication to help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and minimize the drive to continue using Roxicodone 9. MAT refers to the combination of medication and behavioral therapy, as the medication assists treatment—it does not constitute treatment. Possible medications used include 9:

  • Methadone—This full opioid agonist provides effects similar to Roxicodone. However, with its tightly-controlled dosing and longer-acting effects, it can be given without the risk of the same highs and lows that the abused opioid drug can cause. In this manner, it can reduce withdrawal symptoms and lower cravings and, in most cases, will be slowly tapered until full abstinence is achieved.
  • Buprenorphine—Like methadone, this partial opioid agonist will aid in reducing withdrawals and cravings.
  • Naltrexone—This substance works by blocking the effects of Roxicodone, reducing the temptation to use.

Therapy

Therapy may occur as part of an inpatient drug rehab program or as part of outpatient-based care and services. Behavioral therapies help a recovering individual learn positive coping skills needed to understand the triggers of substance use and to avoid these in the future to maintain extended periods of recovery.

Therapies include 9:

Man in cognitive therapy with therapist
  • CBT (Cognitive-behavioral therapy). This is a style of therapy that focuses on the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to substance use. This treatment can address underlying mental health concerns that may spur addiction.
  • Family support and therapy. Rather than focusing only on the person abusing Roxicodone, family therapy will involve family and, in some cases friends, in the person’s recovery.
  • Talk Therapy/Motivational interviewing (MI). This is a method of talk therapy that can be used alone or in combination with other therapies. MI helps the user grow and maintain the internal desire stay sober.
  • CM (Contingency management). This therapy type is based on a strict behavioral notion that rewarding behaviors causing them to be repeated. CM rewards individuals for completing positive behaviors associated with recovery like going to appointments, turning in clean urine samples, and engaging in healthy community activities.

 


Is Roxicodone Addictive?

Yes. Like other opioid substances, Roxicodone can be very addictive.

Once consumed, the substance triggers the release of a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine. Dopamine is associated with natural rewards like eating and having sex. The heightened dopamine stimulation prompted by the drug can be extremely pleasurable, and can reinforce continued abuse of the drug.

For those addicted to opioids, the drug tends to eventually take priority over all else. People addicted to Roxicodone frequently will require assistance with quitting 6, 10.

Am I Addicted to Roxicodone?

Consider the following questions if you think you may have a problem with abuse 2:

  • Have you tried to quit or control your use without success?
  • Do people complain about your use or threaten to end their relationship with you?
  • Has your standing at work or school changed for the worse?
  • Are you having new financial or legal stress?
  • Do you find yourself using more of the drug to manage your mental health?

If you’re answering “yes” to any of the above questions, you may have a problem. Seeking treatment from an addiction professional is the next step.

In many circumstances, the path to addiction can be subtle, especially if the individual was prescribed Roxicodone initially. It’s important to understand that even if you have a prescription for oxycodone, you can become addicted to it, especially if you misuse the drug by taking more than prescribed, taking it in ways other than prescribed (snorting or injecting), or taking it more often than intended.

People addicted to Roxicodone will appear under its influence more frequently by showing signs of intoxication like 4, 6, 7, 11:

  • Euphoria.
  • Extreme lethargy.
  • Confusion.
  • Slowed breathing.
  • Pinpoint pupils.

Someone abusing Roxicodone may also frequently complain of nausea and constipation.

Notable signs of overdose may include cyanosis (bluish fingernails and lips), weak pulse, and loss of consciousness.


Call Our Hotline Today

Even if you are not certain that you or a loved one is addicted to Roxicodone, consider calling 1-888-744-0069 today. A treatment placement advisor can assist you in finding help today.


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Eric Patterson, MSCP, NCC, LPC, is a professional counselor who has been working for over a decade to help children, adolescents, and adults in western Pennsylvania reach their goals and improve their well-being.

Along the way, Eric worked as a collaborating investigator for the field trials of the DSM-5 and completed an agreement to provide mental health treatment to underserved communities with the National Health Service Corp.

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