No one treatment for addiction will work for everyone. So what are your options for OxyContin addiction treatment?
We review the two proven treatments for OxyContin addiction here. And what you can expect in long term treatment settings. Plus, more on what types of medications are used for OxyContin addiction here. Your questions about OxyContin addiction treatment are welcomed at the end.
Detox is the first step
Typically, people undergo medical detox from OxyContin before any treatment approach is begun. Although detoxification in itself is not a treatment for OxyContin addiction, medical detox can help relieve OxyContin withdrawal symptoms while you adjust to being drug free. Once you completes detox, you then need to choose which course of treatment would best suits your needs.
Two proven treatments for OxyContin addiction
The guidelines for treating OxyContin addiction are basically no different than the guidelines used to treat addiction to ANY opioid. Two types of treatment have been found to be effective for opioid addiction.
1. Long term residential treatment
2. Long term, medication assisted outpatient treatment
1. Residential treatment for OxyContin addicts
The primary goal of the rehabilitative phase of OxyContin treatment is to empower you to cope with major life problems so that they can pursue longer term goals such as education, employment, and family reconciliation.
The best known residential treatment model is called the “therapeutic community” (TC), with planned lengths of stay between 6 and 12 months. Generally, residential treatment for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, so if you really want to quit OxyContin, you may need to plan for a longer stay in rehab. This type of long term treatment focuses on resocialization by using other residents, staff, and the social context as active components of treatment. Residential treatment for OxyContin addiction usually combines psychological counseling and 12 step meetings with tiered levels of increasing responsibility, so that you can become a productive member of society again.
Long term residential treatment is highly structured and supervised. Therapeutic communities provide care and supervision of an addict 24 hours a day. Residential treatment can be confrontational at times. Individual and group psychotherapy is a strong component of these programs, with activities designed to help you examine your beliefs, self-concept, and destructive patterns of behavior. The idea is that you begin to adopt new, constructive ways to interact with others. Treatment centers are generally in non-hospital settings and might even include employment training or social support services. In long term residential treatment, you will address your social and psychological deficits in order to develop:
- personal accountability
- personal responsibility
- a socially productive life
2. Medication assisted opioid treatment
The goal of opioid replacement treatment is to reduce or eliminate the problematic use of OxyContin so that addicts can live healthier, more productive lives. Medications for OxyContin withdrawals can be used in the short-term (during detox), but other medications can be used in the long term to replace OxyContin with less “heavy” opiate-like substitutions. Good treatment programs provide a full range of assessment, psychosocial intervention, and support services in addition to medications. This combined approach has the greatest likelihood for long-term success for many people.
Here, we review the main classes of medications used for OxyContin addiction treatment. See the chart below for specific medication details. Most OxyContin addicts in outpatient therapy do best with medication that is either an agonist or a partial agonist of oxycodone. However, oxycodone antagonists may also be used to treat OxyContin addiction. Because OxyContin contains higher dose levels of oxycodone than are typically found in other pain medications, higher dosages of opioid replacement therapies may be needed.
Agonists – Agonists are used in “maintenance programs”. An agonist medication has the same basic effect at the brain cell membrane as OxyContin. However, there are differences in how fast and how long the effects last. Methadone and levo alpha acetyl-methadol (LAAM) are the two agonist medications currently approved for addiction treatment in the U.S. Most experts agree that methadone maintenance has a 12 month minimum treatment window. But some opioid addicts can benefit from maintenance programs for many years.
Antagonists – An antagonist drug simply blocks the effect of OxyContin. This type of drug can work if you are ready to go “cold turkey” Off OxyContin or if you want to prevent relapse. Because antagonist drugs like naltrexone make it impossible for you to get high, if you relapse on OxyContin, you won’t feel high. Antagonist maintenance programs work best for people who have very strong social supports and who are highly motivated to participate in treatment.
Partial agonists – A partial agonist drug has less effect at the brain cell membrane as the “full” agonist, but it also serves to block the full agonist. In other words, you get enough opioids in your system that you don’t feel withdrawal, but not enough to get high. Buprenorphine is the most commonly prescribed partial opioid agonist medication used to treat OxyContin addiction.
Combining the two
As good as these treatments may be, there is no silver bullet for treating addiction to opioids like OxyContin. Research has shown, however that combining medications with behavioral therapies is the most successful approach to treating drug addiction. Behavioral therapies such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral interventions can complement anti-addiction medications, such as methadone, successfully.
OxyContin addiction treatment questions
Are you scared of seeking help for an OxyContin problem? Are you getting ready to go to rehab? Or maybe detox? Please leave us your questions, comments or experiences below. We are here to help and will answer the best we can.