Oxycodone is the active ingredient in a number of notorious drugs, including OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. This is the substance that’s capable of delivering euphoria, and it’s the ingredient that keeps people coming back for more, even when they should be focusing on living a life that’s free of the impact of drugs.
Oxycodone is also responsible for drug tolerance, and when that takes hold, people can feel trapped in a cycle of addiction that they simply cannot stop. Thankfully, there are a number of steps people can take in order to recover from tolerance.
Oxycodone in the Body
When oxycodone hits the tissues of the body, it triggers a series of chemical reactions that bring about a tremendous shift in sensation. Users compare it to feeling sedated, happy and calm, and it can last for hours. The body, on the other hand, finds this transformation unusual, and it puts recovery efforts in place. The next dose of pills is a little less powerful as a result of the body’s response, and the user must take more of the drug to feel the same kind of effect.
Tolerance like this can lead people to the edge of addiction. They might:
- Take doses that could kill them
- Combine two types of drugs
- Take doses of drugs close together
- Shoot or snort the drugs, rather than swallowing them
Some people also transition to stronger drugs. For example, in 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports that about half a million people used OxyContin pills for nonmedical reasons. When the manufacturer tweaked the formula and made the pills harder to abuse, many of these users responded by transitioning to heroin. They weren’t any less addicted, but they had shifted focus.
Steps to Take
People who are experiencing a tolerance to oxycodone products aren’t required to continue to up their dose of drugs or shift to other drugs. Instead, they could consider moving to a different drug for pain control. For example, a study in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia suggests that tramadol is just as effective as opiates in handling pain, and tramadol is associated with a smaller level of addiction. If there’s a pain element driving the oxycodone abuse, this could be a wise move.
But if there’s no such pain syndrome involved and people are addicted to oxycodone products for the euphoria they can bring about, a better solution involves rehab.
When people enroll in a program like this, they have the opportunity to transition away from oxycodone in a safe and controlled manner, so their brain cells can adjust to sobriety without feeling overwhelmed. Then therapists can help people to understand their reasons for abusing drugs, as well as the skills they can use to avoid drugs in the future. All of this work might be hard, but it can help people to gain a robust level of control over their addictions, and they might be able to live a sober life as a result.
If you’d like to start your own journey toward healing, please contact us at Black Bear Lodge. We offer a oyxcodone program that can help you to grow and heal, and our counselors are adept at designing individualized programs that can address your specific issues in a caring and compassionate way. Please call 706-914-2327 and we'll tell you more.