Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics

Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.
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Geraldine Orentas. "Oxycodone Addiction Facts and Statistics." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Last updated Jul 19, 2020 at 8:40PM | Published on Oct 15, 2014, https://lighthouserecoveryinstitute.com/oxycodone-addiction-facts/.

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Last updated Jul 19, 2020 at 8:40PM | Published on Oct 15, 2014 | Types of Drug Addictions

Addiction affects millions of people in the United States every year. One of the prescription medications leading the charts of addictive drugs is Oxycodone, a powerful painkiller or opioid analgesic. With the rising number of cases and the growing opioid epidemic, learning more about Oxycodone addiction facts is critical to spread awareness and addiction prevention. 

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is the main ingredient in many prescription painkillers to treat moderate to severe or chronic pain. These types of pills come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, depending on the dose. Oxycodone is also available in liquid form. Generally, Doctors prescribe oxycodone in conjunction with other drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.

Surprisingly, the idea of developing oxycodone was to find a non-addictive painkiller after World War I. Unfortunately, while the medication is highly effective, these forms of synthetic opioids are also highly addictive. 

Other Names for Oxycodone

Since oxycodone only refers to the active ingredient, the prescription drug also has different names. To starters, people can find the brand name for this drug as:

  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Roxicodone

Also, slang or street names for oxycodone include:

  • Oxy
  • OC’s
  • Oxycet
  • Oxycotton
  • Berries
  • Killers
  • Percs
  • Roxi’s
  • Hillbilly heroin

5 Interesting Oxycodone Addiction Facts You Should Know

Oxycodone addiction facts often leave more than one speechless, especially considering it is one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers in the nation. Unfortunately, oxycodone’s semi-synthetic chemical makeup makes it easy to misuse, cause dependency, and, consequently, addiction. Here are some oxycodone addiction facts to keep in mind.

1. Oxycodone Is One of the Most Addictive Drugs

Prescription opioids, in particular, are incredibly addictive. Even those who follow prescription orders and doses can still fall dependent or also fall for drug abuse without noticing it. Since opioids, like oxycodone, alter the brain’s chemical makeup and reward system, people become more susceptible to its effects.

2. Oxycodone Is Sort of Legal

It’s important to note that oxycodone can be highly effective at treating moderate to severe pain. That is why doctors can legally prescribe these pain relievers medications, and someone can access them with a prescription at any pharmacy. However, back in the early 1960s, oxycodone became a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) standards. 

3. Modern Oxycodone Pills Are Tamper-Proof

The opioid epidemic exposed the ways people misused the drug, breaking or diluting the pills to inject the medication and get a more intense and immediate release. It wasn’t until late 2010 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested changes to the pill form of oxycodone-based medications. After these formulation changes, the drug maker, Purdue Pharma LP, made breaking up the tablet almost impossible. Even if someone attempts to dissolve the tables for syringe use, the liquid becomes gummy and can’t be used as intended. 

Additional measures to help reduce and control the opioid epidemic was eliminating the 160mg presentation, which was the most potent dose, and one of the most misused ones.

4. Oxycodone Is Similar to Heroin

At the core of oxycodone is thebaine, a chemical found in poppy plants that are often found in narcotic drugs like morphine and heroin. The connection between oxycodone-based opioids and heroin are so close that withdrawal symptoms, long-term use side effects, and other consequences are eerily similar. 

5. Withdrawal Symptoms Can Be Life-Threatening

One of the biggest dangers with oxycodone is that withdrawal symptoms can start as soon as six hours after the last dose. Beyond fatigue and heart palpitations, or watery eyes, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can cause depression and panic attacks. 

When someone experiences severe withdrawal symptoms, they’re more likely to ramp up their dose to feel better, which often leads to overdose that can result in death. 

Oxycodone Addiction Statistics

Oxycodone Addiction Statistics

Understanding the main oxycodone addiction statistics gives us an insightful look at the opioid crisis in America. From the rising numbers of overdose deaths to the increasing numbers of prescriptions that skyrocket the potential for abuse.

  • 81% of the oxycodone world’s supply is consumed in America.
  • In 2013, people aged 18-25 were the most likely to report ever having abused oxycodone (9.9%) compared to 6% of people 26 and older.
  • Around 182,748 visits to the emergency room in 2010 resulted from the use or misuse of oxycodone and its derivatives. 
  • About 1 in 30 high school seniors have abused OxyContin at least once.
  • In 10 years, oxycodone prescriptions increased by 92.16 percent. 
  • In 2017 alone, there were 15,111,150 oxycodone prescriptions made. 

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Options

Oxycodone addiction isn’t a death sentence; in many cases, people can seek treatment and find sobriety. However, because of the severe consequences of withdrawal symptoms, having the right support system is critical to prevent deadly outcomes. 

Most people starting their oxycodone addiction treatment are recommended a detox program paired with a partial hospitalization program (PHP) that eases withdrawal symptoms and provides patients with a secure and supervised environment to begin their recovery. Many treatment facilities can help structure the right treatment plan.

At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, our oxycodone addiction recovery programs include:

Oxycodone Medical Detox: In this clinically supervised detox process, we ensure the patient’s safety and make the withdrawal phase as comfortable as possible by minimizing withdrawal symptoms and using medication-assisted treatment services to guarantee a complete detoxification process. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Unlike other benzos, most people don’t mix Xanax with other substances. However, long-term use of oxycodone can lead to mental impairments, including paranoia and depression. Dual diagnosis programs can help treat co-occurring conditions as well as drug addiction. 

Intensive Outpatient Programs: When patients are looking to seek addiction treatment while maintaining daily obligations like work, school, or caregiving, IOPs are a more flexible option that still gives people access to the help they need. 

Long-term Recovery Programs: With long-term recovery assistance, patients can have the ongoing support they need to maintain long-lasting sobriety. Additionally, recovery programs are crucial to relapse prevention. 

Get Help Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with oxycodone abuse, ask for help immediately. Please, call Lighthouse Recovery Institute today and speak with our addiction specialists to learn more about our comprehensive and personalized addiction treatment programs.

Our treatment centers offer unique and custom treatment plans because we believe no two addictions are alike. The journey towards recovery is a long one, but together and with your family and friends’ support, we’ll make it. 

Written By: Geraldine Orentas

Geraldine is Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s Digital Marketing Manager. She has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and experience in the digital media industry. Geraldine’s writing allows her to share valuable information about mental health, wellness, and drug addiction facts, hoping to shed light on the importance of therapy and ending the stigma.

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