OxyContin Addiction: What Family Members Should Know

Watching a loved one suffering through an OxyContin addiction can be heartbreaking. You may not recognize your loved one or understand how he or she could fall victim to this devastating problem. You may be angry or trying to decide whether to cut this person off. This is a difficult spot to be in, but there are some things you should know. OxyContin is a highly potent narcotic medication used for treating moderate to severe pain that is constant. In the right hands, it can provide lasting relief for people who are suffering. In the wrong hands, it can be deadly. This medication, when abused, has a high rate of addiction, overdose and accidental death. What You Should Know: Whatever the reasons your loved one became dependent upon this drug, it's important to keep in mind: No one sets out to become an OxyContin addict. People who experiment with it in a recreational manner can lose control quickly. Blaming, shaming or "guilting" a person into abstinence or treatment rarely works. Professional help is likely needed, along with a willingness on the part of the patient to get better. Abuse of this drug can quickly spiral and people will need increasingly higher dosages to achieve the same effect. Early intervention is key. People who are addicted to OxyContin should not attempt to stop "cold turkey," or on their own. Serious complications can arise. Professional opiate detox, along with psychological support, can help patients to overcome this problem. Opiate replacement therapy with Suboxone can help patients stop using OxyContin but it doesn't solve the problem of opiate dependency. Traditional detox or rapid opiate detox can help patients achieve long-term recovery if you choose the right program. Whatever treatment option is chosen, it's important to remember that your loved one is sick and needs support and encouragement in order to get well. Counseling Or Support Groups Are There To Help As a family member or friend, it may be difficult to sort through the myriad of feelings you may be experiencing. You may be angry, shameful, emotionally exhausted and ready to call it quits. You may decide that a "tough love" approach is best. Counseling and addiction support programs for loved ones can help you sort through these feelings. Those who are closest to a person addicted to opiates are often in need of support themselves. They often suffer right along with their loved one, but in a different way. Finding someone to talk to who has been in your shoes can be enormously helpful. The best bet for dealing with a person who suffers from the disease of opiate addiction is to encourage professional help. Reaching out can also help you to come to terms with the situation and move forward in a positive way.