Oxycodone Addiction Treatment Options

Manish Mishra, MBBS

Medically Reviewed By: Manish Mishra, MBBS

on December 7, 2022

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid narcotic prescribed to manage moderate to severe pain, including chronic pain. It is used in the brand-name medications OxyContin, Percocet, and others.

Unfortunately, oxycodone pain relief medications are frequently abused and can lead to severe and lasting physical and mental health consequences like oxycodone addiction.  

Professional oxycodone addiction treatment options include medical detox, behavioral therapy, medication-assisted treatment, and peer support groups in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Treating Oxycodone Addiction

As the opioid overdose epidemic in America has progressed, rehab programs for opioid addiction have been expanded and improved nationwide. 

As a result, those struggling with oxycodone addiction have access to a wide range of different treatment programs that can be highly personalized to fit their needs.

While various programs can vary, common treatment elements include:

Medical Detoxification

Medical detox is the starting point for substance use disorder treatment.

Once you stop taking oxycodone after dependence has developed, you will likely experience a period of discomfort and oxycodone withdrawal symptoms that may include:

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • cravings
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • insomnia
  • tremors

These withdrawal symptoms are a natural side-effect of chronic drug abuse and the body’s ability to build tolerance and adapt to the effects of different drugs over time.

In an inpatient or outpatient detox program, you will be provided with close medical supervision and support, potentially including prescription sedatives or antidepressants, to help you work through opioid withdrawal symptoms safely.

Inpatient Or Outpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient or residential care is the most intensive setting for substance abuse treatment.

In this treatment format, you stay in a specialized inpatient treatment center for an extended period of time, often 30-60 days. Here, you participate in interventions that include behavioral therapy sessions, counseling, medication-assisted treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, and more.

In contrast, outpatient treatment programs allow you to continue living at home as you travel to regular, scheduled treatment sessions hosted at your chosen rehab center.

Outpatient programs can vary greatly in terms of intensity, from partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) to regular outpatient counseling programs.

Behavioral Therapy

A variety of behavioral therapies, or psychotherapies, have been developed to help treat drug addiction.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, can help you identify harmful thought patterns that contribute to your substance abuse so you can address and change them in the future.

Other examples include family therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, and dialectical behavior therapy.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug addiction can develop alongside another mental or behavioral health condition that can contribute to a pattern of harmful drug abuse.

These conditions can include chronic pain, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and many others.

Dual diagnosis treatment programs provide a holistic answer to these complex, co-occurring disorders by offering a combination approach to treatment that is carefully tailored to each participant.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Participants in recovery from oxycodone addiction may benefit from the use of certain prescription medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid use disorders. These medications can be used individually or in combination.

MAT options for opioid use disorders include:

  • methadone, a long-acting opioid drug that can alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings without triggering an opioid high
  • buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist that can relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings while also blunting the effects of other opioid drugs
  • naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that blocks opioid receptors, preventing opioid drugs from having euphoric effects while naltrexone is active in the body

Peer Support Groups

Peer support groups like SMART Recovery and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide those in recovery from opioid addiction with a community of others who understand what they’re going through.

These programs may provide accountability, validation, comradery, and knowledge sharing that can make a significant difference for those who participate in these groups, either during their time at a treatment program or as a form of long-term aftercare.

Understanding Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone’s method of action is similar to other opioid/opiate painkillers. As the drug is absorbed into the bloodstream through the digestive tract, it interacts with opioid receptors located in the brain and elsewhere in the central nervous system.

This interaction slows down the body‘s internal systems, calming physical and mental tension and changing how the nerves react to pain. 

However, oxycodone also activates the body‘s habit-forming dopamine system, which at high doses can trigger an intense euphoria similar to the illicit opioid drug heroin.

Oxycodone Abuse

Oftentimes individuals will tamper with oxycodone medications to increase these pleasurable sensations, chewing, snorting, smoking, or injecting the drug to bypass the time-release design of oxycodone tablets and increase the speed and intensity of their high.

The effects of oxycodone abuse are so strong that the drug can effectively rewire or reprogram the brain to crave and seek out oxycodone or other illicit or prescription painkillers in the future. 

This often leads to a spiral of compulsive substance abuse and chemical dependency, also known as substance use disorder.

To develop your own personalized treatment plan for oxycodone use disorder, please contact Ohio Recovery Center today.

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse — Prescription Opioids DrugFacts https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids
  2. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000949.htm
  3. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Oxycodone https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html
  4. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment

Written by Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Ohio Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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