3 Stages of Recovery

Since addiction to OxyContin and other substances are considered brain diseases, successful treatment will likely include detoxification, counseling and medication. A reputable treatment program takes into account the specific drug used and the circumstances and needs of the individual. In many cases, multiple rounds of rehab are needed in order to maintain abstinence.1

As with most substance use disorders, OxyContin addiction often begins quite innocently with use of a doctor’s prescription for pain relief. In the beginning, OxyContin use is typically not a threat. But with continued use over time, the risks increase.

For those who use OxyContin not for legitimate pain control, but rather to experiment with its brain-altering effects, the risks of use are even greater. When combined with other substances, OxyContin is especially dangerous and unpredictable.

Continuous use often leads to a crisis point, which, hopefully, motivates the one struggling with OxyContin dependence to reach out for help.

The Stages of Recovery

Recovery from OxyContin addiction is defined by progressive stages, detailed below, but ultimately — as with any rehab effort — recovery takes a focused effort…one day at a time.2

Stage 1: Withdrawal Phase

Man in withdrawalWithdrawal symptoms during OxyContin detox are, unfortunately, unavoidable en route to recovery. There are numerous ways that people with this type of addiction may detoxify.

Some opt for a “cold turkey” approach,involving no medication, to offset the effects of OxyContin deprivation. Others opt to take prescription medications designed to treat withdrawal symptoms. For example, sleep medication might be given if insomnia results. Or non-addictive painkillers may be given for muscle aches. But the main objective of detox is to flush all of the addictive substances out of the body so it can reset and adjust to the absence of OxyContin.3

Another option for detoxifying is a longer process. However, it causes fewer initial withdrawal symptoms. This course of action is referred to as medically-monitored detox. In this approach, methadone or Suboxone may be administered. These replacement medications trick the body into believing that it is still getting OxyContin. As a result, the body does not go through as strong withdrawal symptoms. Over time, the amount of replacement medication is slowly decreased until the body is totally weaned off dependency.2

Stage 2: Pink Cloud Phase

Once through detox,the brain and body find relief in not constantly craving, seeking and using more OxyContin. There is a feeling of elation. This phase is often called the pink cloud phase. Deeply enamored with recovery, the patients seem to view everything through rose-colored glasses. They see life as perfect and nothing can ever go wrong. They may even feel invincible. That nothing can deter their OxyContin addiction recovery.4

Stage 3: Back-to-Reality Phase

An emotional crash or a slow deflation typically occurs following the temporary pink cloud euphoria. In this third phase, patients are hit with the harsh reality that recovery is going to take hard work — and take a long time. Staying OxyContin-free only happens when the commitment is renewed each morning to stay clean yet another day.5

It’s Challenging, but Rewarding to Maintain Sobriety

Two women on front porchRecovery is a lifelong process lived one day at a time – yes, even one moment at a time. It’s a never-ending process of making the choice to do the right thing for the right reasons. Those reasons may be many: family, career, health, long life. Whatever those reasons might be, it’s worth the battle scars of going through detox, rehab and continued care.

Staying on the course of sobriety requires a sense of purpose. Making plans and scheduling how each day will be spent is an important coping tool that helps avert any relapses out of occurring stress, boredom, recollections of past fun, or other triggers.6

Time needs to be filled with positive, drug-free friendships, work and hobbies of interest. Why? Because the brain is redefining what positive experiences and reward look like. It takes time to rewire and retrain your brain with new behaviors and experiences. Practicing new habits leads to developing a new lifestyle. To coin a phrase, ‘There’s a new sheriff in town.’ OxyContin and other substances are no longer in control.7

To bolster individual efforts, a support network is built. New safe friends can be found through therapy groups, 12-Step meeting groups, peer support groups, etc.  This network is truly a safety net to those in recovery. For when a temptation to relapse is foreseen or confronted, friends who know what it’s like can listen, share their wisdom from past experiences and come alongside in order to successfully get through the day.2

Addiction Recovery at Michael’s House

Michael’s House offers an OxyContin detox and rehab program as part of comprehensive addiction treatment. We can guide and support you at every step along the way of your OxyContin addiction recovery. We invite you to contact us on our 24/7 toll-free line for more information, guidance or help in selecting and arranging needed care. Michael’s House has set itself apart for outstanding OxyContin detox, OxyContin rehab and aftercare services.We would be honored to serve you today.


1How Can Prescription Drug Addiction Be Treated?” National Institute on Drug Abuse, August 2016.Accessed 20 October 2017.

2America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 14 May 2014. Accessed 20 October 2017.

3Opiate Withdrawal: What It Is and How to Cope With It.” Healthline, article was medically reviewed by Aleah Rodriguez, PharmD, on 14 November 2016.Accessed 20 October 2017.

4What Is the Pink Cloud and How It Affects Your Recovery.” Sober Courage, 28 April2017.

55 Stages of Treatment.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.Accessed 20 October 2017.

6The Next Step…Toward a Better Life.” Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 10-4474, 2011.Accessed 20 October 2017.

7In Recovery – Steps to Overcoming Addiction.” NIDA FOR TEENS, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 13 May 2011. Accessed 20 October 2017.

Speak with an Admissions Coordinator 877-345-8494