OxyContin Addiction is one of the fastest growing problems facing drug rehab centers around the country. The intense, addictive quality of the drug has caused many individuals to lose everything to the drug, making OxyContin rehab as necessary as treatment for heroin addiction or other conditions associated with illicit street drugs.
What is OxyContin?
OxyContin is an opiate-based painkiller prescribed by doctors to their patients who are experiencing severe levels of pain because of illness, injury or recovery from surgery. The unique feature of OxyContin is that it is a time-release medication – so instead of having to take several pain pills over the course of time, an individual need only take one dose of OxyContin and experience pain relief every three to four hours.
Why is OxyContin so Dangerous?
OxyContin taken as directed is addictive because of the opiate nature of the drug. But when the drug is abused, either by crushing and snorting it or mixing it with a liquid and injecting it, OxyContin becomes highly dangerous. The danger exists because those individuals who abuse it are likely receiving the entire dosage at once. This is a powerful effect that can lead to overdose and even death given the wrong set of circumstances.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of OxyContin Addiction?
- Severe mood swings (dizzying highs when using the drug, the lowest of lows when not)
- Withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings when not taking OxyContin
- Criminal behavior such as stealing from friends and family in order finance one’s habit
- Unethical behavior such as “doctor shopping” in which the individual sees several different physicians and lies about their condition in order to receive additional OxyContin prescriptions.
Who Needs Treatment?
Individuals who exhibit any of the symptoms or behaviors above should consider entering into treatment at an OxyContin rehab center. In addition, those individuals who want to stop using OxyContin, but are unable to do so, are prime candidates as well.
What Goes on at a Treatment Program?
There are three basic elements that appear as part of almost every OxyContin rehab program: detox, counseling and aftercare.
OxyContin detox is a challenging process, during which the individual stop taking drugs are replaces their drug intake with an ever-lessening amount of a synthetic opiate (such as methadone). This can be a difficult time, as the individual will experience withdrawal symptoms while the body adjusts to the change. These OxyContin addiction withdrawal symptoms last for several days and can take on many forms, including:
- Mood swings
- Intense drug cravings
- Suicidal thoughts
Once the drug detox process is complete however, the individual will no longer be physically addicted to OxyContin, and can move forward into counseling and the rest of the drug rehab process.
Individual and group drug counseling for OxyContin addiction address many key issues related to the condition, including:
- Was there a life event(s) that caused the individual to start using drugs?
- Are there specific “triggers” that lead the individual into the addictive behavior?
- Are there environmental forces which cause the individual to seek escape into OxyContin use?
When OxyContin rehab is completed, the individual must then make the transition back into “normal life.” To help make this process as pain-free as possible, aftercare programs provide much needed support and accountability. At 12-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous, the individual can meet with other recovering drug addicts and talk about the challenges they are facing. Together, the group becomes a kind of surrogate family -and indeed, one that may understand the recover addict’s problems better than his or her real family.
By answering these, and many other questions, the counselor and individual will be able to craft solutions that will help the recovering OxyContin addict live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
How to get a Loved One into Treatment
Individuals who are addicted to OxyContin will rarely stop and admit that they have a problem. They are even less likely to contact an addiction treatment center before their lives have “bottomed out” and moved into very dangerous territory.
Therefore, it falls on the loved ones of the addicted individual to step in and help before the problem is beyond their reach. To do so, many will call for a drug intervention. An intervention is a “surprise meeting” where loved ones gather together to show the addicted individual how their OxyContin use has impacted them. It is a chance to show that individual how much they are loved, and most importantly get them to enter into an addiction treatment facility immediately.
What are the Different Types of Rehabilitation?
There are two primary types of OxyContin programs – residential and outpatient – each with their own unique advantage and disadvantages.
- Good for those who need to stay in school or on the job during treatment
- A better choice for individuals with child-care duties
- Better suited for those with less serious OxyContin addiction issues.
Advantage of Residential Rehab (where the individual resides at the facility for an extended period of time)
- Ideal for those with a serious enough OxyContin addiction that it merits 24/7 care from counseling and treatment professionals
- Allows the individual to leave their harmful environment and come to a “safe place” where they only need to focus on their recovery
- Living side by side with other recovering addicts creates a support structure that aids the healing process.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Rehab
- Individual may face distraction and temptation when returning to their home environment each evening
- May not form as strong a bond with fellow addicts as they would with residential program.
Disadvantages of Residential Rehab
- Can get quite expensive
- Leaving family or responsibilities behind may weigh heavily on the patient’s mind -causing poorer focus on treatment
Michael’s House is a residential drug rehab program located in Palm Springs, California. The outstanding care that the individual receives at Michael’s House provides healing and support for the “whole person” – in mind, body and soul.
Contact Michael’s House today for more information.