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How to help an oxycodone addict

Many people are uncomfortable facing a loved one with a concern about their health and/or lifestyle. Still, being there to hold up a mirror to someone in denial can save a life! How can you approach someone you care about regarding problematic oxycodone abuse?

And can you help someone treat oxycodone addiction? For starters, it is generally suggested to avoid talking to your friend when they are high. Then, you can encourage and inform them about treatment or recovery resources available in your community. Continue reading this article to learn more, and join us with any remaining questions in the section at the end.

Helping an oxycodone addict quit

Before you can recommend standard care for drug problems, you need a good starting point. In this way, it is important to have an open discussion with a possible addict about:

  • the amount of oxycodone that they have been taking
  • the frequency of oxycodone use
  • the length of overall oxycodone consumption

If your friend or loved one is not in denial, this information can directly help determine appropriate oxycodone treatment. However, if denial is present, check into the CRAFT model of intervention. It’s been shown to get 70%+ family members into treatment after about 6 weeks.

What’s the safest way to quit oxycodone?

Quitting oxycodone is generally most successful and safe with the help of medical professionals. This is because oxycodone is an opioid drug with both physical and psychological effects. Getting off oxycodone abruptly can increase risk of relapse and/or overdose. Here is what the process of helping an oxycodone addict quit under medical care looks like:

First, doctors assess physical and psychological health state and conduct a thorough interview. This interview may also be accompanied by a drug test to assess levels of oxycodone in the system. By completing an assessment, doctors can then recommend the safest course of treatment with the best prognosis.

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Second, people who want to quit oxycodone for good usually go through medical detox. During detox, 24-7 medical supervision addresses and treats withdrawal symptoms as they occur. After detox from oxycodone, you will likely be transferred to a residential rehab center or an outpatient treatment setting. During the course of oxycodone addiction treatment, it is important to receive:

  • Medication management that will help with cravings and address mental health issues.
  • Behavioral therapy to identify the triggers of oxycodone abuse and develop new coping tools.
  • Education to inform loved ones for better aid.
  • 12-step programs intended to build a sense of community and fellowship and belonging with others in recovery.

Help an oxycodone addicted friend

If you know an oxycodone addict, it is best to wait until s/he is sober to discuss and suggest treatment as a solution to their problem. It is highly recommended that you educate yourself about the effects of oxycodone before you talk with your addicted loved one about their condition.

During the discussion about this sensitive topic, experts advise you should use compassionate language that does not consist of blaming or arguing. Overall, it is best to approach an oxycodone addicted friend with empathy and sobriety support. In the case you approach an oxycodone addict with aggression or frustration, expect that they may pull back and fall deeper in their problem.

In case you don’t feel capable, willing, or qualified, you can still seek a solution and help by hiring a professional. The role of the therapist is to teach you and other people that care about the oxycodone addict about the most effective communication strategies currently used in addiction treatment. Know that – in the long run – the support of friends and family can help encourage an oxycodone user to stay drug-free and dedicated to recovery.

Self help for oxycodone addiction

Support groups exist to teach their members ways of living or share to experiences about maintaining a drug free life. Support groups offer guidance, support and encouragement that can be very motivating for many individuals diagnosed with an addiction problem. Exchanging similar experiences and challenges with others can bring people closer and make the recovery process less painful and lonely.

Support groups such as 12 step programs, SMART Recovery, Life Ring, and others offer simple and practical steps which are easy to implement in every day life. After all, practical and slow steps can lead to successful recovery from oxycodone addiction.

Get help for oxycodone addiction

If you need assistance, but don’t know where to start, you can seek professional help for dealing with oxycodone addiction from:

  • Addiction support groups
  • Addiction treatment centers
  • Clinical psychologists/psychiatrists
  • Social workers
  • A trusted confidante
  • A religious or community leader that you look up to

Helping an oxycodone addict questions

Do you still have questions about how to help an oxycodone addict get the treatment that they need? Make sure to post your questions and comments in the section at the bottom of the page. We try to respond personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries, or refer you to professionals who can help.

Reference sources: National Institute of Drug Abuse: Principle of Drug Addiction Treatment
NIH: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide
Medline Plus: Substance use disorder
URMC: Helping a Friend with an Addiction

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