Oxycodone addiction is a major issue that has affected the majority of states in the northeast, including New Jersey. Oxycodone is a compound that belongs to a class of drugs known as opioids. Opioids have been used medically to treat severe pain for many years but have been major drugs of abuse for just as long. Oxycodone is a powerful opioid that has become one of the most commonly prescribed painkillers today and is found in many different medicinal preparations. Oxycodone was the active ingredient in the notorious Oxycontin, a drug that kickstarted the opioid epidemic and has claimed thousands of lives. Many people still need help from New Jersey oxycodone treatment and detox services because of it.
Becoming addicted to oxycodone can happen to almost anybody. It usually begins with a trip to one's doctor for pain that they're struggling with. If oxycodone is prescribed to help them deal with pain, it should only be given for very short periods of time, so dependence doesn't develop. Oxycodone works by disrupting the natural balance of the body's systems, known as homeostasis. It may be quite effective for relieving pain and providing pleasant side effects initially, but these effects diminish after only a few days of regular use. Therefore, larger doses of the drug must be taken to achieve the effects that were initially produced by a much smaller dose. This is known as tolerance.
Tolerance is a condition where the body adjusts to the continual presence of the substance by changing its chemistry to counter the effects of the drug. The more that oxycodone is taken, the more adept the body becomes at neutralizing it, and eventually, the body will maintain a state that accounts for the drug's presence. Therefore, it expects that the person will keep taking it. If they don't, this will now throw the body out of balance and create a condition known as opioid withdrawal. Withdrawal from oxycodone is a particularly uncomfortable process and includes symptoms like pain, insomnia, vomiting, and many more. These symptoms can last for several days, with some lingering for weeks, depending on the severity of the addiction.
When withdrawal and tolerance are present, the person is dependent on opioids. Dependence means that their body needs opioids to function normally, and without them, they will be ill. Withdrawal symptoms are accompanied by intense cravings for opioids since taking more of the drug is the only way to make symptoms diminish rapidly. Most people cannot endure opioid withdrawal and will relapse within hours or days of attempting to quit. Withdrawal symptoms are the biggest barrier preventing people from getting help for oxycodone addiction.
Thankfully, detoxes have been created to help people overcome oxycodone dependence. Detoxes do not address addiction, so they should never be used as a replacement for treatment. Instead, they are a first step on the road to recovery. Detoxes only focus on helping people get through withdrawal without relapsing so they can then begin rehabilitation. Many detoxes have medical capabilities and achieve this by using medications to help people come off drugs more smoothly. Some medications may treat specific symptoms like nausea or diarrhea, and other opioids may also be given to taper the person down to a dose where they can discontinue all medications and manage the ensuing withdrawal symptoms. All medications must be discontinued before the person is discharged from detox. Otherwise, they won't have accomplished the purpose of the process.
Most treatment centers have on-site detox facilities, so selecting a detox can be as simple as finding a rehab. This has major benefits since most people who relapse after detox either didn't go on to attend treatment or returned home while waiting for an open rehab bed to be available. This solves that issue by not permitting patients to attend detox only without committing to the full program upfront and making the transition from detox to treatment seamless.
Stand-alone detoxes still exist but should be avoided if possible. If not, always ensure that treatment is set up before the patient completes detox. The detox facility is required to assist the patient with transfer to treatment by coordinating with the receiving facility and ensuring a continuum of care. The patient should be discharged the same day that they are to be admitted into treatment.
Different Types of Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction in New Jersey
When it comes to selecting a rehab, there are many different types of treatment for oxycodone addiction in New Jersey. It is never recommended that one attend an opioid-maintenance therapy program if rehabilitation is the goal. These programs give patients replacement opioid drugs, often for life, and discourage them from ever getting clean. The apparent goal is to reduce overdose death rates since the medications given are often more difficult to overdose on than opioids like oxycodone. But they are still addicted to opioids, so this cannot be called treatment. It is the antithesis of rehabilitation.
A much better option for anyone looking to recover from oxycodone addiction is traditional substance abuse treatment. Traditional programs have been around for decades and have saved countless lives during that time. These programs use the twelve-step model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and are usually four weeks in length. In addition, traditional programs usually offer both inpatient and outpatient services, allowing graduates to continue getting needed support before relapse occurs.
Another excellent choice is holistic drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. Holistic treatment avoids using any narcotics or unnecessary medications during the treatment process. This helps patients develop new coping skills and disrupts the mental pattern of relying on substances to handle stress and discomfort. Holistic programs also offer therapy to address the core issue that led the person to use drugs in the first place. This type of individualized relapse prevention makes the long time investment of holistic rehab worthwhile, particularly when examining long-term recovery rates.
New Jersey Oxycodone Possession Penalties
New Jersey is notoriously hard on oxycodone-related crimes. Possessing up to four pills of oxycodone without a valid prescription is a fourth-degree offense. In addition, it is a third-degree offense to possess five to 99 doses illegally and a second-degree crime for possession of more than 100 pills or dosage units.
A fourth-degree offense poses a penalty of up to 18 months in jail and as much as $10,000 in fines. A third-degree offense is punishable by 3 to 5 years in jail and up to $200,000 in fines. A second-degree offense, the most serious of personal possession charges, is punishable by between 5 and 10 years in jail and up to $300,000 in fines.