Oxycodone is the main ingredient in OxyContin and other popular painkillers. It is a powerful opiate drug. Although it can be effective for short-term pain management, it is not a long-term pain management solution. Oxycodone producers recognize its abuse potential. They regularly reformulate the drug to make it harder to crush or otherwise misuse. This does not make abuse impossible or addiction unlikely.

Oxycodone works by changing how the brain functions. It changes how the brain interprets pain and experiences pleasure. Any use can lead to tolerance and dependence. These are natural physical and psychological reactions to opiate use. They are also the reason you experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to end oxycodone use. Dependence and addiction require professional treatment.

Common Paths to Addiction

Doctor writing prescriptionOxycodone abuse often begins with a prescription. Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that 31 percent of people entering a treatment program for addiction to oxycodone once had a valid prescription for the drug.1 You can become addicted without ever misusing your prescription. Abuse makes dependence and addiction more likely. It changes the course of addiction development. It changes how addiction should be treated and addressed. However regardless of whether or not you have a prescription, ending drug abuse requires treatment. It doesn’t matter if you have used a drug for fun and pleasure or simply to manage physical or emotional pain. Addiction changes the brain. It changes how you think and act. It changes the body as well. Your body begins to expect oxycodone. It adjusts so that “normal” involves the drug’s presence. When the drug isn’t there, your body becomes unbalanced. You will experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, muscle aches, and sweating. These can progress to nausea and vomiting. Symptoms can begin within a day of your last dose.2

Early Substance Abuse Treatment

Finding treatment before beginning detox and withdrawal ensures you have medical and personal support the entire. This means you will be as physically comfortable and safe as possible. You will have accountability and encouragement. Immediate relapse is much less likely if you choose medically supervised detox services. Long-term relapse is also less likely if you follow these services with in-depth therapy and integrated care.

Long-Term Addiction Recovery

Detox doesn’t address the thoughts, habits and mental health changes that come with addiction. Unless these are treated, withdrawal and detox are only short-term breaks in substance abuse. Addiction treatment programs offer the time, space and resources for real recovery. These programs teach you about addiction. They offer community support from recovering peers. Medical professionals on staff offer physical health care from the first day of detox on through treatment and after. Therapists help you make changes for long-term health. They help you draw on personal strengths and develop new coping skills.

Your individual treatment plan may involve Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, family therapy, and relapse prevention training. It may include supportive practices such as meditation, yoga, and art therapy. Your path to addiction was unique. Your journey to wellness will be as well. Choose a treatment program that recognizes addiction as an individual disease.

Call Black Bear Lodge to learn more about our integrated, personalized treatment plans. We offer comprehensive care so that you find mental and physical health as you recover from addiction. Black Bear Lodge is located just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. We provide the peers, professionals, and environment that can nurture your early recovery and support your long-term sobriety. Get back on track. Give us a call, and get started today.


1 Potter, Jennifer; Borrow, Jennifer; Greenfield, Shelly; Weiss, Roger. “Substance Use Histories in Patients Seeking Treatment for Controlled-Release Oxycodone Dependence.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 11 Nov. 2014. Accessed 10 Jul. 2017.

2 Heller, Jacob. “Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal.” Medline Plus. 20 Apr. 2016. Accessed 10 Jul. 2017.