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Article Summary

Oxycontin Addiction Treatment: A Multi-Level Approach

Oxycontin addiction treatment requires a multi-level approach. Recovery is extremely difficult for oxycontin addicts, in part because it's experienced as a pleasure drug. The highs from this synthetic opiate dirivative are quite intense as it enhances endorphins and enkaphalins. At high doses, oxycontin produces euphoria.

At the same time, there is prolonged relaxation because oxycontin behaves as a depressant on the central nervous system. The respiratory system is affected which culminates in the potential for oxycontin abuse to be fatal. Long-term use increases the risk as the nerve receptors adapt and start to resist; higher doses are then needed to produce the same results.

OxyContin Addiction

Oxycontin addiction is insidious and rampant. It's a strongly addictive drug. It's rather easy to cross the line from needing oxycontin to combat pain to craving oxycontin because of an addiction. The oxycontin addict craves the drug and often will do whatever it takes to acquire it.

Oxycontin is a choice drug for an addict because it can be taken in so many ways. Oxycontin pills can be taken orally and time-released into the body. They can be crushed and snorted. They can also be dissolved into water and injected like heroin. The latter two methods speed up the entry into the bloodstream and produces a faster high.

There is no segment of the population that is exempt from the possibility of becoming addicted to oxycontin. Children as young as 10 years of age have been treated for addiction as well as senior citizens and every age bracket in between. The addictive tendency of oxycontin is non-discriminatory. It disregards social standing, educational background and neighborhoods. A middle-aged professional male living in the suburbs is just as able to become an oxycontin addict as a twenty-something, unemployed inner-city dropout.

OxyContin Addiction Treatment Plans

Oxycontin addiction treatment plans need to be tailored to the individual addict. The addiction to oxycontin is both mental and physical. As such, it's imperative to treat the psychological symptoms as well as the symptoms of physical withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of heroin withdrawal as evidenced by cramping, intense restlessness, anxiety, nausea and tremors. Rapid detoxification can cause these symptoms to be more severe.

Many Oxycontin addicts first became addicted when the medication was legally prescribed to treat pain. As the addict goes through the withdrawal phase, there is the possibility that pain management will once again be needed. Some treatment centers offer medical management of the detoxification process.

Medically managed detoxification consists of administering drugs which contain buprenorphine. This approach serves three primary purposes. It can slow or completely prevent withdrawal symptoms. It can reduce cravings for oxycontin. It can also block the effects of oxycontin in a relapse scenario, making it impossible to feel the high associated with the addiction.

Although the medically managed detoxification process is not supported by all addiction treatment centers, it is well known that withdrawing from oxycontin too quickly can result in clients seeking out heroin as a substitute drug. Heroin use puts the addict into additional dangers such as higher risks of contracting HIV and hepatitis from unhygienic injections.

While it's not entirely impossible for detoxification alone to result in sustained abstinence from oxycontin, it has been proven to be highly unlikely. At the very least, the psychological and physical dependencies must both be addressed at the same time to increase the chances of a lasting recovery. This requires a drug counseling program and possibly a stay in a residential treatment center.

It should be noted that there is a difference between oxycontin dependency and oxycontin addiction. Regularly using oxycontin often results in physical dependency as the body comes to rely on the presence of the drug. Ending the medication while physically dependent on it will result in withdrawal symptoms. The dosage can be tapered down gradually to ease the withdrawal. This is a responsible medical response to oxycontin dependency. No addiction treatment is necessary.

Abusing the drug for a prolonged amount of time can lead to dependency along with addiction. Oxycontin abuse includes taking it without a medical purpose, in greater amounts than prescribed or more frequently. There is no shame in developing an addiction. Steps should be taken to address it. Oxycontin addiction treatment is widely available.

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