5 Warning Signs Of Oxycodone Abuse

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on

Oxycodone abuse can be difficult to see in a friend or loved one. Recognizing the signs of abuse, however, can help get someone help and save them from a serious addiction problem.

5 Warning Signs Of Oxycodone Abuse

Oxycodone is an opiate-based ingredient that is added to potent pain-relievers, like Percocet. Because oxycodone causes feelings of euphoria and relaxation, the drug is highly abused and leads easily to addiction.

Unlike other drugs, this pill is usually swallowed whole instead of being injected, which makes it more difficult to know whether someone might be abusing it. Because of this, it helps to know the following five warning signs of oxycodone abuse:

1. Pupil Constriction (Pinpoint Pupils)

Pupils increase and decrease in size because of the signals they receive from the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems of the body. This enables them to open or close to allow in more or less light. Stressful or relaxed emotional responses can affect them, too.

High doses of opioids, like oxycodone, cause the pupils to stay constricted for several hours despite the environment that a person is in. This can be seen by their unusual pinpoint size. In order to hide the pupil signs of oxycodone abuse, addicted people may start wearing sunglasses all the time.

2. Drowsiness/Sedation

Another of the warning signs of oxycodone abuse is when a person seems to be extremely tired and sedated at times when they would normally have plenty of energy for completing daily tasks.

Often, people who are addicted to oxycodone sleep a lot instead of playing with their children, cleaning the house, going to work, or handling their other day-to-day responsibilities.

3. Apathy

Oxycodone doesn’t just reduce a person’s physical ability to experience pain. It also limits a person’s emotional response to it. It is sometimes abused by people who are struggling with the loss of a loved one or some other painful experience. Unfortunately, this reduced emotional response can make the person seem rather uncaring and apathetic to the situation.

4. Shortened Attention Span

Studies on the effects of oxycodone on the brain showed that the medication can cause a decreased attention span because of the way it alters a person’s ability to understand the consequences of their actions and what the future “time horizon” of an activity might be. It also reduces their ability to comprehend the information they receive from their surrounding environment as fast as they could if they didn’t use the medication.

This can be seen by the person’s inability to focus on important directions or conversations with their loved ones regarding information they will need in the foreseeable future. As part of this symptom, they may also be willing to forego greater rewards they could receive in the future for smaller rewards they will receive immediately. Doctors believe that this occurs because of the opiate agonist’s ability to increase impulsivity.

5. Deep Sense Of Calm And Relaxation

Like other opiates, oxycodone reduces the central nervous system response in the body, which causes a person to feel less stressed and anxious than they normally would be. At first, this might seem like a positive effect of the medication. But when it is used for this purpose for too long, it can lead to someone becoming dependent on it for dealing with all of their uncomfortable emotions.

Other Signs And Symptoms Of Oxycodone Abuse

In addition to these five common warning signs of oxycodone abuse, a number of side effects may occur as well which may signal abuse.

Some of the other signs and symptoms of oxycodone abuse include:

  • mood swings
  • depression
  • sweating
  • muscle weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth
  • seizures
  • trouble breathing
  • headaches

Find Help For Oxycodone Abuse And Addiction

Oxycodone abuse is dangerous because it can cause a person to become addicted to the substance, which can lead to long-term health problems and a higher risk of dying from an overdose. Addiction to this substance can also cause financial and legal problems if someone purchases extra oxycodone pills from drug dealers instead of paying their bills or handling their other responsibilities.

Since this medication is highly addictive, withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone tries to stop taking it. It is important that anyone showing signs of oxycodone abuse gets help at a formal drug rehabilitation center right away. For more information on the symptoms of oxycodone abuse and how to find a rehab program for the condition, be sure to contact one of our treatment specialists today.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on
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