The misuse of prescription opioid medications is one of the most significant health issues in the U.S. today. According to a 2015 survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 3.8 million Americans were currently abusing prescription painkillers.1 Opioid painkiller medications are widely available, with about 207 million prescriptions written in 2013 alone.2 Substances containing oxycodone comprise more than 25% of the overall opioid prescriptions.
Roxicet is the brand name for one such medication prescribed for significantly severe pain.3 It contains two active ingredients:
- Oxycodone: A semi-synthetic opioid painkiller.
- Acetaminophen: A common analgesic/anti-pyretic available in several over-the-counter formulations (e.g., Tylenol).
Roxicet is a Schedule II controlled substance, which indicates that the medication has a high potential for abuse.3 Roxicet, like other opioid pain medications, can be addictive and, even when taken as instructed, may lead to the development of some physical dependence.
When addiction and significant physical dependence have developed, it can be extremely difficult and painful for someone to quit Roxicet. The Roxicet detox process can be uncomfortable, but withdrawal symptom management and ongoing treatment can increase safety and the odds of long-term recovery.
Signs and Symptoms of Roxicet Abuse
Signs of Roxicet abuse and addiction can be difficult to identify. Since the medication is legal when used as directed, not all use is abuse. Someone abusing Roxicet might:4
- Use a prescription that is intended for another person.
- Take the medication in ways other than prescribed, such as by:
- Increasing the dose.
- Increasing the frequency.
- Changing the route of administration like crushing and snorting a pill.
- Mix the substance with alcohol or other drugs to change/ intensify the effects.
- Consume the drug solely for the purpose of becoming intoxicated.
The intoxication or high produced by Roxicet will be similar to other opioids, including heroin. Signs of Roxicet intoxication include:4,5
Before long, these rewarding, or otherwise desirable Roxicet effects may be joined by several negative signs and symptoms like:3,4,5
- Lack of concern or interest in things.
- Dysphoria, or a feeling of unease.
- Respiratory depression.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Slurred speech.
- Problems with attention and memory.
- Psychomotor retardation, meaning slowed movements and thought.
Effects of Chronic Use
Even short-term use of Roxicet can be dangerous, due to the risk of immediately serious side effects, such as overdose-related respiratory depression. However, as Roxicet abuse becomes chronic and excessive, several other dangers are more likely to develop.
The long-term effects of Roxicet abuse can result in widespread, serious health problems, including:5,6
- Digestive problems with severe constipation or even bowel obstruction.
- Breathing-related issues, especially while sleeping, such as:
- Sleep apnea.
- Hypoxia (low oxygen levels).
- Carbon dioxide retention.
- Disrupted breathing patterns (e.g., ataxic breathing).
- Heart problems with risk of heart attack and heart failure.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Risk of injury secondary to dizziness and poor coordination.
- Increased risk of fractures.
- Hormonal problems affecting hormones in both men and women with outcomes like:
- Low testosterone levels.
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Lower sexual interest.
- Irregular periods.
- Unexpected lactation.
- Low energy and fatigue.
- Suppressed immune system, which can result in increased susceptibility to illness.
The effects of chronic Roxicet misuse may develop differently depending on how the person abuses the drug. People that choose to crush and snort Roxicet will experience a unique set of risks, including:5
- Irritation and dryness of the nasal cavity.
- Perforation or tearing of the nasal septum.
People that inject Roxicet are at risk of:5
- Damaged veins and possible edema at injection sites.
- Infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
Someone may think that the danger of these outcomes is low, but up to 90% of people that inject opioids like Roxicet have hepatitis C.5
No matter what route of administration is involved, when someone is abusing an opioid painkiller, they are at risk of experiencing an overdose. A Roxicet overdose can be deadly with signs and symptoms like:3,4
- Pinpoint pupils.
- Slowed, shallow, or irregular breathing.
- Extreme sedation that can progress to loss of consciousness or coma, as severity increases.
- Cold and clammy skin.
- Blue lips and fingernails.
- Poor muscle control and motor coordination.
- Slow heartbeat.
- Low blood pressure.
- Cardiac arrest.
With the inclusion of acetaminophen in Roxicet, the drug carries an additional overdose risk of serious liver damage (hepatic necrosis).3
Whether in the short-term or long-term, Roxicet abuse could have a profoundly negative impact on the physical, mental, and social health of the user. Anyone abusing the substance should seek professional treatment to avoid or effectively manage these consequences.
Do I Need Detox?
Many people may underestimate the impact of Roxicet abuse on their life, or they may overestimate their ability to quit on their own. Either way, there are many signs that someone has an addiction to Roxicet and may benefit from professional detox services. These signs include:5
- Using larger amounts of Roxicet than intended.
- Making unsuccessful attempts to cut back or completely quit.
- Spending a lot of time and energy either getting, using, or recovering from Roxicet use.
- Displaying a change in interests and activities.
- Experiencing relationship issues with increased conflict, isolation, lying, and secrecy.
- Failing to perform duties at home, work, or school.
- Continuing to use Roxicet despite the physical or psychiatric problems caused or worsened by use.
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when use is reduced or stopped.
Demonstrating two or more of the above statements may indicate that you may have an opioid use disorder or opioid addiction and that Roxicet detox could be beneficial for you.
Symptoms of Roxicet Withdrawal
Detox programs are important because Roxicet withdrawal symptoms can emerge when an individual quits or dramatically reduces use. This happens as a result of physical dependence, which is the body’s adaptation to the presence of a drug, such as Roxicet, and subsequent reliance on the drug to function optimally.
When a person who is physically dependent on Roxicet suddenly decreases or ceases use, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as:4,5,9
- Dysphoria, or general unease.
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Increased sensitivity to pain.
- Excessive yawning.
- Watery eyes and runny nose.
- Dilated pupils.
- Involuntary leg movements.
- Goose bumps.
- Fever and increased sweating.
- Sleep disturbances.
- Increased blood pressure and pulse.
As these uncomfortable symptoms arise, the individual may have strong cravings to acquire and use more Roxicet as a method to alleviate withdrawal. This pattern is problematic as it can restart the cycle of drug abuse.
The Roxicet detox timeline is a variable process that is affected by many factors, such as:
- The amount used.
- The frequency of use.
- Whether the drug was consumed orally, intravenously, or intranasally.
- The presence of polysubstance abuse (i.e., Roxicet was regularly misused in combination with alcohol or other drugs).
- A history of severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Presence of mental health or physical health problems.
Once the last dose is consumed, it is only a matter of time until Roxicet withdrawal symptoms present. In many cases, the withdrawal symptoms emerge within 6-12 hours, though some people will not experience symptoms for 24 hours after last opioid use.5,10
Many of the most intense symptoms will peak between the first and third day of withdrawal and then gradually fade.5 The total duration of Roxicet detox can last anywhere from 4-10 days.5,10
Roxicet and other opioids carry an additional risk that extends past this acute detox phase. These protracted withdrawal symptoms (sometimes called post-acute withdrawal syndrome or PAWS) may continue for weeks or months after acute withdrawal symptoms have resolved.5,11
Symptoms of post-acute Roxicet withdrawal syndrome include:11
- Sleep problems.
- Emotional blunting.
Please note that this timeline is only an approximation of the overall detox experience. Acute opioid withdrawal may be experienced somewhat uniquely by everyone.
What is the Detox Process Like?
The prospect of detox can be filled with uncertainty, fear, and reluctance for someone that has never experienced it. Viewing detox as a procedure that is supervised and facilitated by professionals in a safe and supportive environment can help to reduce these fears.
Detoxification generally refers to the body’s natural ability to process and remove toxins from the system.9 Professional detox is something more, though. Roxicet detox involves a group of strategies and interventions with the aim of managing intoxication and withdrawal from substances while reducing the risk of physical harm to the individual.9
Professional detoxification programs are separated into 3 parts. These sections can occur simultaneously or as steps towards the goal of recovery. They include:7,9
- Evaluation: This component involves a complete assessment of the individual’s overall well-being. The evaluator will examine aspects of mental health, physical health, supports, stressors, and history of substance abuse. The evaluation phase may also involve urine or blood tests to screen for substances.
- Stabilization: During this phase, the individual will gain information about what can be expected during the detox process. Staff will establish medical and psychological stability by utilizing varied techniques like medications and supportive care to help people achieve and maintain abstinence from all psychoactive drugs. In the stabilization phase, staff will engage trusted friends and family of the patient to support recovery.
- Fostering treatment readiness: Detox is a valuable intervention to build recovery, but it alone cannot end the cycle of addiction or address the underlying factors that facilitate drug abuse. Because of this, a necessary aspect of detox is to provide motivation and incentives for the individual to partake in additional treatment when detox concludes. This phase will focus on connecting the patient to available follow-up treatment options that meet their needs.
Each phase of Roxicet detox is essential to initiate and maintain a drug-free lifestyle.
Roxicet Detox Programs
Roxicet detox programs vary greatly depending on a number of different factors, such as:
- Intensity of services.
- Services offered.
- Duration of stay.
The Roxicet detox program setting will depend on the individual, the severity of addiction, and the risk of withdrawal. The 5 detox settings are:9
- Medically managed: The most intense service with 24-hour care in an acute care setting like a psychiatric hospital.
- Medically monitored: Found in free-standing detox centers, this setting offers inpatient care in a less intense, less restrictive setting.
- Clinically managed: Called residential detox, this setting will provide peer and social support 24 hours per day without medical intervention.
- Ambulatory with onsite monitoring: Occurring in outpatient programs, this setting offers detox and other therapy services.
- Ambulatory without monitoring: The lowest level of detox that may occur at a doctor’s office. This level focuses on brief, scheduled appointments.
Fortunately, the individual does not have to determine the best level of care. As part of the assessment, the evaluator will recommend the detox setting that is the best fit for the needs, symptoms, and supports of the patient.
Addiction Treatment Options
People with longer periods of treatment tend to have longer periods of recovery, so a person that does not continue care after detox is more likely to relapse than a person that seeks follow-up care.7 Just like detox, every substance abuse treatment program will differ by services, duration, price, and staffing.
Ideally, the recovery program you enroll in will address your unique needs and situation. You can find the best addiction treatment program for you by:
- Speaking to friends that have received treatment.
- Calling the insurance company for covered services.
- Reading information online.
- Consulting a local physician or addiction specialist.
- Establishing your treatment priorities.
- Compiling a list of questions and calling various treatment programs you are interested in.
Roxicet addiction treatment options include:7,9
- Inpatient/residential: The name given to any program that requires the individual to leave their home and stay at the facility for the duration of treatment. These programs are usually more intense and offer 24-hour care. The length of these programs ranges from a few weeks up to a year as needed.
- Outpatient: Refers to any program that allows the individual to return to their home each day. Outpatient treatment can vary in intensity from about 1 hour to 30 hours per week.
Whether the treatment is inpatient or outpatient, some programs may offer specialized services like:
- Luxury treatment: Providing a high-end location, lavish accommodations, and many exclusive amenities like spa services and dining choices.
- Executive treatment: Tailored to the needs of a business owner or executive by providing work areas, technology, and access to co-workers during treatment.
- Holistic treatment: Focused on improving the entire person, not only the addiction. These programs offer a host of services meant to improve the mind, body, and soul.
- Population-specific treatment: Focused on the unique needs of:
- The LGBTQ community.
- People with dual diagnosis – mental health and addiction needs.
A person interested in addiction aftercare can also decide if they would like a program based on a 12-step foundation or a non-12-step program.
During the decision-making process, consider that each program has its own pros and cons. No program is perfect, so it can be more beneficial to simply follow the recommendations and advice of your treatment team. Addiction treatment can be complex, but as long as the approach considers the multiple needs of the individual, it can help that person achieve lasting recovery.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: DailyMed. (2016). Roxicet.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens. (2017). Prescription Pain Medications: Opioids.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Baldini, A., Von Korff, M., & Lin, E. H. B. (2012). A Review of Potential Adverse Effects of Long-Term Opioid Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide. The Primary Care Companion to CNS Disorders, 14(3).
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition).
- Medscape. (2016). Withdrawal Syndromes.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment.
- World Health Organization. (2009). Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Setting.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2010). Protracted Withdrawal.