Oxycontin is a time-release capsule marketed by Purdue Pharma used to treat moderate to severe pain. The single ingredient in Oxycontin is the semi-synthetic opioid oxycodone. Oxycodone is an opioid derived partly from the opiate thebaine. Its medical use comes from the opioid’s property of pain reduction, but it is commonly abused for its euphoric and sedative effects. Often nicknamed “hillbilly heroin”, Oxycontin is one of the strongest opioids available.
The reason Oxycontin is such a popular drug of abuse for addicts is because of the extremely large oxycodone content. Oxycontin is a time-release capsule, so the high opioid dosage is meant to be absorbed over a long period of time. However, addicts often smash the pills and snort them or inject them intravenously.
Some drug addicts begin their addiction with a prescription to an opioid painkiller. Doctors may prescribe painkillers such as Vicodin, Percocet, or Oxycontin for pain, and the user may experience slight euphoric effects at the prescribed dosage. However, if taken at higher doses, the side effects become the prevalent effects that are sought by the user. Opioids are highly addictive, and Oxycontin is no exception. The user quickly builds a tolerance and develops both a psychological and physical addiction.
Oxycontin Withdrawal and Detox
As a substance that produces a strong dependency, Oxycontin produces severe withdrawal effects. Upon cessation of Oxycontin intake, the user may experience nausea, vomiting, fever, restlessness, and extreme irritability. Without a medically supervised detox, these symptoms often drive the user to relapse. Drug detox centers provide professional staff and comfortable environments for an addict to detox. Doctors may prescribe a medication to help with Oxycontin addiction, such as Suboxone or Subutex. These are drugs to help with Oxycontin addiction withdrawal symptoms, and may ease physical and emotional pain as well as drug cravings. They are partially activating opioid agonists that relieve the symptoms without providing the euphoric effects.
Oxycontin Addiction Treatment
After a medical detox, those who wish to remain free from drug addiction should attend a Oxycontin treatment center. At a residential treatment center, addicts live on-site and participate in therapeutic services that hope to prevent him or her from relapsing. Therapists and counselors provide group and individual therapy, family involvement, and the practice of healthy activities. Many residential treatment centers encourage participation in a twelve-step support group such as Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.
After a residential treatment program, those serious about their recovery consider admitting themselves into an outpatient treatment center. Outpatient programs offer the same resources as a residential one, but the clients are not required to be residents of the facility. During the time that a recovering Oxycontin addict is attending outpatient therapy, they often choose to live at a sober living home. A sober living provides a healthy, safe environment for newly sober addicts. Usually gender-specific, the residents live together and support each other, providing a healthy reintegration back into society.