After being evaluated by a doctor, someone with oxycodone addiction will likely be treated with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.
How is Oxycodone Addiction Treated?
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate manufactured by modifying the chemical thebaine, an organic chemical found in opium.” The drug itself is the active ingredient in many prescription medications used to treat pain, such as OyxContin and Percocet. Oxycodone, when abused, can become addictive very quickly, and those who have been taking it recreationally or in higher doses than prescribed for a long period of time will require professional medical help.
Immediate Oxycodone Addiction Treatment
The first part of the treatment process for oxycodone abusers is very similar to that of any other drugs of abuse. According to the National Library of Medicine, when a patient is brought into a treatment center for opioid intoxication, “the provider will measure and monitor the person’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.” As soon as the individual is stable, the doctor will begin asking questions about the patient’s drug abuse habits, medications, and other medical needs in order to create an individualized treatment program for the person.
Withdrawal from oxycodone is not life-threatening but it can be physically uncomfortable, even painful, and possibly lead to relapse if it is not treated right away. The NLM states, “The most commonly used medication, clonidine, primarily reduces anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose, and cramping.” However, some patients do start maintenance with methadone or buprenorphine, which treats both withdrawal and addiction.
Medications for Oxycodone Addiction Treatment
Long-term, slow release methadone or buprenorphine treatment can help minimize cravings, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and generally allow the individual to live their life without the severe side effects of quitting opioid abuse. One of these medications will often be used to treat any type of opioid addiction, including oxycodone. However, some individuals may opt for naltrexone, a medication that is given after withdrawal has ended, blocks the effects of opioids, and precipitates withdrawal in those who begin to abuse narcotics again. Depending on your needs, the severity of your addiction, and your particular situation, you and your doctor can decide together which medication is best for you.
Behavioral Therapies for Oxycodone Addiction Treatment
Oxycodone addiction is treated much like other narcotic use disorders where the individual may receive behavioral therapy treatment in the form of:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- Group therapy
- Family or couples therapy
Some of these different techniques may be utilized together to help the patient deal with different issues in their life. Behavioral therapy does much of the work to truly change an individual’s addictive behavior and give them the tools to better cope with issues in their life and avoid drug abuse in the future.
Seek Oxycodone Addiction Help Now
According to Harvard Medical School, “The patients most susceptible to OxyContin addiction are those with a history of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction.” Unfortunately, though, anyone who does abuse the drug could become addicted. If you are already addicted to oxycodone or if you have been abusing one of the drugs with oxycodone as an active ingredient, it is never too late to seek help.