Recovery Begins at Northpoint Colorado
Oxycodone (brand name Oxycontin®) addiction has continued to make headlines in the media and warnings issued by government agencies across the country, and it’s no wonder.
- In 2019, opioids were involved in nearly 50,000 cases, or 70%, of the almost 71,000 lives lost to drug overdose deaths in the United States.
- Prescription opioids specifically, which include Oxycontin along with methadone and hydrocodone (brand name Vicodin®), were involved in 14,149 deaths, or 28% of all opioid-related deaths that year.
- Over a 20-year period tracked from 1999 to 2019, data shows prescription opioid deaths quadrupled to total almost 247,000 people.
America is facing an “unprecedented opioid epidemic,” according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services termed the situation an “opioid crisis.”
Oxycontin Addiction in Colorado
According to the National Vital Statistics System, 232 of the 2019 opioid-related deaths occurred in Colorado.
It’s hard to discuss an overdose death because the victim can’t supply information about whether they were addicted or not, and there’s no way to know if the overdose was intentional.
When someone is still alive and struggling with oxycodone addiction, it can be just as painful, but in a different way. If this sounds like you or your loved one, you know how lost and alone addiction can make someone feel.
The rate of opioid prescription fills has generally decreased overall in the northeastern part of the state in the past six years, but is still strong.
- Larimer County, where Northpoint Colorado is located, saw 558 prescriptions filled for every 1,000 residents, with numbers in the southern counties of Boulder and Denver at 404 and 449, respectively.
- Comparatively, to the east, Weld and Morgan counties saw 620 and 663 prescriptions filled for the year per 1,000 residents.
- The statewide average went from 790 annual prescriptions per 1,000 residents in 2015 to 582 in 2018.
How Oxycodone Became Part of a National Drug Epidemic
Oxycodone, more commonly referred to by the brand name Oxycontin, was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1995 and quickly became the No. 1 pain reliever nationwide by 2001. An extended-release form is also available.
As a narcotic, Oxycontin can cause a numbing sensation, which is part of what draws people to use it outside of its prescribed use. The resulting high is often described as pleasant and relaxing. People who don’t have a prescription may seek out a source in cases of high stress or anxiety, not realizing they’re starting on a path of addiction.
The Oxycontin addiction rate skyrocketed when some drug companies suggested to doctors that it was a non-habit-forming substance. As prescriptions kept getting renewed with few questions asked based on the apparent safety, addictions formed.
We’ve all heard the stories about someone who had surgery and got a prescription when over-the-counter pain medication would have sufficed. One patient’s 8-year-old son saw the prescription when awareness of the addiction was beginning to make the news and exclaimed, “Wow! You can sell those on the street for $100.”
His father removed the prescription from the home and took it to his local police station, which offered a prescription disposal program. These programs are now available across the country.
So there’s the “unaware” level for addiction potential by the prescriber and patient that plays one role in the epidemic. Then there’s the recently uncovered money trail that revealed an intentional level for profit that played a well-documented role.
In late 2020, Purdue Pharma was convicted of three federal felonies related to marketing to providers who directed opioid prescriptions to people knowingly misusing the drugs, lying about prevention methods for this practice, and providing monetary kickbacks to the providers.
How People Begin Oxycontin Relationship
Oxycontin is an opioid commonly used to treat people with sudden or sharp pain that ranges from moderate to severe. The pain can alert a person to an unexpected health issue or can result from sudden injuries. Oxycontin is one of several brand names for oxycodone, the generic version, but is highly recognized and even known as “Oxy.”
When other pain therapies are not proving helpful, Oxycontin is typically prescribed to treat:
- Chronic pain
- Pain for cancer procedures
Not all people who become addicted to Oxycontin had it initially prescribed. Hearing about the pleasant and relaxing effects, people may be tempted to try someone else’s or be passed a pill at a party.
What is Oxycontin?
In its prescription form, Oxycontin is a tablet, capsule, or liquid taken orally. It should be taken as directed by a doctor, but generally regular doses are taken every four to six hours, and extended-release doses are taken every 12 hours to help with the pain.
Oxycontin Side Effects
Oxycontin is known to produce a numbing effect and can be helpful with pain management. Lesser experienced side effects include:
- Chills/Cold sweats
- Difficult or labored breathing
- Dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
- Tightness in the chest
How is Oxycontin Addiction Diagnosed?
A medical professional must adhere to standards prescribed to meet the medical criteria for an official diagnosis. Northpoint Colorado’s admissions team will assess you under these criteria to determine possible treatment at our licensed detox and recovery inpatient treatment center.
Assessment Protocol for Addiction Treatment
Some key questions about your Oxycontin use will include:
- Do you take in large amounts for a longer period than intended?
- Do you have a desire to cut back but are unsuccessful on your own?
- Is a lot of time spent thinking about the drug, finding ways to obtain it, being under the influence of it, and recovering from those effects, only to do it all over again?
- Are you experiencing increased tolerance, followed by withdrawal when not taking Oxycontin?
- Do you have issues building up at work, home, or school regarding your use? Are you still employed?
- Are you putting yourself in harmful situations while under the influence of Oxycontin?
Depending on your answers to these and some other questions, your level of addiction, if one exists, would be classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Once you stop taking Oxycontin, you can have mild to severe withdrawal symptoms, mainly depending on the severity of the addiction. Symptoms usually begin six to 30 hours after use stops. Withdrawal usually lasts between three days and one week.
For people who were taking it as prescribed, they may have felt they had a mild case of the flu and didn’t realize that was their body’s response to no longer using Oxycontin.
For people with an addiction to Oxycontin, they can experience two phases of symptoms as they detox.
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
Possible later symptoms include:
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
Relapse after Oxycontin withdrawal is particularly dangerous because the potential to overdose increases. This is because someone may take a dose they had become adjusted to, but their body now has a reduced tolerance to the drug.
What Does Detox/Treatment For Oxycontin Addiction Look Like?
Northpoint Colorado’s highly trained staff will assist you through our inpatient program that begins with detox before moving to addiction treatment over four weeks. Your full time will be spent in phases of treatment, covering detox to behavioral therapy (that helps you reframe your thinking patterns) to aftercare support.
- Detox offers you 24/7 support from a full medical team with prescription medications available to ease the discomfort of withdrawal. Healing activities are also helpful, and we have integrated acudetox as part of our treatment program. You’ll be able to focus fully on your recovery.
The length of time in detox will depend on your body’s response during the withdrawal process and can last from several days to more than a week. This valuable time spent on physical wellness will help build your strength and focus for recovery treatment.
- The treatment phase will focus on the psychological aspects of your addiction. You’ll understand the root causes of your Oxycontin use, manage cravings that can cause relapse, and retrain your brain to function normally without Oxycontin.
- Aftercare will be recommended as part of your individualized recovery plan. It may include outpatient treatment and community interaction with our alumni group. Regardless of which path you are directed to take, it’s important that you continue to practice in aftercare what you’ve learned in treatment and receive support to maintain a sober lifestyle.
Northpoint Colorado Can Help With Oxycontin Addiction Treatment and Recovery
Prescription-drug addictions can happen to anyone.
People who find themselves addicted to Oxycontin are often surprised how it crept up on them and now feel powerless to get out from under its control. Considering quitting can be complicated. Worries about the withdrawal side effects alone can cause a person to perpetually put off something they want—recovery—due to their fear.
Northpoint Colorado offers evidence-based treatment with a more comfortable detox atmosphere. Its inpatient setting will allow you to focus 100% of your time on your full recovery.
There is no magic formula, but evidence suggests Oxycontin recovery programs that treat a person’s mental health and overall wellness, in addition to the addiction, receive a stronger recovery rate. Northpoint Colorado is experienced with treating addiction to this powerful drug. When you call, our experienced staff is ready with free assessments and same-day admissions. We’re waiting for your call to a stronger life at 970-410-8228.