OxyContin, the brand name for oxycodone, is a powerful opiate drug that is prescribed for both short-term and chronic pain. This particular drug was designed as a time-released alternative to multiple daily doses of hydrocodone, also known as Vicodin or Lortab. Unfortunately, those who abuse the drug have discovered ways to circumvent the time-released aspect, making this drug even more dangerous.
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What Is Detox?
When a person’s body has become accustomed to a drug, a process known as tolerance, they will suffer certain symptoms once they abstain from use of the drug. For opiates, such as OxyContin, this can include painful symptoms and irritability as well as physical illness. Because OxyContin is a prescribed drug, it is possible to suffer from these withdrawal symptoms even when the use of the drugs was short lived, such as while a patient in a hospital.
The detox period for opiates can begin within a few hours of the last exposure to OxyContin and last for several days.
Generally speaking, detox from chronic use of OxyContin is best handled in a professional detox facility. Some inpatient drug addiction centers also offer this service, while others will help the recovering addict find a specialized facility. The withdrawal symptoms in the first few days can require some medical attention; however, they are generally not fatal. OxyContin withdrawal, as with other opiates such as heroin, can cause vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to dangerous dehydration, for instance.
The recovering individual can expect to feel quite ill for this time period; however, the outcome will be worth it in the end.
Determining the Level of Treatment
Depending upon the severity of the addiction and the behaviors of the individual recovering addict, OxyContin rehab can be conducted in either an inpatient or outpatient venue. Inpatient treatment can provide a safe, supervised environment with many scheduled distractions, such as ongoing therapy, social interactions with like-minded individuals, and alternative therapies such as art, music, yoga or martial arts.
An outpatient setting will allow the recovering addict to continue working if they need to and care for their children and other household responsibilities, but limits the amount of supervision over the addict. This may allow the recovering addict to further their addiction by succumbing to cravings more readily.
In order to decide which level of care is needed, the addict should discuss the issue with their medical providers and family. The decision is a personal one that should be made carefully, taking into consideration such things as:
Things to Consider
- Financial responsibilities
- Overall cost of treatment
- The level of dedication the recovering addict has to the treatment process
- The recovering addict’s ability to withstand temptation and cravings
What to Expect in the First Weeks of Rehab
Initially, the treatment process will consist of evaluations to determine the level of care and treatment needed. He or she will undergo a physical to determine what damage, if any, has occurred due to drug abuse that might affect overall long-term and short-term health. Psychological examinations will determine whether any other mental health issues co-exist with the drug addiction. It is imperative that these conditions are properly diagnosed so that dual diagnosis treatments can be employed where necessary.
If co-existing conditions exist, the treatment center staff will work with the recovering addict to prescribe appropriate medications if necessary. These medications might include treatments for physical conditions, such as liver damage due to excessive acetaminophen present in prescription opiates, or psychological medications, such as Xanax, to treat previously undiagnosed anxiety issues.
Medications, especially medications that have addictive properties, will be closely monitored and adjusted over the first few weeks to ensure the maximum benefit to the recovering addict.
Once the recovering addict has been thoroughly evaluated, they will begin to participate in private and group therapy sessions. Over time, the individual will begin to feel more comfortable in their chosen treatment program and can begin to make future plans for their recovery.
Types of Therapy
Medication based Treatment
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
After OxyContin Treatment
The recovery process takes a lifetime of dedication and a reevaluation of life choices. After the initial treatment program has ended, a process which can take weeks or months, the recovering addict will enter the maintenance phase. If they were treated as an inpatient at a long-term residential facility, they will either return home or reside in a sober living home for a period of time.
Sober living homes are private residences where recovering addicts agree to live a sober lifestyle, pay rent, participate in household chores and otherwise co-exist with other recovering addicts. Some individuals choose to live in this environment for long periods of time, while others use them as a refuge when their original homes are simply unsafe for their addiction.
If a recovering addict chooses to return home immediately, it is important that their home be safe and encouraging. After leaving a treatment center, where the daily life focuses on recovery, it is easy to fall into old habits and begin using OxyContin again. Family members and friends can play a pivotal role in helping the recovering addict remain sober by limiting influences to gateway drugs, such as alcohol.
Attending Support Meetings
Regardless of the type of treatment program the recovering addict has completed, continuing with a support network can make a great deal of difference in the overall success of living in recovery. There are many support groups from which to choose, including:
- Narcotics Anonymous
- Local churches
- The Salvation Army
- Independent organizations
Each recovering addict is unique and should find the group that will serve them most effectively. The kind of group matters only in this regard. The important aspect of attending support groups is to surround yourself with people who will encourage your recovery rather than sabotage it.
The decision to not use prescription OxyContin is a decision that the recovering addict will make each day. There is no cure for OxyContin addiction but the treatments that are available can help manage the disease of addiction and lead the recovering addict to a better future.
If you’d like more information on OxyContin addiction treatment, contact us today. We are ready to answer any questions you have and assist you on your journey to recovery.