Read, “Part 1 – Useful But Addictive” and “Part 2 – Side-effects and Addiction here.

Oxycodone addiction is incredibly difficult to break.2 Residential facilities providing medical supervision and psychological counseling, as well as traditional 12-step detox programs, report between 50 to 80% relapse within months to one year.3 In April of 2010, Purdue Pharma released a reformulation of Oxycontin that was meant to make it more difficult for the pills to be tampered with, whether that be crushed, chewed, cut or dissolved. There is, however, no evidence that the reformulation of OxyContin is less subject to misuse, abuse, diversion, overdose, or addiction.

Treatment of an oxycodone addiction varies from patient to patient. Most often, treatment requires time in a detox program, followed by addiction treatment programs. Dr. Lewis provided some insight as to how a doctor might respond to an addiction: “I try to taper the patient off of oxycodone and onto another medication. Specifically for addition, people need counseling, support groups and time with a specialist like an addictionologist over several months.” Addiction to oxycodone is not only a very serious problem that is difficult to break, but it is very easy to become addicted.

To prevent addiction, any drug containing oxycodone should be used under the close supervision of a doctor. You should never take more than the recommended dose, and stop taking the drug when your doctor tells you to. Though your doctor has a part in preventing addiction, most of the responsibility rests on the patient to be open and honest with their physician, according to Dr. Lewis: “Patients need to understand that they play the greatest role about being honest about their addictive personality. Some patients clearly state that they do not want to be on opioids because they can’t handle it. As adults, they are really only increasing their risk for bad outcomes like addiction.”

There are alternatives to pain medication when trying to manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis. One of these alternatives is the Bionic Knee, a non-drug, non-invasive approach to treating osteoarthritis. Instead of drugs or surgery, the Bionic Knee is worn like a brace over the knee. It uses electrical impulses that mimic a healthy knee to relieve the pain experienced by people with osteoarthritis.

While Oxycontin is incredibly addictive, there are precautions to take to use it in a healthy and helpful manner. To prevent addiction, any drug containing oxycodone should be used under the close supervision of a doctor. You should never take more than the recommended dose, and stop taking the drug when your doctor tells you to. If it is used correctly, Oxycontin can provide much needed relief for people suffering from arthritis. There are also other treatment methods besides pain medications, such as the Bionic Knee. The best option is to consult with your doctor and devise a plan that will work best for you.

2http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2001/02/26/loc_oxycontin_users_wary.html 3http://www.opiates.com/media/oxycontin-addiction-nw.html