Do I Really Need Counseling in OxyContin Rehab?

Some degree of skepticism about and mistrust of psychiatric health care will always exist. Addicts seem especially prone to questioning the benefits of counseling because one of the roots of their problem is long-term denial that they have a problem.

If you are seeking information about OxyContin rehab, however, you have self-identified as someone who is at least the slightest bit open to either seeking help with getting and staying sober or learning what options exist to promote and maintain abstinence. The short answer to the question of “Do I really need counseling in OxyContin rehab?” is “probably.”

Read on to understand why an unequivocal “yes” is not warranted and a categorical “no” seems unlikely.

Going Through OxyContin Rehab Is Difficult Without Guidance

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, has become the clinical gold standard for helping people overcome addictions to OxyContin and other narcotic drugs. MAT involves prescribing recovering addicts replacement or opioid-blocking drugs, closely monitoring the course of therapy and, at some point, tapering off the doses of the therapeutic drugs. You can get more details about MAT from this Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration booklet.

rehab for oxy

Counseling will help you to come to terms with and overcome your addiction.

The process can take years marked by numerous false starts, relapses and visits to health care facilities. Counseling is almost always provided in addition to MAT, if for no other reason than to help addicts understand how drugs affect their brains and bodies. Having that information can help you stick with the program throughout its ups and downs.

OxyContin Rehab Counseling Takes Many Forms

Beyond patient education, almost everyone going through OxyContin rehab receives strong encouragement to participate in a self-help programs like Narcotics Anonymous. Attending 12-step meetings does not constitute receiving professional counseling, but the insights and advice available from others who have struggled with addiction can prove valuable.

As explained in a National Institute on Drug Abuse factsheet, four forms of professional counseling are widely used as components of OxyContin rehab:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), about which more appears below
  • Multidimensional family therapy, which requires delving into interpersonal, relationship and home dynamics that influence drug use
  • Motivational interviewing, which involves having a counselor guide an addict toward identifying and deploying emotional and mental resources to avoid relapses
  • Motivational incentives/Contingency management, which involves goal-setting and the delivery of rewards for reaching rehab milestones

‘Proof’ That OxyContin Rehab Counseling Does Not Exist

In January 2013, following the publication of results from a small and tightly controlled controlled clinical trial in the American Journal of Medicine, several internet articles appeared bearing some version of the title “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Not Needed for Addiction.” That summary missed both the very limited applicability of the findings and the strong track record for CBT in the context of drug rehab.

The lead author of the journal article, in particular, took pains to explain that his group’s work only applied to a subset of addicts and would need to be confirmed or discredited by a much more comprehensive study. David Fiellin of Yale University told Medscape Medical News, “You need to consider the spectrum of patients who were entered into the trial, in that we excluded patients with untreated psychiatric disorders as well as those who had addictions to other substances, among whom it may well be that CBT is beneficial.”

Numerous situations in which CBT has helped OxyContin addicts and other drug abusers were highlighted in the September 2010 issue of Psychiatric Clinics of North America. The authors of that overview considered outcomes from dozens of previous studies and concluded, “CBT for substance use disorders captures a broad range of behavioral treatments including those targeting operant learning processes, motivational barriers to improvement, and traditional variety of other cognitive-behavioral interventions. Overall, these interventions have demonstrated efficacy in controlled trials and may be combined with each other or with pharmacotherapy to provide more robust outcomes.”

So, to wrap up, you, specifically and individually, may be able to successfully complete OxyContin rehab without receiving any counseling. A large body of evidence and decades of real-world experience, however, show that counseling helps most people.