What Is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone, a powerful medication commonly prescribed for severe pain management, carries a potential for abuse. The active ingredient comes from the opium poppy plant, making it part of the same family as other opioids like fentanyl, morphine, and heroin. Common brand names for oxycodone include Roxybond, Roxicodone, Oxaydo, and Oxycontin. For those wondering how long Oxycodone takes to work, read on and learn more about this powerful drug.
When a person takes oxycodone, it binds to opioid receptors in the brain and spinal cord, which reduces the perception of pain and produces feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and sometimes drowsiness. Over time, the brain can become accustomed to these effects, and the person may develop a tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve the same level of pain relief or pleasure. This can lead someone to experience oxycodone withdrawal symptoms and other serious side effects.
Like other opioid medications, oxycodone is highly addictive – an estimated three million Americans are addicted to opioids. For that reason, Oxycodone is a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
Why Do People Take Oxycodone?
As stated before, Oxycodone most often treats pain and management of it.
Some of the different kinds of pain for which doctors have prescribed Oxycodone include:
- Chronic pain, any pain lasting more than three months after the onset of the injury)
- Paroxysmal pain, a severe pain disorder that affects various parts of the body
- Post-surgery pain
- Acute pain from injury
- Pain from terminal cancer
- Allodynia, a condition wherein the person has a pain response to something that wouldn’t usually cause pain (ex: combing one’s hair)
- Hyperalgesia, or high sensitivity to pain
But pain management isn’t the entire story. While people may initially get prescribed Oxycodone to manage pain, they often struggle to quit taking it, even when the pain goes away.
It should be noted that Oxycontin is aggressively marketed to doctors. This has led some to raise concerns that doctors are incentivized to over-prescribe Oxycodone-based medications.
Chronic Pain as a Disease and the Opioid Crisis
There is evidence that the field of pain management itself contributes to opioid addiction.
Much like substance abuse, modern medicine treats chronic pain not as a symptom of a larger ailment, but as a disease unto itself. The World Health Organization, for example, has called chronic pain a disease.
Some argue that one unintended consequence of this approach is it makes it easy for well-meaning doctors to unthinkingly prescribe opioids — and for less noble ones to profit from them. As one study puts it: “Although many other factors including bad actors in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, poverty and, in part, the prevalence of pain itself likely contributed to the crisis, its emergence may be partially the unintended consequence of the fight against pain…It seems reasonable to assume that these efforts may have contributed to the epidemic, at least by unwittingly providing rationale for bad actors to widely promote opioid use.”
Pain management with opioids can also, ironically, lead to more pain. For example, while Oxycodone may be prescribed to treat hyperalgesia, ironically, the condition is caused by chronic opioid use; the cure becomes the problem it claims to solve.
How Long Does Oxycodone Take to Work?
The onset of its effects can vary depending on factors such as the individual’s metabolism, the dosage, and the formulation of the medication (e.g., immediate-release vs. extended-release).
For immediate-release oxycodone, the effects usually begin within 15 to 30 minutes after oral administration and reach their peak in about 60 to 90 minutes. However, this can vary from person to person.
Extended-release formulations, like OxyContin, release medication gradually over a longer period (usually 12 hours) to provide a more sustained level of pain relief. The onset of pain relief with extended-release oxycodone may take longer than with immediate-release formulations.
Keep in mind that it’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions regarding the use of oxycodone and to discuss any concerns or questions you may have with them.
Can Someone Get Addicted to Oxycodone?
People use and abuse Oxycodone and other opioids every day. While there are illegally pressed Oxycodone and other pain management opioids available on the black market, most people don’t start off that way.
Instead, their doctor writes a prescription. Because most people implicitly trust their doctors, they rarely question if they are taking too much of the medication, and before they know it, they’re addicted.
Signs of Oxycodone Addiction
Recognizing the signs of addiction can be difficult, especially if a person has developed a high tolerance to the medication.
However, some common signs of an Oxycodone addiction include:
- Developing a tolerance to the medication
- Taking larger doses or taking the medication more frequently than prescribed
- Obsessing over obtaining and using the medication
- Spending a significant amount of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of the medication
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop using the medication
- Continuing to use oxycodone even after negative effects on relationships, work, and health
- Using oxycodone in dangerous situations, such as when driving or operating machinery.
Concerns that you or someone you know may be addicted to oxycodone or other opioids, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
How Can Substance Abuse Treatment Help?
Withdrawal from opioids can be difficult and dangerous – but with professional guidance and the proper support, recovery is possible.
South Coast Behavioral Health offers a fully-accredited medical detox program in California for those ready to start treatment. Here, in a safe and welcoming environment, our certified medical detox professionals will support you with round-the-clock care as you detox from Oxycodone.
We at South Coast take pride in offering care targeted at specific problems. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.
After detoxing, proper treatment can begin. There are several different approaches to treating opioid addiction, including:
Residential Treatment in California
After successfully completing medical detox, you’ll transition into inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling. We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the institution full-time.
In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family support services.
Partial Hospitalization in California
Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.
A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for a number of hours each day, returning back to their homes in the evening.
This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California
For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.
With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and psychoeducation, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach participate in intensive therapy sessions. While in IOP, you can expect to meet three to five days a week for therapy, with each session lasting three hours. This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility
IOPs offer participants the ability to continue their employment or academic obligations, receiving support and therapy as needed as they prepare to reenter society.
Start Your Oxycodone Recovery Today
If you or a loved one are thinking of seeking treatment for addiction to opioids like Oxycodone but wonder how long addiction treatment is or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184 or contact us here. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, help verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have.
- Opioid Addiction – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf
- World Health Organization supports global effort to relieve chronic pain – WHO
- Controlled Substance Schedules – DEA
- Pain as a disease: an overview – PMC
- Dextromethorphan, Gabapentin, and Oxycodone to Treat Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia – ClinicalTrials.gov
- A comprehensive review of opioid-induced Hyperalgesia – PubMed
- Oxycodone: MedlinePlus Drug Information
- ‘SELL BABY SELL!’: Unsealed documents in opioids lawsuit reveal inner workings of industry’s marketing machine – Washington Post