Oxycontin Detox

Oxycontin Detox
OxyContin is a powerful opioid painkiller that’s highly addictive and produces a high level of tolerance very quickly. Tolerance means that increasingly larger doses are needed to get the desired effects, and it leads to dependence. Dependence is characterized by withdrawal symptoms that set in when QxyContin use stops. OxyContin detox is the process of allowing all traces of OxyContin to leave the body so that brain function can normalize and end the dependence.

How OxyContin Detox Works

Dependence develops due to changes in chemical brain function that result from tolerance. OxyContin acts on certain neurotransmitters, including increasing dopamine activity. With heavy use, the brain reduces dopamine function and alters the activity of other involved neurotransmitters in order to compensate for the psychoactive effects of OxyContin and maintain normal functioning.
This produces tolerance, but as increasingly larger doses are used, the brain continues to change its chemical function to compensate. At some point, brain function may shift so that it operates more comfortably when OxyContin is present than when it’s not. Then, when use suddenly stops, normal brain function rebounds resulting in a flood of brain chemicals causeing physical withdrawal symptoms, including:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Body aches
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation and restlessness

An OxyContin detox program involves medications that are administered as needed to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and improve comfort and wellbeing during the detox process.

During detox, a variety of assessments are given to help providers understand the extent of the OxyContin abuse and the social, emotional and relationship problems it has caused. This information is used to develop a highly individualized treatment plan that will address the addiction, which is far more complex than physical dependence. Providers in detox use therapies like motivational interviewing to help identify your own intrinsic motivations for wanting to recover.

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Oxycontin Detox

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is the gold standard for treating opioid dependence and addiction, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 1 MAT involves medications that reduce cravings, normalize brain function, prevent withdrawal and block the effects of opioids. MAT has been shown through research to:
  • Reduce opioid use and the criminal activities associated with it
  • Reduce the risk of fatal overdose
  • Improve employability and promote successful employment
  • Reduce the risk of relapse
  • Improve social functioning
  • Increase engagement in treatment
Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are the three FDA-approved medications used in MAT. Methadone and buprenorphine can be started right away, while naltrexone first requires detox before starting. Medication is only one component of medication-assisted treatment. The other equally important component is counseling, which addresses the addiction.

Detox: The First Step Towards Recovery

Detox or medication alone only addresses the physical dependence on OxyContin. In some cases, dependence can occur without addiction, such as when someone becomes dependent on OxyContin while being treated for pain. But more commonly, addiction and dependence occur together.

Addiction is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and -using behaviors despite the negative consequences using causes in your life. Addiction almost always has underlying causes, often including chronic stress, a history of trauma or a mental illness like anxiety or depression. Successfully treating the addiction requires addressing these issues through a variety of traditional and complementary therapies.

Why Engage in Treatment After Detox?

Detox is the first step towards recovery, and it’s designed to help motivate you to recover and engage you in a treatment program. But detox alone does very little to end OxyContin abuse. According to a study published in the Irish Medical Journal, 91 percent of people who completed opioid detox but didn’t continue with treatment subsequently relapsed-59 percent of them within a week.2 People in the study who followed detox with a treatment program either didn’t relapse or relapsed much later.

What Should I Look For in Treatment?

A holistic approach to detox and addiction treatment offers the best possible outcomes, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.3 This approach addresses multiple issues of body, mind and spirit for whole-person healing. In detox, a holistic approach will include complementary therapies like restorative yoga, acupuncture or massage therapy to reduce stress and increase feelings of wellbeing. In treatment, a holistic approach will involve complementary therapies like art or music therapy, mindfulness meditation and horticultural therapy to increase self-awareness and help individuals look at old problems in new ways.

If you’re ready to recover from an OxyContin addiction and restore your life on all fronts, a high-quality medical detox program can help you detox comfortably and safely so that you can focus on treating the addiction. Rehab works for most people who engage with their treatment plan and stay in treatment for an adequate period of time. Detox and treatment help you end addiction for good and improve your life for a happier, healthier future.