An addiction to oxycontin is a serious problem. Although the drug is used for medical purposes, the ingredients in the drug are highly addictive. When used inappropriately or for recreation, the drug can create a similar impact on the body as heroin. Recognizing the growing addiction and problem is a key part of getting help to overcome the drug.
Signs of Drug Abuse
Oxycontin is a prescription medication that is given to patients with moderate to severe pain. When taken as directed and slowly stepped off the drug after an injury, it is possible to reduce the risk of addiction. Unfortunately, taking the drug for any reason can lead to an addiction due to the opioid compounds that are found in the prescription.
Opioid compounds are the addictive qualities that are found in opium poppy plants. Although the compounds can help reduce the feeling of pain, it is also addictive. When the prescription is not taken as directed by a doctor, an addiction is likely to develop.
Signs of oxycontin abuse or a developing addiction include:
- Developing a sensitivity to pain, which can relate to withdrawal symptoms or manufactured pain
- Doctor shopping or seeking attention from several doctors to gain more prescriptions
- Buying the drugs on the street
- Stealing the drug or stealing money to purchase the drug
- Illegal activities related to obtaining the drug
- Growing obsessions with visiting the doctor
- Self-mutilation or self-injuries to get the drug
Changes to behavior commonly occur as a result of the drug. Since the opioid compounds have a similar impact on the body as heroin, the behavioral changes are similar. Addiction to oxycontin can lead to unpredictable actions and sometimes violent behavior.
Treating the Addiction
Since oxycontin is used medically, individuals can become addicted when taking the drug as directed. When signs of an addiction are recognized, loved ones or the individual can seek help from a professional rehabilitation center. Understanding the treatment process will make it easier to get off the drug and start working on a lifestyle without substance abuse.
The first part of treatment is always detoxification. The body must remove the drug from the system completely, which helps reduce the physical dependency on the drug. When the trace amounts of the drug are no longer in the system, it is possible to move onto the psychological part of fighting the problem.
Detoxification from oxycontin is medically supervised due to the health risks. Depending on the individual, the process can take between three and five days. During that time, withdrawal symptoms are likely to develop. Doctors supervising the situation will help reduce the discomfort as much as possible and monitor individuals for unsafe withdrawal symptoms.
After the detox program, most individuals will enter a rehab facility. The rehab facility focuses on group counseling, individual counseling and educational programs that will help fight the addiction. The average program is only 28 days long, but some programs are designed for long-term treatment needs and can provide services for a year or more based on the needs of the individual.
Long-term treatment facilities will take measures to ensure everyone involved is remaining drug free throughout the program. Long-term treatment is usually best for individuals who have relapsed after a basic rehab program.
Maintaining a Drug Free Lifestyle
A key problem associated with oxycontin addiction is the pain that led to physical dependency. A maintenance program to reduce the risk of a relapse must incorporate alternative treatments and solutions to manage the feeling of pain before it can result in seeking opiate medications.
Alternative pain treatment will vary based on the type of injury, the level of pain and the situation. In some cases, the treatment is not necessary because injuries have already healed. Other individuals will face chronic pain that requires massage therapy, alternative pain medications and different treatment options that help reduce the feeling of discomfort.
Oxycontin is a highly addictive prescription drug that is made for severe pain. Although it is used by medical doctors, individuals can develop an addiction. Treating the problem starts with removing the drug from the system and focusing on getting professional help. Staying off the drug is difficult, but providing alternative pain treatment can help reduce the temptation to use addictive opiate drugs in the future.