Chronic Back Pain and Oxycodone Addiction

Chronic Back Pain and Oxycodone AddictionOxycodone, which includes brand names like OxyContin and Percocet, is an opioid pain reliever used to treat severe pain. The US government gave oxycodone a more restrictive drug status than hydrocodone-based painkillers (e.g., Vicodin, Lorcet) because it is typically more potent. Many people who struggle with chronic back pain take oxycodone, but use is not without risks. A study published in a 2012 edition of the Pain Physician journal suggests that as many as one-third of pain patients abuse their opioid medication. When medical use turns into addiction, oxycodone becomes a dangerous and debilitating drug.

Back Pain Treatment Risks

The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) website provides data on chronic pain in the US, including the following:

  • As many as 100 million Americans experience chronic pain
  • Back pain is the leading disability for people under 45 years old
  • 26 million people aged 20 to 64 suffer from frequent back pain

Likewise, a 2006 study by the American Pain Foundation provides data on opioid drugs and pain, including the following:

  • Lower back pain was the most common condition for opioid users with chronic pain
  • The average chronic pain patient takes prescription painkillers 18.3 times per week
  • Percocet and/or OxyContin make up 34% of the drugs taken by pain patients

In 2010, American pharmacies filled 210 million prescriptions for pain medications like oxycodone. This figure, which appeared in a 2011 report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), represents one prescription filled for every 1.47 people living in the US at the time. When this many painkillers are being consumed, the addiction rate is high even for people who take the drug for legitimate reasons.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment

Oxycodone abuse can produce a number of potential side effects, including life-threatening respiratory collapse. If an addiction develops, treatment centers help patients recover through a variety of potential therapies, including the following:

  • Tapered detoxification that gradually purges the oxycodone from the body
  • Integrated screenings and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Behavioral therapies that improve conduct through healthier mental activity
  • Counseling to address trauma issues and identify triggers that motivate use
  • Group therapy to share thoughts and develop support networks

Following rehabilitation, oxycodone may or may not be a part of a patient’s ongoing pain management plan. This largely depends on the patient and his or her condition, but non-opioid pain management tools are available to all.

Non-Opioid Pain Management Tools

Treatment centers and pain clinics can address pain with a number of non-opioid therapies, including the following:

  • Injecting local anesthesia into the back to relieve pain and swelling
  • Targeted exercise and conditioning to improve core strength
  • Specialized yoga and stretching to loosen tight back muscles
  • Hot tubs, low-impact aquatic activity and other hydrotherapies
  • Chiropractic techniques such as deep-tissue massage and adjustments
  • Electrical stimulation that treats nerve fibers related to the pain
  • Eastern holistic practices like acupressure and acupuncture

If opioid medication is necessary, narcotic options like buprenorphine can provide pain relief without the euphoric high, though such drugs are associated with a higher percentage of opioid-related overdoses.

Addiction Help Now

If you are struggling with oxycodone addiction, call our toll-free helpline today. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions and provide information on treatment options, facility locations and pain management therapies. Many health insurance companies provide treatment benefits, and we can check your policy for coverage. Please call now to get the help you need.