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Oxycodone Withdrawal and Treatment

Read on to learn more about oxycodone withdrawal, including the signs and symptoms as well as how to treat oxycodone withdrawal and addiction.

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Oxycodone is a prescription opioid that is commonly used to treat chronic pain, however, it also has a high potential for misuse. People that take oxycodone consistently or misuse oxycodone are at high risk for withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly quit taking it or drastically reduce their use.2  While oxycodone dependence and withdrawal can be devastating, there are effective treatments available that can help a person through the withdrawal process and into a comprehensive treatment program. Understanding the dangers of oxycodone misuse, signs and symptoms associated with oxycodone misuse, and what treatments are available; can help you achieve recovery.

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a prescription opioid medication that is commonly prescribed for the treatment of pain, particularly chronic pain.1 Opioids block pain signals from reaching your brain by binding to the opioid receptors in the nervous system, meaning that they can help alleviate pain, but can also cause sensations of euphoria, potentially making the individuals want to continue taking this medication.2,5 Oxycodone is a relatively common prescription opioid painkiller that may come in many forms, all of them with the potential for misuse.

Some common brand names of oxycodone may include:4

  • OxyContin.
  • Oxycet.
  • Percot.
  • Percodan.
  • Roxicet.

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction and Misuse

Oxycodone misuse can lead to the development of an opioid use disorder, or opioid addiction.3 Opioid addiction, clinically known as opioid use disorder refers to the compulsive, uncontrollable use of a substance despite all the harm that it causes. Addiction may entail not only physiological changes (such as tolerance and dependence) but several harmful behavioral changes adversely impacting every aspect of an individual’s life. Addiction development is accompanied by functional changes within the brain that can impact an individual’s drive, motivation, thought processes and behaviors so much that drug use becomes prioritized over all else. The development of addiction is influenced not only by repeated substance use itself, but also by genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. 3

The symptoms can vary depending on the person, but there are established diagnostic criteria that medical professionals use to make a diagnosis. Two or more of the following must occur in a 12-month period to meet the criteria for an opioid use disorder:3, 5

  • Taking more of the drug than usual or using the substance longer than recommended by a medical professional
  • A desire to cut back use but being unable to do so
  • Spending a lot of time trying to obtain opioids or spending a lot of time recovering from the side effects of an opioid
  • Strong cravings to use opioids
  • Problems completing daily activities or upholding usual responsibilities at home, work, and school
  • Interpersonal or social problems resulting from opioid use
  • Giving up hobbies or activities due to opioid use
  • Using opioids in situations that may compromise one’s safety (i.e., driving)
  • Continued opioid use despite having a physical or mental health condition that could worsen due to opioid use
  • Building a tolerance to the substance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms or choosing to continue opioid use to avoid withdrawal symptoms from worsening

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Dependence is a physiological adaptation of the body to a substance, wherein the body becomes so used to the drug being present in the system that when the individual cuts back on their use or quits, withdrawal symptoms emerge. With significant levels of physiological dependence, a person may continue to compulsively drink or use drugs to avoid unwanted withdrawal symptoms.

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will be like other opioid withdrawal symptoms.6 While not usually fatal, opioid withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly uncomfortable, and even mild opioid usage can result in considerable withdrawal symptoms.6 Some common symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:3, 6

  • Depressed mood.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Muscle Aches.
  • Sweating.
  • Runny nose.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Insomnia.

How Long Does it Take to Detox from Oxycodone?

The length of time that it takes to detox from oxycodone depends on a variety of factors, such as the dosage of oxycodone taken, the length of oxycodone misuse, and the frequency of use.6 Physiological, genetic, and psychological factors can also play a role in the length of time that it takes to withdrawal from oxycodone.6

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

Generally speaking, withdrawal symptoms caused by short-acting opioids may appear as soon as 6 to 12 hours after the last dose. 3 Withdrawal symptoms caused by long-acting opioids can take from 2 to 4 days to appear. 3 Symptoms will usually peak after 1 to 3 days, and then will gradually subside over a period of 5 to 7 days. 3  

Treatment for Oxycodone Withdrawal

Though oxycodone withdrawal is uncomfortable, it is not usually fatal.6 Most of the withdrawal process is focused on symptom management, usually through the use of FDA-approved medications.6 The two main medications used in the treatment of opioid withdrawal include the opioid agonist methadone, and the partial opioid agonist buprenorphine.2

Can I Detox From Oxycodone at Home?

Though oxycodone and opioid withdrawal are not usually life-threatening, withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and can include strong drug cravings. This makes it difficult for people to detox on their own. Medical detox for oxycodone can help people through uncomfortable symptoms by using medications. Medical professionals can also help identify and treat any unforeseen issues or severe symptoms.

Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction and Withdrawal

Opioid detox is the first step in the recovery process. Following up with a opioid treatment program can lead to positive treatment outcomes. If you’re struggling with oxycodone misuse, there are steps you can take to find a detox facility near you. A good first step would be to reach out to a doctor. They can help determine your medical needs and may be able to refer you to a treatment facility. Another useful resource is the SAMHSA treatment locator; this tool can help you search for opioid detox facilities by zip code.

You may also consider reaching out to an addiction helpline, like the one operated by American Addiction Centers (AAC). Addiction helplines provide 24/7 support for those curious about the oxycodone detox and withdrawal process. AAC’s helpline can connect you with compassionate professionals that can answer questions you may have about Oxycodone misuse and withdrawal, connect you with nearby treatment facilities, and help verify your insurance benefits. Hope and recovery are possible: call us today at .