Treating Oxycodone Addiction

It is estimated that over 26 million people worldwide abuse opioids such as oxycodone and that over two million Americans suffer from an addiction related to a prescribed opioid, such as oxycodone addiction, and require treatment.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now consider addiction to prescribed medication an epidemic in the U.S. with over 20,000 prescription drug deaths from overdose annually. This is a serious problem in our culture and one too many innocent people are getting caught up in.

Normal, everyday people who suffer an injury and go to a doctor end up addicted to an opioid painkiller and then, once the prescription is no longer available to them, switching to street drugs that offer the same effects such as heroin.

This is an addiction requiring serious treatment and it is best to begin that treatment in a residential setting. Depending on the level of addiction, you may need to start in a dedicated subacute detox center for several days just to withdraw from the drug.

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) considers oxycodone a Schedule II drug, meaning it is highly addictive with a great potential for abuse.

Because of the effects it has on the brain, oxycodone addiction treatment is usually a multi-phase process. When the brain relies on the drug to “feel normal” it becomes one of the things the brain recognizes as necessary for survival, like air, water and food. Therefore the cravings for the drug can be intense and relapse is a real threat.

Withdrawal symptoms from oxycodone can include depression, anxiety, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, body aches and pains, cramping, diarrhea and more. Therefore it is best to detox from the drug under a doctor’s supervision in a residential treatment facility or detox center. A doctor can prescribe some medications that will help alleviate some of these symptoms, as well as the cravings for the drug.

Once the detox phase is complete residential care will give the addict time to focus on recovery on a 24/7 basis to get a solid start at truly beating the addiction. Therapies may include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), plus one-on-one sessions with a therapist and group therapy. Depending on the treatment center, there may also be other therapies such as art therapy, equine therapy, plus meditation, yoga, nutritional therapies, etc.

All of these help to begin restoring the body and the brain to health. Most treatment centers will also offer some form of relapse prevention training and help arrange continuing care for after leaving the residential center.

Continuing Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

A 30 or 60 day stint in residential care must be followed up with additional treatment for oxycodone addiction in the form of a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP).

Both of these forms of care take place in an office setting usually while the recovering addict lives in a sober living home to help insure he, or she, stays clean and maintains their recovery program. It is also desirable for the recovering addict to attend some form of 12-step meetings, such as Narcotic Anonymous, in order to connect with other people who are recovering from addiction for support.

If you’re dealing with an addiction to oxycodone, please call Recovery Channel now for advice and to see if your insurance will cover treatment.

Oxycodone: a Synthetic Opiate

Oxycodone is actually a semi-synthetic opiate made by modifying an organic chemical found in opium. It is the active ingredient in a number of prescribed medications for pain, such as Percocet, Percodan and Tylox.

OxyContin is another prescription form of oxycodone available in higher doses of strength, from 10mg up to 80mg in tablet form. OxyContin tablets are designed to be “time released” so that it’s effective over a period of time.

OxyContin has a high potential for abuse and hundreds of deaths from overdose are attributed to the drug every year. As an opiate, it is also highly addictive.

Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone addiction has been a problem in the United States since the 1960s. In 1996, when OxyContin was manufactured and marketed, there was a sharp increase in the instances of abuse and addiction to the drug.

The abuse started on a regional basis and quickly became a national problem. Those who abuse the drug and become addicted usually crush the pills into a fine powder and then snort or inhale it, or chew the pills, or crush it and dissolve the powder into water to inject the solution. All three of these methods are used in order to negate the time release function of the drug resulting in immediate release of the entire potency of the drug and an effect of euphoria.

It is also frequently combined with alcohol to amplify the effect even further, although doing so has a high potential for a negative consequence and is sometimes fatal.

Recovering from an Addiction to Oxycodone

Addiction to oxycodone is not unlike addiction to many other drugs, such as alcohol or other opiate medications like hydrocodone that elevate the levels of dopamine in the brain causing a heightened sense of pleasure.

Like those other drugs, prolonged use of oxycodone gradually damages the brain and changes how it functions. At this point an oxycodone addict cannot quit using the drug on his, or her, own without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, fever, muscle pain and other flu-like symptoms.

Oxycodone addiction is treated much the same as other opiate addictions – potentially with a period of medication to step down from the addiction in stages and avoid the withdrawal and other symptoms, along with cognitive and other therapies. Here again, there may be a coexisting condition or previous condition that led the addict to begin using in the first place, such as an earlier traumatic event or a mental health disorder.

There are a wide variety of recovery options available and to is best to consult an expert in the field for guidance in finding one.

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