On any given day, on any given news outlet, there is likely a story about the growing opioid crisis in the U.S. Once considered a safe way to relieve pain, prescription painkillers have come under fire recently as long-term use is linked to addiction, drug-seeking behavior and physical problems. On the other hand, drug manufacturers still maintain that prescription painkillers like oxycontin are a safe and effective way to relieve pain. What is the truth? How do you know if you have developed and oxycontin addiction?
A Look at Oxycontin
Oxycontin is the brand name for the pain medication oxycodone. Similar to morphine in the way it works, oxycontin is a narcotic medication. It is also known as an opioid. When used appropriately, it is a powerful pain-relieving medication. However, when taken in high doses or mixed with alcohol, it can suppress your breathing or even cause death.
Tolerance vs. Dependence
Most people think tolerance, dependence and an oxycontin addiction are the same thing. In reality, it is possible to develop one without ever developing the other two. Most of the time, oxycontin is prescribed as a pain reliever after a major injury or surgery.
At one point, it was standard for a doctor to prescribe a 30-day supply at a time, and most people would take oxycontin for around 90 days. What doctors found was that people who took oxycontin for long periods of time developed a tolerance to the powerful painkiller. Their bodies no longer responded to the drug the way they did in the beginning.
As a result, higher dosages were required to have the same effect. Other people were developing a dependence on the drug. This means, should they quit taking oxycontin after taking it for several weeks or months, their bodies would experience a physical or mental withdrawal from the drug. Neither tolerance nor dependence necessarily means a person is addicted to oxycontin.
Signs of an Oxycontin addiction
Roughly 21 to 29 percent of all people who are prescribed opioids misuse them. Around 12 percent of those who misuse an opioid will develop an addiction to it. One of the main signs of oxycontin addiction is the pursuit of a drug despite negative consequences.
- The person may lie about the number of pills they have taken.
- They may make up stories to get more frequent refills.
- They may even steal medications from other people to get their fix.
Since the body processes oxycontin the same way it does heroin, they may even find themselves one of the 6 percent of opioid users who transition to a more potent and less pure drug.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Facilities
If you or a loved one is addicted to oxycontin, there is help available. Usually treatment comes in one of two forms.
Outpatient facilities are ideal for people who are dealing with an oxycontin addiction but are still able to work and function in their daily lives. Many professionals prefer outpatient rehab for the ability to schedule treatment around a work or family schedule. Patients are given the tools they need to break addiction cycles, as well as access to group and individual therapies to address underlying problems.
The other treatment option is an oxycontin inpatient program. These facilities are ideal for people who need a complete break from their environment as well as any triggers for their drug use. Aided by drug counselors and medical staff, patients enter an inpatient facility and begin the process of detoxification and any withdrawals they may experience. Health care professionals can often ease the pain and discomfort associated with this process by administering medication.
Once through withdrawals, patients begin addressing addictive behaviors in individual and group therapy sessions. In inpatient oxycontin rehab, 100 percent of your time is devoted to overcoming your addiction until your care team determines it is time to begin transitioning home.
How Do I Pay for Treatment?
Payment should never be a hurdle to seeking treatment for an oxycontin addiction. Your first line of payment should be your health insurance. Personal health insurance often offers some coverage for drug and alcohol rehabilitation that is recommended by your doctor. State health insurance and federal coverage such as Medicare or Medicaid also cover some or all of your oxycontin rehab. However, you may be required to use certain facilities that take these insurances.
If you are uninsured or if your insurance does not cover rehab, many facilities offer payment options as well as cash discounts for uninsured patients.
How Long Does Treatment Last?
A typical oxycontin inpatient program lasts 14 to 28 days, depending on your doctor’s referral and your particular needs. Some inpatient facilities offer longer treatment plans. Outpatient treatment programs typically last longer because sessions are spread out over several days, weeks or even months. Ultimately, your needs, your commitment and your health will determine the length of your treatment.
Are Oxycontin Rehabs Private and Confidential?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act demands certain safeguards for protected health information. You have a right to a certain amount of confidentiality in your rehab process. However, if your rehabilitation is a condition of a sentence or if you are under investigation for a crime, the records that result from any oxycontin rehab may be subject to examination. If you have questions about your confidentiality, talk to the facility you are considering for your treatment about their privacy policies.
How Long Does Oxycontin Stay in Your System?
Oxycontin stays in your system long after the effects have worn off. Typically, the drug stays in your urine for three to four days. It may remain in your blood for up to 24 hours, your saliva for up to four days and in your hair for up to three months. Of course, how often you use oxycontin and how long you have been using it will affect the amount of the drug built up in your system. If you are a habitual user and have been for the last year, you will have higher levels in your urine, blood, saliva, and hair.
Ready to Get Help?
If you are one of the 11.5 million people in the U.S. who has misused prescription medications and developed an addiction, it is time to get help. You deserve to live the best, drug-free life possible. Find the oxycontin rehab facility near you and begin your journey on the road to recovery. You can use the Recommended Rehabs search tools by simply entering your city and state or zip code. If you need assistance finding a facility please feel free to contact us at anytime.
If you are experiancing an emergency please call 9-1-1 immidiately