Your Brain on Oxycodone: What is Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a very strong prescription painkiller. It is effective in treating moderate to severe pain, but it can have some negative side effects. Oxycodone addiction can lead to even greater health risks and side effects.
Oxycodone is the generic name for one of the most prescribed narcotic painkillers, Oxycontin. Oxycodone falls under the Schedule II category of Controlled Substance Act of 1970. This means that it can be used for medical reasons. Oxycodone is helpful when it comes to treating cancer symptoms and chronic severe pain. Oxycodone was developed and synthesized from thebaine which is a derivative of the poppy plant.
Your Brain on Oxycodone: The Addiction
Oxycodone addiction has been on the rise in the United States for the past two decades. Oxycodone is abused regularly by those who are prescribed to it and those who aren’t. Addiction to Oxycodone is a biological and psychiatric response to heightened dosage and frequency of use. Addiction to Oxycodone causes the brain to substitute its natural chemicals to mimic the normal reward response receptors and sets the person using Oxycodone on a path of physical and mental deterioration. Those who are addicted to Oxycodone usually abuse it by taking it orally, snorting it or shooting it. Some people who abuse oxycodone will heat the Oxycodone and smoke it. Some of the street names for Oxycodone are hillbilly heroin, kicker, OC, ox, oxy, perc, and roxy.
Your Brain on Oxycodone: Effects on The Brain
Oxycodone’s main effect on the brain is through it’s blockage of perceived pain. Oxycodone works by blocking pain messages from the nerves to the brain. As a result, the drug temporarily stops you from feeling physical pain. Oxycodone addiction creates an intense desire to want more of the drug to due to the euphoria it produces. Oxycodone produces these feelings of euphoria and relaxation that make it desirable to people with depression and anxiety. After long-term use at increased dosages an alteration of the brain’s chemicals occurs and addiction is formed. If Oxycodone use continues it can cause a serious level of mental deterioration. Oxycodone’s effects can include behavioral changes that include mood swings. Someone who is using Oxycodone may find themselves happy one minute and the next irritable or sad. The moods swings from Oxycodone use can make users aggressive and easily agitated too. Aside from that the chemical changes it makes in the brain can end up being irrevocable and may cause the individual to need other medications to counteract them.
Many people don’t know it but Oxycodone use can also cause a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain. This build-up causes pressure on the brain tissues. When there is an increase in pressure on the skull it can cause changes in mental function, one of the most common being confusion. Those who use Oxycodone may become sleepy due to this. Seizures can also occur due to Oxycodone’s effects on the brain. Seizures can cause Oxycodone users to lost consciousness and their muscle control.
Your Brain on Oxycodone: Effects on The Heart
Oxycodone not only affects the brain but also the heart. Oxycodone messes up the heart’s normal function. Oxycodone slows the heart rate down which can be fatal in the worst possible scenarios. Oxycodone also affects blood pressure by lowering it and could cause total heart failure.
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