When you lay the cards on the table and consider the facts, you may begin to realize that opioids (at least the legal ones) are a bit of a double-edged sword. On one hand, these drugs are incredibly beneficial to patients suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, or chronic pain, but, on the other hand, these substances are partially responsible for fanning the flames of one of the most severe public health scares in history: the Opioid Crisis. Although these drugs can help people cope with pain, we have to remember that doctors’ instructions must be followed to the letter (any deviations can trigger serious problems). For example, let’s take a closer look at the potent opioid oxycodone and see how it impacts the human body.
Quick Absorption, Long Half-Life
Sold under brand names like Percocet and OxyContin (and as “hillbilly heroin” or “OC” on the street), oxycodone is a potent painkiller that is absorbed by the body in roughly 30 minutes and reaches steady levels after a period of 24 to 36 hours. After the opioid is consumed, the liver immediately starts to break it down into three chemicals (noroxycodone, noroxymorphone, oxymorphone), which are promptly passed through the kidneys. Overall, oxycodone should leave the body after roughly 3.2 hours (4.5 hours for extended-release OxyContin).
Big Danger of Overdosing
Ultimately, if patients start taking oxycodone for chronic pain or recovery from surgery, they must investigate the possible interactions between this opioid and other drugs (like alcohol). For example, if a person consumes more oxycodone after the effects have worn off and the opioid has not left the system yet (not filled its half-life), this patient is at a high risk of suffering an overdose. Even so, people who consume these drugs as instructed (without overdosing) will still suffer from unpleasant side effects. Here are some symptoms of oxycodone overdoses:
- Pinprick pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bowel problems (notably constipation)
- Spasms of the stomach
- Breathing problems
- Bluish-colored nails or lips
Seeking Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Opioids may be helpful additions to the daily lives of cancer patients and HIV/AIDS victims, but, on the other hand, these drugs are exceptionally tricky. While beneficial, drugs like oxycodone have a high potential for abuse, dependency, and addiction, which can be very difficult to overcome (particularly if you already have a history of abuse or addiction). If you, a friend, or a loved one has fallen victim to opioid use disorder, the time to take back control of your life is now.
For in-depth help and care, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of trained counselors and healthcare are ready to guide you through each of the difficult stages of withdrawal and detox and help you walk the long road to recovery. Take the first step to stay fit, healthy, and safe that is 100% opioid-free.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your opioid use disorder.