Medication Assisted Treatment for Oxymorphone Addiction

Oxymorphone is a Schedule II controlled substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and can cause severe psychological and physical dependence. A semi-synthetic opioid analgesic, oxymorphone is the active ingredient in the prescription medications Opana ER, Opana IR, and Numorphan. These are strong medications. Opana ER (extended relief) is typically prescribed only to chronic pain patients who have already developed a tolerance for opioid-based medications, and Opana IR (immediate release) is prescribed to this same type of patient base when they are experiencing pain that cannot be suppressed by the extended relief version.

When used as directed by a qualified prescribing professional, oxymorphone can produce side effects including nausea, constipation, dry mouth, and dizziness. However, when abused, the drug can be significantly more dangerous. As is the case with the abuse of other opioids, oxymorphone abuse can lead to tolerance and dependence, which can be difficult to overcome without professional help. Also, taking improper doses of oxymorphone can cause several potentially devastating outcomes, including respiratory distress, slowed heart rate, low blood pressure, circulatory collapse, cardiac arrest, and death.

The abuse of oxymorphone and other opioids has been on the rise over the past two decades, as have emergency room visits and deaths associated with this form of drug abuse. Once a person has become addicted to oxymorphone, attempting to stop using the drug can be extremely difficult. Powerful cravings for the drug, combined with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, can make it virtually impossible to stop using without professional assistance.

The good news is that Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Centers offer the medication assisted treatment that has helped thousands of people overcome their addictions to oxymorphone and other opioids. The medications involved in this type of treatment – often methadone, Suboxone, Subutex, or Vivitrol – interact with the brain in such a way that drug cravings are minimized and withdrawal symptoms are suppressed. Clients who use these medications can get through their days without experiencing the physical demands of addiction or withdrawal. With the physical symptoms relieved via medication, the underlying issues that may have led to or been impacted by the substance abuse can be addressed in individual and group therapy sessions. This combination of medication and therapy has been extremely effective when dealing with the daunting challenge of ending dependence on oxymorphone or other opioids.

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Types of Treatment Offered at Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Centers

Treatment at an Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Center is an outpatient experience that can be customized to meet the unique needs and goals of each client. Adult men and women, aged 18 and older, who enroll in one of these programs work with doctors, nurses, and counselors to develop personalized treatment plans that may include one or more of the following medical and therapeutic components:

Methadone: Methadone is the most commonly used medication in programs that offer medication assisted treatment for addiction to oxymorphone or other prescription medications that contain opioids. As an opioid agonist, methadone interacts with the brain receptors that are triggered when a person abuses oxymorphone. Methadone occupies these receptors without creating the disorienting high that is associated with recreational substance abuse, which allows clients to function in a non-impaired manner without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms. Methadone has been used in opiate addiction treatment for decades, and has proved to be both safe and effective when used as directed under the supervision of a qualified medical expert.     

Suboxone: Suboxone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in opiate addiction treatment programs in 2002. Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which, like methadone, suppresses cravings and prevents the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone also contains a substance called naloxone, which prevents abuse and overdose. Thus, after they have met certain treatment goals, clients who use Suboxone may be allowed to take home several days’ worth of the medication, which means they don’t have to come to the clinic for treatment every day, as is required of methadone clients.

Subutex: Like Suboxone, Subutex forestalls drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms due to the presence of buprenorphine. However, Subutex does not contain naloxone, so clients are usually required to visit the treatment center each day in order to get their daily dose. In many medication assisted treatment programs, clients initially receive Subutex, and then transition to Suboxone for long-term maintenance.

Vivitrol: Unlike methadone, Suboxone, and Subutex, which are all taken via daily oral doses, Vivitrol is a longer-lasting medication that is administered once per month via injection. The primary active ingredient in Vivitrol is naltrexone hydrochloride, which prevents clients from experiencing drug cravings and also suppresses painful symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Individual therapy: Because oxymorphone addiction involves physical, psychological, and behavioral issues, effective treatment must address all of these concerns. With medication allowing them to function normally without being either intoxicated or in withdrawal, clients have the mental clarity to participate in one-on-one sessions with a counselor who can help them work through all of the problems that either contributed to or were made worse by their oxymorphone abuse. At Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Centers, individual therapy on a regular basis is a core component of treatment.

Group therapy: Group therapy complements individual therapy by allowing clients to learn from the experiences of others who are in similar situations, while also addressing interpersonal issues that may be associated with their oxymorphone abuse. At Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Centers, group therapy sessions are led by trained and experienced counselors who are skilled in providing a safe and productive forum in which clients can address sensitive topics, receive encouragement from other participants, and serve as sources of support for others in need.

Why Consider Treatment at Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Centers

It is no exaggeration to note that oxymorphone abuse can be not only dangerous, but deadly. Oxymorphone overdose can cause cardiac arrest, respiratory distress, and a host of other potentially fatal outcomes. And even in non-fatal cases, the damage inflicted by oxymorphone abuse can significantly undermine a person’s ability to lead a healthy productive life. The abuse of oxymorphone and other opioids can end relationships, derail careers, disrupt academic progress, and otherwise ravage the experiences that provide meaning, value, and joy to one’s life.

Unfortunately, one of the core symptoms of addiction is continued substance abuse even after experiencing negative outcomes that are directly related to the abuse. Addicts cannot stop using just because their spouse left, they got fired, or they are facing legal problems related to their drug abuse. The insidious and overpowering nature of this disease is that even in the face of incontrovertible evidence that their drug abuse is ruining their lives, drug-dependent individuals will continue to use. As is the case with diseases such as pneumonia, depression, diabetes, or cancer, the answer to addiction is not “try harder” or “be a better person.” The answer to addiction is treatment.

The good news is that effective professional help is closer than you think. At Indiana Comprehensive Treatment Centers, experienced and dedicated experts are ready to help you or your loved one overcome an addiction to oxymorphone and get back on the path to a healthier and more hopeful future.

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