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How Oxycodone Affects Sleep

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Oxycodone is an opioid, which means it is derived from the poppy plant, but it has been clinically modified to have much more concentrated, punctual effects than opiates. This particular opioid is a thebaine extract that is commonly marketed under its brand name OxyContin.

It is notorious for its high level of abuse, being a particularly powerful and highly demanded painkiller. Many people desire this drug for its euphoric highs, especially during recreational abuse. However, what illicit users do not realize is that oxycodone addiction can seriously alter sleep habits. People who abuse this drug may think it relaxes them enough to encourage sleep, and it does generally cause excessive drowsiness; however, it can also cause other sleep disturbances, like insomnia.

Side Effects of Oxycodone

Doctors prescribe medicine because they believe the benefit will outweigh the risk of any undesirable side effects, but all drugs pose potential side effects, including oxycodone.

Some of these side effects include the following examples:

  • Impaired memory
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Gastrointestinal complaints
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Faintness
  • Headache
  • Mental stress
  • Respiratory depression
  • Insomnia1

In the case of addiction, these symptoms and more will be present in intensifying degrees.

Oxycodone and Sleep

Trouble sleeping

Because oxycodone is considered very addictive, people can also become attached to the side effects as well, meaning some people may begin to rely on the medicine for its drowsy properties to help them sleep. Once the pain episode is over, people may be tempted to continue using the drug — now abusing the drug — in order to feel the deep, sleep effects. This can cause long-term sleep problems for users.

Conversely, for those who experience insomnia while on the drug may notice that their long nights lying awake exhaust the body and drain the mind of its optimum energy for the next day. Without rest, the immune system of an oxycodone user weakens, leaving him more susceptible to disease and less able to recover from it. Additionally, if dependence sets in, this disheartening turn of events will likely drive him to further drug abuse. Addiction to sleeping pills or other depressants may follow a desperate effort to achieve sleep further complicating an escalating addiction.

Help for Oxycodone Abuse

If oxycodone addiction has become a sleeping issue for you, and you want professional help, please call us now at 760.548.4032. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to help people take the beginning steps toward recovery from both drug addiction and disordered sleep.

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1 "Oxycodone.", March 15, 2018.