OxyContin Withdrawal Help
Opiate withdrawal refers to the spectrum of symptoms associated with significantly reducing or completely stopping opiate drug use after heavy use for at least several weeks. The most commonly used or abused opioid drugs are heroin, morphine, OxyContin, codeine and methadone. If you are experiencing withdrawal after long-term OxyContin use, seek immediate medical attention.
Medications Used to Treat Withdrawal Symptoms
Pharmacological intervention is usually the first step in treating withdrawal, and clonidine is the most commonly used drug. Clonidine reduces the anxiety, agitation, muscle pain, cramping and sweating caused by OxyContin withdrawal. Physicians also prescribe anti-emetics and anti-diarrheal agents to help deal with any nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
OxyContin addicts are physiologically dependent on on the effects of the drug. They cannot stop taking the drug without suffering from withdrawal, but full detoxification cannot occur unless they stop taking it. To help solve this problem, medical science has develop semi-synthetic opiates that help assuage the patient’s physical dependency, but are less addictive than OxyContin or other illicit opioids.
MedlinePlus reports that buprenorphine is one such drug that is used commonly used in the treatment of OxyContin withdrawal. Buprenorphine acts on the same receptors as other opiates, but offers a far less potent effect and is less addictive. Furthermore, overdosing on buprenorphine is far less dangerous. In theory, patients will take high doses of buprenorphine in the initial stages of treatment, but then slowly taper the dose until they are no longer dependent on any opiate.
Detox Under Anesthesia
Some treatment centers advocate the use of detox under anesthesia as a form of treatment for opiate withdrawal. With this kind of detox, addicts are placed under general anesthesia and then given large doses of opiate-blocking medications, like naloxone. The hope is that the patient’s body will be able to swiftly detoxify while the patient is under anesthesia, and can therefore not feel any of the ill effects associated with withdrawal.
The efficacy and safety of detox under anesthesia has yet to be fully established. Though not banned, this practice has yet to gain the necessary approval to be deemed fully acceptable and safe.
While most top drug treatment centers are able to lessen the symptoms of withdrawal, most addicts still suffer from some symptoms. Dealing with these symptoms is easier when the addict is undergoing intense behavioral therapy. This type of therapy provides the recovering addict with the knowledge and skills necessary to overcome the pains of withdrawal. Proper therapy also has the added benefit of decreasing the chances of relapse as it helps the addict learn coping mechanisms they can use when temptation strikes. With proper dedication and treatment, many former OxyContin addicts go on to live full, drug-free lives.