How to Get Off OxyContin
With the introduction of generic OxyContin and the growing demand for this synthetic opioid, this highly addictive pain medication has become easier to get than ever. But once you start using OxyContin for non-medical purposes — especially if you take the drug against the manufacturer’s instructions to enhance its heroin-like high — getting off this prescription painkiller may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. When your body becomes chemically dependent on an opiate, the overpowering cravings and uncomfortable side effects may make it nearly impossible to stay clean.
OxyContin is a sustained-release pain medication that’s intended to reduce moderate to severe pain over an extended period of time. When prescribed by a doctor and taken under medical supervision, OxyContin can provide much-needed relief from the pain of injury or illness. But people who abuse the drug often remove the sustained-release coating in order to intensify the high, thus increasing the risk of overdose and death, reports the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Although it’s possible to detox from OxyContin by quitting cold turkey, you run the risk of being overcome by cravings and withdrawal symptoms of you don’t have any medical support. As the drug clears your system, you may experience irritability, depression, restlessness and flu-like symptoms such as these:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chills and goose bumps
The physical and emotional distress of withdrawal may put you at risk of a relapse or a life-threatening overdose.
Once you’ve made the decision to get off OxyContin, the safest, most effective way to achieve lasting success at recovery is to get help from addiction professionals. You can detox from OxyContin in an outpatient center, at a residential facility or in a hospital treatment program. In general, outpatient detox is more affordable than residential care and may be just as beneficial at getting the drug out of your system. According to MedlinePlus, a supervised treatment program may offer:
- A medically supervised drug tapering plan to remove the chemicals from your system at a controlled pace
- Medications to soothe anxiety, prevent muscle spasms and relieve symptoms like nausea and diarrhea
- Opioid agonists or partial opioid agonists – like methadone or buprenorphine – to speed up withdrawal
- Social detox strategies, such as therapy and group meetings, to provide a supportive atmosphere that fosters recovery
Does Rapid Detox Work for OxyContin Addiction?
Instead of enduring days or weeks of withdrawal symptoms, some users have found success with an accelerated form of medical detoxification called rapid detox. In a rapid detox program, you are placed under general anesthesia while the opiates are cleared from your body using large doses of medications that block their pleasurable effects. But according to Fox News, the process can be both costly and risky:
- Rapid detox is often very expensive – up to $15,000 at some treatment facilities.
- The procedure isn’t widely available; you must seek treatment at a specialized rapid detox facility.
- Clinical research has not proven that patients who go through rapid detox have high rates of long-term abstinence.
- Many mainstream addiction professionals fear that the procedure may not be safe.
Getting off OxyContin may not be the hardest part of recovery; the real challenge of getting clean lies in staying off opioid drugs over the long term. Social support from a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be a vital component of your recovery. Psychosocial strategies that include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you address the negative thought patterns and behaviors that drive you to keep using drugs. The wider and more varied your support system, the more likely you are to stay off OxyContin and lead the healthy, rewarding life you deserve.
If you’d like help locating an addiction treatment program in your area that can help you get off OxyContin for good, contact us today.