Oxycodone addiction is a serious issue that many states face, including Illinois. Oxycodone is a medication that has been controlled due to its extremely addictive nature and potential for overdose. It is found in many different pain medication preparations, all of which can only be legally possessed if they have a valid prescription for the drug. Oxycodone is classified as an opioid, a group of drugs that are used to treat severe pain. It is the active ingredient in the notorious drug Oxycontin, which has caused much damage since it was heavily marketed in the early 2000s.
Virtually anyone can become addicted to oxycodone. It usually begins with a trip to their primary care physician for some painful ailment the person is dealing with. If oxycodone is prescribed, they may find that the drug "solves" their problem. But opioids don't treat the cause of the pain, so they are usually only given for short periods to help the person get through the time until treatment or healing occurs. But often, the person becomes dependent on the substance even if only taken for a few days. When dependence occurs, addiction is much more likely to develop.
Dependence is a phenomenon where the person's body actually "needs" the drug to function properly. This is a result of tolerance. Tolerance is the body's response to being regularly given a substance that disrupts the delicate balance known as homeostasis. Opioids work by creating an imbalance in the body's systems. But the body immediately begins trying to neutralize the effects of the drug. It "learns" the substance and maintains a state that accounts for the person continuing to ingest the drug. If they stop taking it or miss a regular dose, they will experience opioid withdrawal.
Opioid withdrawal is an extremely uncomfortable process. It can take several days of not ingesting oxycodone for the body to begin to re-establish a balance that doesn't account for the drug. During this time period, a range of symptoms can occur that makes it very difficult not to relapse. They will experience intense cravings for the drug as the only way to get the symptoms to subside. These can include pain, insomnia, anxiety, profuse sweating, chills, vomiting, and more. Some symptoms may linger for weeks, making them very prone to relapse. The only way to get relief is to endure the process or take more opioids and start back at square one.
But thankfully, detoxes exist to help people overcome withdrawal. While they cannot make the process painless, they can help the person get through it without relapsing. A detox is a facility that specializes in helping people get off drugs like oxycodone. Some of them do this by using medications to alleviate symptoms. These medications can include other opioids that are tapered over the course of several days. This helps make the process less severe, but there will inevitably be discomfort getting off a drug the dulls the perception of pain.
Detoxes are usually a part of a complete treatment program that includes rehabilitation. Stand-alone detoxes exist, but it is never recommended that the patient only complete detox. Detoxes are not a replacement for treatment and should never be used as such. When this is done as a quick fix to addiction, the person usually relapses immediately upon being discharged from detox. That's because they haven't been equipped with any new coping skills, so they still find drugs to be a "solution" when life becomes difficult.
When setting up treatment, make sure that the patient can begin as soon as they complete detox. Many programs will not allow patients only to attend the detox portion, to prevent the common occurrence of relapse. When a person gets through withdrawal and begins to feel better, it's very common for them to convince themselves that they are "cured." But there is a major mental aspect to addiction that, left untreated, gives them little chance to recover completely.
Different Types of Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction in Illinois
When it comes to selecting treatment for oxycodone addiction in Illinois, there are many different types. Always avoid programs that don't believe people can completely recover from opioid addiction. This will be evident by their use of replacement opioids. These new types of programs place people on substitute opioid medications, usually for life. While doing so may reduce overdose rates, since the medications used are harder to overdose on, the person is still on powerful opioids for life and still addicted. They are under the influence of drugs that if they don't take, they'll become ill. Most people end up getting back on oxycodone when their quality of life doesn't substantially improve.
A much better choice for anyone struggling with oxycodone addiction is traditional rehab. Traditional programs have existed for years and are among the most utilized forms of treatment on the planet. They are modeled after the twelve steps developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and are usually inpatient. This means that the person lives and stays at the facility for the duration of their program. Traditional programs are usually four weeks in length.
Another excellent choice for anyone struggling with oxycodone addiction is holistic treatment. Holistic programs use no narcotics or drugs whenever possible, unless medically necessary. This means that the patient must learn new coping skills to deal with life rather than resorting to drug use. Holistic programs are usually longer than other models because they focus on counseling and therapy to help them address the underlying reasons they began abusing oxycodone. This helps the patient develop new coping skills to use inst