Meet the ‘Codones’

Meet the ‘Codones’

We all love a dysfunctional family. In the world of prescription drugs, no family is more dysfunctional than the “Codones.” While these drugs are highly effective for alleviating severe or chronic pain, they also pose a significant threat of addiction for those who misuse this class of drugs.

Oxycodone: The Father of All Codones

Oxycodone is an opiate that is legitimately prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. In the body, the drug converts to morphine and affects the dopamine centers of the brain. When abused, oxycodone produces a sense of euphoria, followed by alternating periods of sleep and wakefulness.

Trade names for oxycodone include Percodan, Percocet and Tylox, as well as the controlled-release form, OxyContin, which is designed to provide up to 12 hours of pain relief. People who abuse OxyContin typically crush the tablets to eliminate the timed-release mechanism, and then swallow, snort or inject the powder.

Although oxycodone may initially be covered by insurance (typically following surgery, injury or an accident), once the cost is no longer covered, a single pill can cost $20 to $40 on the street. This leads some oxycodone abusers to harder, cheaper drugs like heroin. Over time, tolerance develops and the user needs larger doses just to feel normal.

Once addicted to oxycodone, users can be overpowered by intense drug cravings, stopping at nothing to get more of the drug. Those who abruptly stop using the drug may experience oxycodone withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal include vomiting, involuntary leg movements, irregular heartbeat, sweating, muscle cramps, bone and joint pain, insomnia, diarrhea, and anxiety.

Hydrocodone: Don’t Mess with Mama

Hydrocodone use has quadrupled in the past decade, making it one of the most abused prescription drugs in the U.S. Hydrocodone is a powerful narcotic painkiller that has been combined with aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen to produce a number of prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Lorcet and Lortab. Sometimes described as a “white collar” addiction, hydrocodone sells for $2 to $10 per pill on the street.

People who use hydrocodone without a prescription, take more than prescribed, request prescriptions from multiple doctors or require large doses to feel normal may be struggling with hydrocodone addiction. In addition to the risk of addiction, the other medications combined with hydrocodone (such as Tylenol) are dangerous in large doses.

Roxicodone: A Baby with a Bite

“Roxi” is a cute name for a powerfully addictive narcotic painkiller. The active ingredient, oxycodone hydrochloride, provides instant pain relief. Roxicodone can be taken orally but is often smoked or injected when abused. In addition to euphoria, roxicodone side effects can include respiratory problems, muscle aches, diarrhea or constipation, nausea, anxiety, itchy skin, blurred vision, and fatigue.

Most people who use oxycodone, hydrocodone or roxicodone will not become addicted – but for those that do, this family can bring dysfunction into every aspect of life. Prescription narcotics are leading the prescription drug abuse epidemic, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake. Armed with knowledge, you can protect yourself and keep the Codone family far away from yours.

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