Treatment programs for opioid addiction take many forms. Most people can start their recovery journey in outpatient care programs, but some benefit from starting in inpatient programs and slowly working to handle the autonomy of outpatient care. The key is that treatment is tailored to your unique needs.
How Prevalent Is OxyContin Addiction?
OxyContin abuse has trended sharply downward after a reformulation was made to the medication in 2010 to reduce its abuse risk. A 2017 study examining data available from 2006 to 2013 on OxyContin abuse found that past-year nonmedical use of OxyContin was 0.5% in 2013 among people living in the United States 12 and older. For that same year, 13% of people who engaged in the nonmedical use of pain relievers reported using OxyContin for that nonmedical use.
The rate of addiction is more difficult to quantify, with most people “addicted to OxyContin” are really better described as being addicted to opioids, even if they primarily abuse OxyContin. An opioid addiction is referred to as opioid use disorder (OUD). At least 3 million U.S. citizens are addicted to opioids, and the rate of opioid addiction and abuse is generally trending upward.
OxyContin Addiction Treatment Options
It’s best to talk with a professional about the most appropriate addiction treatment options for your needs since there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. These are some of the most notable OxyContin addiction treatment options:
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of addiction treatment where a person takes medications that can directly reduce their likelihood of engaging in opioid abuse. When used as part of OUD treatment, this generally involves taking either methadone or a drug that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Either of these options can help to avoid withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioids significantly.
MAT is often considered the ideal treatment for OxyContin addiction due to its potential to substantially reduce the potential for relapse. Because of this, it dramatically reduces the risk of fatal overdose.
Inpatient care is an intensive type of addiction care that isn’t the first-line treatment option used for most people. With inpatient treatment, a person stays at a specialized addiction treatment facility for multiple weeks without leaving, although they can generally voluntarily exit the program if they choose.
They work with professionals to build the skills needed to avoid OxyContin abuse. The risk of relapse is basically nonexistent in this safe, controlled setting, so inpatient treatment provides an ideal environment to fully focus on recovery. This prepares a client for the much greater autonomy that is afforded when one leaves inpatient care.
Generally, the goal is to get a client to a place where they can transition to less intensive outpatient care.
Outpatient treatment can be thought of as the default type of addiction treatment, where one receives treatment from a provider at various scheduled times throughout the week but lives at home. Outpatient care is generally much cheaper than inpatient care, both in terms of cost and because it allows a person to work as they get treated.
Admittedly, the high amount of autonomy with this type of treatment means some people may struggle with avoiding opioid abuse if they know ways to get opioids in their area and experience strong drug cravings. A person also needs to have a safe, supportive home environment if they live at home during treatment. If they don’t, it’s a good idea to reside in a sober living environment to reduce the likelihood of relapse during the early phases of recovery.
Therapy Options Used in OxyContin Addiction Treatment
A variety of therapy options are generally used to treat OxyContin addiction, including these:
Individual therapy is essential in the treatment of opioid addiction. Due to the highly addictive nature of OxyContin, it’s imperative that underlying issues that led to the initial abuse are fully addressed in therapy.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is highly effective for this. During sessions, a client talks to a treatment professional about the way their mind tends to work and what might be triggering their impulses to abuse opioids. The treatment professional helps them identify unhealthy patterns in their thinking and make adjustments.
Group therapy shares many similarities to individual therapy but it is communal, with at least one addiction treatment professional present and multiple people in recovery all getting treated together. This can help to build a sense of mutual support, and some people find it easier to talk in this type of treatment setting than in one-on-one therapy.
In family therapy, an entire family unit meets with a therapist. While family therapy may be helpful for a variety of issues related to familial relationships, it can be a core component of addiction treatment since the family is often key to helping a person sustain their recovery.
This type of therapy can help to repair relationships that were damaged by addiction and help a person’s loved ones understand how to better help in the recovery process. It can also help a person recovering from addiction understand the way their family feels, giving them an opportunity to also be more supportive.
This highlights an often forgotten element of addiction recovery, which is that addiction can be difficult on many people, not just the individual who is dealing with the addiction directly.
Some people may consider alternative or complementary therapies, like acupuncture or hypnotherapy, as part of their addiction treatment. Some of these therapies have at least some evidence supporting their use, while others have little data backing their use.
Generally speaking, non-traditional therapies should never replace standard therapy options. They should only be used after researching what evidence supports their use and talking to a qualified addiction treatment professional about whether they may help. They should only be used in conjunction with more evidence-based approaches and never as the primary form of treatment.
Life in Recovery From OxyContin Addiction
Addiction is considered a lifelong, chronic condition, and OxyContin addiction can be insidious due to the strong pull of opioids. Many people remain on MAT for months or years, and the medication continues to support their ongoing recovery. This often enables individuals to live full, productive lives in recovery from active OxyContin abuse.
Because some elements of addiction tend to be lifelong, it’s important to have an aftercare plan in place that you can return to throughout your recovery. Over time and with more stability in recovery, various aspects of your plan may lessen in frequency and intensity. For example, you might maintain weekly therapy sessions for years, and at a certain point, you may transition to monthly.
Overall, you’ll want to structure a healthy and balanced lifestyle in recovery. Basic tenants of a healthy life, such as regular exercise and a nourishing diet, will help you to feel better, and this decreases your chances of relapsing back into OxyContin abuse. During times of stress, it’s a good idea to focus on supportive therapies more, such as increased sessions with your therapist.
Support groups can be very beneficial at any stage of recovery. Many peer support groups, such as those in the 12-step model like Narcotics Anonymous and Pills Anonymous, have a structure where more seasoned group members mentor newer members. This exchange of support bolsters each member’s standing in recovery, and many people participate in these groups for the rest of their lives on some level.
Peer support groups in the 12-step model have some religious underpinnings that don’t appeal to everyone. There are many secular options available as well, such as SMART Recovery, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, and LifeRing Secular Recovery.
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