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OxyContin Addiction and Treatment

OxyContin is a highly addictive prescription drug that acts as a painkiller and contains oxycodone as its main active ingredient. Originally intended to be used for cancer pain and those suffering from severe pain or chronic pain, it has become widely prescribed for various types of pain management.

Unfortunately, the powerful effects of OxyContin also make it attractive to individuals looking for a high. This has led to widespread OxyContin abuse and addiction, causing serious health and social issues.

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How Does OxyContin Addiction Develop?

OxyContin addiction typically begins with legitimate medical use. As the body becomes tolerant to the drug, individuals may need to take higher doses to achieve the same pain relief effect. This can quickly lead to physical dependence and addiction.

Moreover, OxyContin can produce intense feelings of euphoria due to its ability to increase dopamine levels in the brain. This pleasurable sensation reinforces the urge to use the drug, leading to a cycle of addiction.

Negative Effects of OxyContin Abuse

OxyContin abuse can have serious negative effects on both physical and mental health. Some of the most common consequences include:

  • Respiratory depression and decreased breathing rate
  • Heart problems and increased risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Liver damage and possible failure
  • Mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression
  • Impaired judgment and decision-making abilities
  • Relationship and social problems
  • Becoming physically dependent and suffering withdrawal symptoms
  • Overdose and potential death

Apart from these immediate effects, OxyContin abuse can also lead to long-term consequences such as permanent brain damage, memory loss, and cognitive impairment.

Can You Overdose on OxyContin?

Yes, it is possible to overdose on OxyContin. Because it is a powerful drug, taking too much of the drug can lead to respiratory depression and other life-threatening complications, including accidental overdose.

OxyContin Addiction Symptoms

OxyContin Addiction Symptoms

There are several signs and symptoms that may indicate an individual is struggling with OxyContin addiction. These can include:

  • Increased tolerance, requiring higher doses for pain relief
  • Withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop or reduce use
  • Continued use despite negative consequences
  • Obsessive thoughts and behaviors surrounding OxyContin use
  • Doctor shopping or obtaining the drug through illegal means
  • Financial issues due to spending money on OxyContin
  • Isolation from loved ones and loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

Substance Abuse Treatment for OxyContin Addiction

Recovery from OxyContin addiction is possible with the right treatment and support. Substance use disorder treatment typically involves a combination of detoxification, therapy, and ongoing support to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

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Woburn Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

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Medical Detox for OxyContin Withdrawal

Because OxyContin is a highly addictive drug, abruptly stopping use can lead to severe and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. This is why it’s important for individuals to undergo medical detox in a supervised setting. Medical professionals can provide appropriate medication and support to manage withdrawal symptoms and ensure a safe detoxification process.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Restlessness and insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression

Behavioral Therapy for OxyContin Addiction Treatment

Behavioral therapy is an essential component of OxyContin addiction treatment. It helps individuals understand the underlying causes of their addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms to prevent relapse. Different therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and family therapy, may be used to address specific needs and challenges and can reduce behavioral symptoms associated with opiate abuse.

Support Groups for Drug Abuse and Opioid Addiction

Support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery can provide ongoing support for individuals in recovery from OxyContin addiction. These groups offer a safe space to share experiences, learn about personal responsibilities, gain support from others in similar situations, and learn from those who have successfully overcome addiction.

Addressing Severe or Chronic Pain in Recovery

For individuals who were originally prescribed OxyContin for legitimate, serious pain, finding alternative ways to manage pain without resorting to opioid abuse is crucial in recovery. This may involve non-opioid pain medication, physical therapy, and other complementary approaches such as acupuncture or mindfulness techniques. If an individual has abused OxyContin, finding treatment programs for pain can reduce the chance of relapsing in an attempt to self-medicate.

Treating Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders

Many individuals who struggle with OxyContin addiction also have underlying mental disorders. These can include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Treating these co-occurring disorders is crucial for the success of recovery and may involve medication, therapy, and support groups.

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Residential Treatment or Outpatient Care for OxyContin Addiction Treatment?

The type of treatment program for OxyContin addiction may vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. Residential treatment, also known as inpatient care, involves residing at a treatment facility for a designated period while receiving 24/7 medical and therapeutic support. Outpatient care allows individuals to attend therapy sessions during the day and return home at night.

Residential treatment is typically recommended for individuals with more severe addictions and OxyContin withdrawal symptoms or those who do not have a stable home environment. Outpatient care may be an option for those with milder addictions or strong support systems at home.

Other factors that may play a part in deciding whether an individual would be best suited for inpatient or outpatient care include:

  • Co-occurring mental illness and the severity of symptoms
  • Risk of relapse
  • Availability of support at home and other environmental factors
  • Treatments covered by insurance provider

Risk Factors for Developing Opioid Use Disorders

Some individuals may be at a higher risk of developing substance use disorders, including OxyContin addiction. These risk factors include:

  • Previous history of substance abuse or addiction
  • Mental illness
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Family history of drug abuse or addiction
  • Easy access to prescription medications like OxyContin
  • Environmental factors, such as living in an area with high drug availability or peer pressure to use drugs
  • Trauma or past abuse
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Are Other Opiates Addictive?

OxyContin is just one example of a highly addictive opioid drug. Other opioids, such as morphine, codeine, and fentanyl, can also be abused and have similar addiction potential. It’s important to closely follow prescribed dosage instructions and communicate with a doctor if tolerance or dependence on these medications develops.

Individuals who can no longer access OxyContin may seek out other drugs as well, such as heroin, hoping to achieve the same effects, and it’s important to seek help for any substance abuse problem. As with OxyContin, seeking treatment, support, and opioid therapy is essential in overcoming addiction to these substances.

What’s the Difference Between OxyContin and OxyCodone?

OxyContin and OxyCodone are both opioid medications used for pain relief. The main difference between the two is that OxyContin is an extended-release formulation of oxycodone, while OxyCodone is available in immediate or short-acting forms.

This means that OxyContin releases the medication over a longer period, providing sustained pain relief, while OxyCodone may have a quicker onset but shorter duration of action.

Both drugs have a high potential for abuse due to the euphoric effects and addiction, and it’s important to closely follow prescribed dosage instructions to avoid developing opioid use disorder. Treatment for OxyContin and Oxycodone products is available for those seeking help with addiction.

How Much Does OxyContin Addiction Treatment Cost?

The cost of addiction treatment for opioid use disorder can vary depending on the type of treatment program, length of stay, and individual insurance coverage. Individuals should check with their insurance provider to determine what services are covered and what out-of-pocket costs may apply. Some treatment centers offer payment plans or sliding scale fees based on income, making treatment more accessible for those in need.

Seeking Help for OxyContin Addiction

If you or someone you know is struggling with OxyContin addiction, there is help available. Reach out to Woburn Addiction Treatment for substance abuse and addiction treatment.

Our team of medical professionals and therapists can provide personalized treatment plans to help individuals overcome addiction and regain control of their lives. Recovery is possible; seeking help is the first step towards a healthier and happier life. So don’t hesitate to reach out for support – you are not alone in this journey.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of drug addiction treatment: a research-based guide (third edition).
  2. National Drug Intelligence Center. (n.d.). OxyContin fast facts.
  3. Pathan, H., & Williams, J. (2012). Basic opioid pharmacology: an update. British journal of pain, 6(1), 11–16.
  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2021, October 25). Drug label information: OxyContin.
  5. Trescot, A.M., Datta, S., Lee, M., and Hansen, H. (2008). Opioid Pharmacology. Pain Physician: Opioid Special Issue, 11, S133-S153.
  6. Pergolizzi, J. V., Jr, Raffa, R. B., & Rosenblatt, M. H. (2020). Opioid withdrawal symptoms, a consequence of chronic opioid use and opioid use disorder: Current understanding and approaches to management. Journal of clinical pharmacy and therapeutics, 45(5), 892–903.
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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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