OxyContin is one of the most abused prescription drugs in the U.S. A highly addictive narcotic painkiller, OxyContin is legitimately prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. The controlled-release mechanism allows OxyContin to contain a powerful dose of pain relief, spread out over a 12-hour period. However, those who abuse the drug crush it and then swallow, snort or inject it, eliminating the timed release function and getting the full force of the drug immediately.
In addition to its potency, OxyContin has become a drug of choice because it is often covered by insurance and the dose and purity are predictable. OxyContin addiction often starts with physical dependence after taking the drug following an accident, injury or surgery.
Common side effects of OxyContin abuse include:
- Dry mouth
- Depressed breathing
The brain changes in response to the presence of the drug, producing withdrawal symptoms when quitting OxyContin. In some cases, the withdrawal symptoms are so uncomfortable that the individual resumes OxyContin use and may even graduate to harder, cheaper drugs such as heroin.
While physical dependence does not always lead to addiction, prolonged use can also result in psychological dependence. Individuals may begin taking more OxyContin than prescribed, visiting multiple doctors for prescriptions, or stealing medication from friends or family to satisfy the intense drug cravings.
Recovery Begins with OxyContin Rehab
People who are addicted to OxyContin often require professional OxyContin addiction treatment. While some may benefit from outpatient therapy and 12-Step support, many will require the intensive, structured care provided in OxyContin rehab.
OxyContin rehab typically begins with a medically supervised detox to address the physical dependence on the drug. During this time, the addict’s withdrawal symptoms will be managed 24/7 by a skilled medical team, sometimes using Suboxone or methadone. Medical detox ensures that patients are as comfortable as possible so that they remain committed to getting well.
After a few days in detox, patients in OxyContin rehab begin the mental, emotional and spiritual work of recovery. They participate in individual, group and family therapy, attend 12-Step meetings, and join their peers for recovery-related activities that are both therapeutic and fun.
The goals of OxyContin rehab are to:
- Acknowledge and address the issues underlying addictive behavior patterns
- Identify triggers for use
- Develop life skills
- Learn healthy ways to cope with stress without using drugs or alcohol
- Get educated about the disease of addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders
- Give and receive feedback from a group of peers struggling with similar issues
- Develop a relapse prevention plan
Family members and loved ones also receive education and support during OxyContin rehab. Addiction brings dysfunction to the addict’s entire support system. With support, loved ones can stop enabling, take care of themselves and learn how to support the addict through the recovery process.
What Happens After OxyContin Addiction Treatment
Addiction is not caused by a lack of willpower, and it takes more than willpower to recover. Drugs change the function of the brain. When drug use ceases and the addict learns new skills and practices a healthy lifestyle, the brain can repair itself – but all of this takes time.
Studies show that the longer an addict remains in treatment, the better their chances of achieving lifelong recovery. For this reason, many people who complete a 30-day OxyContin rehab program will continue on with outpatient care, move into a transitional living facility or halfway house, and/or continue seeing a therapist. These steps ease the transition back into daily life, providing structure and support to guard against relapse in the early months of recovery.
A Chance to Live Again
Being addicted to OxyContin can feel lonely and hopeless. But there is hope. In OxyContin rehab, you get a chance to live again. Free from OxyContin, you can rediscover the natural joys of good health, strong relationships and sober fun without the negative consequences of drug abuse.