If you have recently stopped taking oxycodone and are experiencing withdrawal symptoms, get to a doctor as soon as possible. If you are contemplating a cessation of using oxycodone, you still need to see a doctor. A doctor can help you deal with your symptoms and set up a medication schedule. You should not stop taking opioids without professional medical assistance.
Oxycodone, or also known by its street name oxy, leads many people into addiction. Specifically, the prescription painkiller relieves pain very quickly and causes a pleasant high its users will compulsively seek out. However, ending oxy abuse proves harder than falling into its grasp. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms last about a week, making help from a quality rehab center very important.
What Happens When You Stop Using Oxycodone?
When you stop or decrease the amount of oxycodone you’re using, you will experience physical symptoms of withdrawal. If you have been using high doses for more than a few weeks, this will be especially uncomfortable. When you take large amounts of opioids for a long time, many systems in your body become altered.
Studies have shown that patients who are prescribed oral opioids after surgery experience withdrawal symptoms when they quit taking it. This was after only two weeks of use. If you have been taking an opioid for more than two weeks, you need to stop as soon as possible to avoid side effects.
The symptoms of withdrawal occur because it will take time for your body to adjust to not having the oxy in your system. Withdrawal can be classified as mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe. Your care provider can evaluate this by discussing your history of opioid use and using the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale.
You should note that different drugs stay in your system for different lengths of time, which can affect the onset of withdrawal symptoms. The length of time your symptoms last also depends on your overall general health.
Some addiction specialists say that recovery will require at least a six-month period of abstinence, and the person may still experience withdrawal symptoms. Don’t try to go cold turkey on your own.
Understanding Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Your symptoms will depend on the level of withdrawal you are going through, and that depends on the factors mentioned previously. Everyone experiences withdrawal differently. However, there is a typical timeline for withdrawal.
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include a wide variety of physical and mental effects. These effects feel uncomfortable and prove dangerous for many people. For example, oxy withdrawal includes the risk of suicide, on top of general health risk from heart problems and dehydration.
Entering a detox center is important for your wellness throughout the withdrawal process. Then you enter a rehab treatment program, where true healing and recovery begin.
Timeline for Oxycodone Detox
Oxycodone withdrawal includes many side effects. These start about eight to 12 hours after you stop using the drug. Your worst effects take place around 72 hours without your painkiller. Physical symptoms last about a week, with some mental effects lasting much longer.
However, many factors come into play regarding when your Oxycodone withdrawal starts. Using immediate-release oxycodone means your symptoms begin in about three or four hours. With long-term extended-release use, these symptoms start at about 12 hours.
How you use your oxycodone also determines when symptoms of withdrawal begin. Injecting, smoking, or snorting the drug gives you faster effects than taking it in pill form. The pill takes time to work its way through your digestive system and into your bloodstream. Therefore, if you usually swallow the pill, your withdrawal starts later than if you typically use the drug in other ways.
Early Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
- Muscle aches
- Increased tearing
- Runny nose
Later Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
- Abdominal cramping
- Dilated pupils
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
Complications of Oxycodone Withdrawal
Oxycodone withdrawal can be very painful. But not life-threatening. Many people going through oxy withdrawal say they feel like they have a terrible case of the flu. But some complications may be a danger to you.
Aspiration can occur if you vomit and breathe stomach contents into the lungs. This could cause a lung infection or choking. It can also lead to pneumonia (aspiration pneumonia).
Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration and chemical disruptions in your body. Loss of fluids and electrolytes can cause the heart to beat abnormally. This can lead to circulatory problems.
The biggest danger is relapse. If you quit taking oxycodone and then begin to take it again, the withdrawal process has reduced your tolerance, but many people think they can go back to the same dose they were using when they quit. This sets you up for an overdose. After about five to seven days in detox, your withdrawal ends.
Some people may experience other complications not mentioned here. This is why it is so important to work with medical supervision who can prescribe medications that can help with these symptoms and watch out for others.
Treatments For Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Many people continue to use oxycodone because the withdrawal symptoms are so disagreeable, and some people try to manage on their own. Still, medical treatment in safe, controlled surroundings can make you more comfortable and give you a greater chance of success.
Mild withdrawal can be treated with acetaminophen, aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. Abundant amounts of rest and fluids are also important. Imodium and Vistaril or Atarax may be used to treat diarrhea and nausea.
The more intense withdrawal symptoms may necessitate hospitalization and medications. Inpatient settings generally use clonidine. It is especially effective at reducing:
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
Suboxone is a combination of a mild opioid (buprenorphine) and an opioid blocker (naloxone). This combination doesn’t cause many of the addictive effects of other opioids. The blocker works in the stomach to prevent constipation.
Methadone can be used for long-term maintenance therapy. Although it is an opioid, it can be used and reduced in a controlled manner that won’t cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
The biggest danger is relapse. If you quit taking oxycodone and then begin to take it again, the withdrawal process has reduced your tolerance. Many people think they can go back to the same dose they were using when they quit. This sets you up for an overdose.
Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction
After detox and withdrawal, you move into rehab for addiction treatment. Long-term treatment is necessary for many people once they have withdrawn from the drug. This includes support groups, pharmaceutical treatment, inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, or outpatient counseling.
- Medicines—Such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone
- Counseling and Behavioral therapies—Counseling will help change your attitude and behaviors related to drug use. It helps you build healthy life skills, and helps you stay with your other forms of treatment. There are different types of counseling, such as:
- Individual counseling—Setting goals, discussing setbacks and family problems, and behavioral therapies.
- Group counseling—Group sessions help show you that you are not alone with your issues. This helps you learn new strategies for handling situations that might arise.
- Family counseling—This includes partners, spouses, and other family members you are close to. It can help repair family relationships, which are usually damaged as a result of addiction.
- Medicine Assisted Therapy (MAT)—This includes medicines, counseling, and behavioral therapies. It is a “whole patient” approach to treatment.
- Residential and hospital-based treatment—Residential programs are a combination of housing and treatment services. You live with other people in similar circumstances, and you support each other to stay in recovery. Inpatient hospital-based treatment programs are a combination of health care and addiction treatment for people with medical problems. Intensive outpatient treatment may also be available. All of the treatments are very structured. They include several kinds of behavioral therapies and counseling. Medications are also included if necessary.
How Did I Get Addicted?
Any opiate-based drug can cause addiction or physical dependence if used over a prolonged period of time. You build up a tolerance and need larger amounts of the drug to produce the same effect. When you try to cut down, your body needs to adjust and recover, causing withdrawal symptoms.
Anyone who has taken oxycodone over a period of time, several weeks or more, can experience withdrawal symptoms. It changes with the person and can happen if you’re quitting or cutting down. This includes patients who were prescribed Oxycontin after an injury or surgery. Oxycodone is in a class of drugs called opioids that are prescribed to treat pain. It is a serious drug, like morphine, for serious pain.
Opioids include drugs derived from the opium poppy, known as opiates such as:
Prescription opioids include:
- Vicodin (hydrocodone and acetaminophen)
- Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about 2.1 million people in the US are misusing opioids. Worldwide, the estimate is between 26.4 and 36 million.
Oxycodone Recovery in North Carolina
In Asheville, North Carolina, Crest View Recovery Center provides rehab for your prescription drug addiction treatment. Additionally, CVRC combines talk therapies with recreational therapy, reality therapy, nutritional counseling, outdoor activities, and other methods for complete wellness. If you suffer trauma that led to your drug abuse, an on-site psychiatrist helps you overcome it.
Moreover, other benefits of Crest View Recovery Center include:
- Intensive outpatient program
- Yoga therapy, acupuncture treatment, and meditation therapy
- Gender-specific group therapy
- Intimate setting in NC mountains
- Strong family participation
Do not let yourself wait another day for the treatment you know you absolutely need. For your healthiest recovery from oxycodone or other substances, contact Crest View Recovery Center now.