The total number of overdoses in Maine was more than 9,500 in 2021, this includes a record-high number of 627 who died from drug overdoses. The data shows these numbers increasing.
In response, Governor Mills has put several programs in place to help prevent drug use, support recovery, and save lives such as:
- Investing $110 million to support prevention, all levels of treatment, crisis care, and recovery assistance
- Increased substance use disorder program reimbursement rates
- Expanded Medication Assisted Treatment options
- Expanded Medicaid (MaineCare) Coverage
So if you need oxycodone addiction treatment, there is help for you in Maine. Casco Bay Recovery can help you navigate the troubled waters.
What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone hydrochloride belongs to a group of drugs known as opioids. This includes any that act on the opioid receptors in the brain. Additionally, it includes any natural or synthetic drugs that come from or are related to the opium poppy. The group of medicines known as opiates come from the opium poppy naturally instead of synthetic substances.
Oxycodone is the most commonly prescribed opioid. It is typically prescribed to relieve moderate to severe ongoing pain. It is often used in the management of cancer-related and chronic pain. Oxycodone is believed to be superior to morphine in treating certain pain conditions. However, the concern about the risks associated with prescribing these drugs has been increasing, particularly when they’re needed for long-term use.
How Does Oxycodone Work?
Oxycodone, like other opioids, works by attaching to the receptors on the nerve cells in your brain, spinal cord, and other sites. By doing this it blocks the pain messages that your body is sending to your brain. In turn, this triggers your brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical messenger in your body associated with pleasure and reward.
In general, prescription opioids are safe to use for a short time and as instructed by your doctor. If you need to stop taking opioids after long-term use, medical supervision will be necessary. It is usually accomplished by taking less of the drug slowly, over some time.
Oxycodone Brand Names
Oxycodone is produced in a variety of strengths and several forms. This includes capsules, tablets, liquids, and suppositories. Some common brand names are:
Common street names include hillbilly heroin, oxy, OC, and O.
Short-Term Effects of Oxycodone Use
There is always a risk with the use of any drug. There is no safe amount of drug use. Even medications considered safe can cause unwanted side effects. Therefore, it’s always important to be careful when taking any type of medication and to carefully follow the directions on the prescription. Although oxycodone affects everyone differently, you may experience some of these effects:
- Pain relief
- Dizziness or weakness
- Confusion and trouble concentrating
- Muscle tightening
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty urinating
- Reduced pulse rate
- Excessive sweating, flushing, or itching
- Mild rash or hives
Long-Term Effects of Oxycodone Use
Regular long-term use of oxycodone may cause:
- Dental problems
- Mood swings
- Decreased testosterone levels in males and menstrual problems in females
- Reduced sex drive
- Needing to use more of the drug to get the same effect as initially (tolerance)
- Social, financial, and work problems
- Combining oxycodone with other drugs
If you are injecting opioids, it increases your risk of infections, vein damage, and tetanus. If you are sharing needles, you increase your risk of Hepatitis B and C, HIV, and AIDS.
Combining oxycodone with other drugs (poly-drug use) can be unpredictable and dangerous. Oxycodone combined with certain antidepressants (monoamine oxidase inhibitors–MAOIs) can cause symptoms such as convulsions, delirium, respiratory failure, coma, and even death. Oxycodone combined with alcohol can lead to increased clumsiness, confusion, and difficulty breathing.
Signs of Oxycodone Addiction
Oxycodone addiction affects your body on many levels. Some signs include:
- Slurred speech
- Constricted pupils
- Loss of coordination
- Sleep disturbances
- Changes in appetite
- Loss of motor skills
- Borrowing or stealing oxycodone that has been prescribed to someone else
- Borrowing or stealing money to buy oxycodone
- Doctor shopping–visiting many doctors to get multiple prescriptions for oxycodone
- Neglecting personal and professional responsibilities due to a focus on getting and using oxycodone
- Using the drug even when it is risky to do so like while driving or drinking alcohol
- Trying to stop using it but not being able
- Lying and being deceptive about your activities and location
This relates to the ability to process information, hold attention, store and retrieve memories and select appropriate responses and actions.
- Loss of ability to concentrate or focus
- Problems with memory
- Reduced ability to plan and poor decision making
This involves both psychological and social aspects and relates social conditions to mental health.
- Extreme mood swings
- Social isolation
- Angry and violent outbursts
Signs of Oxycodone Overdose
If you take oxycodone in an amount that overpowers your body’s ability to process it, you may experience an overdose. Call 911 immediately if you or anyone else has any of these symptoms:
- Constricted (small) pupils
- Chest discomfort or pains
- Lack of awareness
- Confusion and disorientation
- Loss of muscle tone or movement
- Acute drowsiness
- Blue tinge near lips and fingertips
- Loss of consciousness
- Heart arrhythmia (irregular) or slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
What Happens in Oxycodone Addiction Treatment?
Because oxycodone addiction is considered an opioid use disorder (OUD), the treatment is the same as addiction to other opioids. Medications, including buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex), methadone, and naltrexone (Vivitrol) are effective in treating opioid use disorder (OUD) in Maine. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers buprenorphine and methadone are “essential medicines.”
A NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) study reported that once treatment is started, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone and an extended-release naltrexone formula are also effective in the treatment of OUD. But the use of naltrexone requires full detoxification. This means that starting treatment with active users is more difficult. After detox, both medications were similarly effective.
What is Detox?
If you’re addicted to legal or illegal drugs, or alcohol, detox is your first step to recovery. Sometimes it’s called detoxification or withdrawal treatment and it’s the process of clearing the toxins or drugs from your body. There are two ways to detox and in each case, you may be able to combine the method with prescription medication meant to ease withdrawal symptoms. The two approaches are:
Weaning off the drug is the preference for some drugs while other substances require prescription treatment in Maine. The process of tapering off is by reducing your dose over some time, gradually taking smaller and smaller doses.
Addiction specialists generally caution against the cold turkey method. Stopping some substances suddenly can be dangerous, even life-threatening. Drugs that are dangerous to stop cold turkey include opioids (e.g. oxycodone, fentanyl, heroin), benzodiazepines (e.g. Xanax and Valium), and alcohol.
People who are heavily addicted to these substances may experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Without medical supervision and assistance, many people relapse or worse before completing the withdrawal process.
When you stop using oxycodone after a long time, your body has to get used to functioning without it. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been taking it as prescribed for pain relief or if you’ve been using it solely for the intoxicating effect, it’s always important to get help from an addiction professional when you try to stop.
What are the Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal?
Withdrawal symptoms may be different from person to person, depending on the type of oxycodone taken. The most severe symptoms usually last about a week and may include:
- Watering eyes
- Runny nose
- Excessive yawning
- Sleep problems with extreme restlessness
- Hot and cold flashes
- Joint and muscle pains
- Muscle spasms and tremors
- Appetite loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- Elevated blood pressure
- Uncontrolled kicking movements
Serious side effects include:
- Sleep apnea (interrupted breathing while asleep)
- Extreme drowsiness
- Difficulty waking up
While medications are effective for treatment, they should be combined with counseling for a “whole patient” approach. This is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in Maine (MAT). MAT has been found to decrease: opioid use, opioid-related overdose deaths, criminal activity, and transmission of infectious diseases.
Addiction Counseling Treatment Options
Effective oxycodone addiction treatments are available, although only about 25% of people with OUD receive specialty treatment. Besides medications for OUD, there are evidence-based treatments that have been proven to be effective through many studies, research, and clinical assessments.
Cognitive Behavioral Approaches
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
During cognitive behavioral therapy in Maine, you and your counselor will examine your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to figure out if they’re unrealistic or harmful and to determine the effect they have on each other. Your counselor will help you find ways to change your harmful thoughts and behaviors
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
One of the main goals of dialectical behavior therapy in Maine is to help people build confidence and coping abilities to handle stressful situations by learning to manage their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. People learn to accept their circumstances and learn how to tolerate them. This helps them become better able to handle strong emotions and situations.
EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
This approach encourages the person to focus on the trauma memory briefly while experiencing bilateral stimulation (usually eye movements). EMDR therapy focuses directly on the memory and is meant to change the way your memory is stored in the brain. Because so many people who have suffered trauma in their lives end up self-medicating with substance abuse, this therapy can be effective for many individuals.
Psychotherapy (Talk Therapy)
In individual therapy in Portland, Maine, you will work one-to-one with a trained therapist. People may find their underlying reasons for substance abuse through this trusting and confidential relationship. They may also discover an undiagnosed mental condition that drove their drug abuse.
In group therapy in Portland, Maine, a group of people meets with 1 or 2 therapists to describe and discuss their problems. The goal is to achieve a sense of belonging through understanding. It is most effective when used to address a specific issue such as drug addiction.
Our holistic therapy program in Portland, Maine addresses the whole person. It combines spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional forms of well-being to help you find a deeper understanding of yourself on all levels. The belief is that if one of these areas is off, it will affect the others.
Along with your requirements, your initial assessment before entering treatment will help determine what type of treatment program will be best for you. Here are some common treatment programs:
Oxycodone Addiction Treatment at Casco Bay Recovery
If you’re struggling with oxycodone addiction, getting treatment is essential. Oxycodone addiction is a dangerous condition to suffer from. In 2021, about 80,411 people died from an overdose involving an opioid.
Casco Bay in Portland can provide you with many specialized programs. We offer men’s, women’s, and young adult programs. In addition, we have addiction specialists experienced in the following therapy approaches DBT, CBT, and experiential therapies. Let us help you design a treatment program that will put you firmly on the path to recovery. Contact us today to begin.