Oxycodone Addiction Causes, Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects

Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes, and effects of oxycodone addiction can be an important step in the recovery journey. Once you have identified the problem and realize the dangers of untreated oxycodone addiction, you will be better prepared to seek treatment for yourself or your loved one.

Understanding Oxycodone Addiction

Get the facts about oxycodone abuse and addiction

Oxycodone is a type of opioid. For medical purposes, oxycodone is most commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. OxyContin, Percodan, and Percocet are examples of brand-name prescription painkillers that contain oxycodone.

When you use oxycodone as directed by a qualified physician, this drug can be safe and beneficial. However, misusing oxycodone, either to self-medicate or for recreational purposes, can expose you to considerable harm, including overdose and addiction.

When your body adapts to the presence of oxycodone, it can be extremely difficult to end your use without effective professional treatment. However, when you seek proper professional care, you can end your dependence on this dangerous drug.


Learn about the prevalence of oxycodone addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), more than 2 million Americans are addicted to prescription painkillers that contain opioids such as oxycodone. NIDA has also reported that the annual death rate due to prescription opioid overdose has increased by more than 400% since 1999. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) noted that prescription opioid overdose accounted for more than 20,000 deaths in the United States in 2015.

Causes and Risk Factors

Discover the causes of oxycodone abuse and addiction

Your risk for oxycodone abuse and addiction may be influenced by several genetic and environmental factors.

Genetic: If you have a parent or sibling who has struggled with an addiction to oxycodone or other opioids, you may be at increased risk. Also, personality traits that you inherited from your parents, such as novelty seeking and impulsivity, can raise your risk for oxycodone addiction.

Environmental: If you have an injury or medical condition that is treated with oxycodone, your risk for abuse and addiction may increase. Other environmental influences on oxycodone addiction include associating with peers who abuse the drug and having easy access to oxycodone.

Signs and Symptoms

Identify common signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction

Someone who demonstrates the following signs may be struggling with oxycodone abuse or addiction.

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Borrowing or stealing oxycodone that has been prescribed to someone else
  • Borrowing or stealing money in order to buy more oxycodone
  • Visiting several doctors in order to get multiple oxycodone prescriptions
  • Using oxycodone even when it is obviously dangerous to do so
  • Failing to meet personal or professional responsibilities because of your oxycodone use
  • Lying or otherwise being deceptive about your oxycodone use
  • Losing interest in issues or activities that were previously important to you
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Trying but failing to end your oxycodone use

Physical symptoms:

  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Constricted pupils
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss or gain

Psychological symptoms:

  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Poor judgment
  • Drastic mood swings
  • Anxiety and paranoia


Discover the effects of oxycodone abuse and addiction

Untreated oxycodone addiction can cause considerable harm to your health and well-being. Failing to get proper care for oxycodone addiction can put you at risk for many negative effects, including the following:

  • Harm to heart, liver, and kidneys
  • Brain damage
  • Onset or worsening of mental health problems
  • Strained or ruined relationships with family and friends
  • Difficulties within marriage or other committed relationships
  • Academic failure
  • Job loss
  • Chronic unemployment
  • Financial struggles
  • Arrest, incarceration, and other legal problems
  • Social withdrawal and isolation

To avoid such problems, or to begin the healing process, seek effective professional care. When you enter treatment, you protect yourself from further harm and can begin your path to a healthier tomorrow.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Learn about common co-occurring disorders

If you’ve become addicted to oxycodone or another opioid, you may have an elevated risk for the following co-occurring disorders:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Depression
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Other substance use disorders

Effects of Withdrawal

Understand the effects of oxycodone withdrawal

When your body adapts to the presence of oxycodone and you then try to end your use of this drug, you may experience many distressing physical and psychological symptoms. Common oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • Powerful cravings for oxycodone
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Elevated temperature
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

When you begin your treatment with a detoxification program, you can get through the withdrawal phase with maximum safety and minimal discomfort.