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Oxycodone Withdrawal and Detox: What to Expect

Written by Opiates | Published on August 25, 2020 | Updated on August 25th, 2020

In a study of people in rehab, 86% of participants said they used OxyContin to get high and 78% of them did not have a valid prescription. While OxyContin (and other opioids) are legitimately prescribed for pain management, it’s clear that many people succumb to substance abuse.

If you or someone you love is struggling with oxycodone dependence, then you’ll know how difficult addiction really is. But thankfully, there are ways to overcome dependence and lead a healthy and sober life.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about oxycodone withdrawal and detox.

A General Overview of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is an opioid that is available by prescription only. This is because it’s an extremely powerful painkiller; without a proper prescription, you can quickly fall into addiction. Doctors mainly prescribe it for patients who are dealing with large amounts of pain that can result from things like operations, accidents, or chronic pain from certain health conditions (like cancer).

Oxycodone interacts with your brain’s opioid receptors, which are responsible for pleasure, among other things. This means that when taken recreationally, oxycodone can give the user a very euphoric feeling, otherwise known as a “high.”

Your brain can quickly develop a dependence on oxycodone. Not only does this mean you need to keep taking it to avoid withdrawal symptoms, but it also means you need to take more and more of it to achieve the same high you did in the beginning.

The Effects of Oxycodone

The short-term effects of opiates (and oxycodone) include:

  • Euphoria
  • Restlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Slow pulse
  • Stiff muscles

You’ll quickly notice symptoms of oxycodone use because the above effects will significantly change a person’s behavior.

The long-term effects of opiates (and oxycodone) include:

  • Dental problems
  • Menstrual problems
  • Decreased libido
  • Mood swings

For those who have abused oxycodone for quite some time, their relationships will most likely deteriorate. This is because they’ll prioritize oxycodone usage above all else.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

If your body has any degree of dependence on oxycodone, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms if you don’t get another dosage in a relatively short time frame.

Some withdrawal symptoms can be:

  • Anxiety
  • Yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Aching muscles
  • Fever
  • A higher heart rate

The intensity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on how long you’ve been using oxycodone for, the frequency, and dosage. These will typically appear between 6 to 12 hours of last use.

What to Expect When Detoxing off of Oxycodone

The above are relatively mild side effects that happen within a short time period after taking your last dosage of oxycodone. If you decide to go on with detoxing off of the drug, then you’re likely in for a much rockier time.

After you’ve been off of oxycodone for 24 hours, this is where the heavier symptoms start setting in. They can last anywhere from 3 days to around a week. Again, this (and the intensity) depends on your oxycodone usage.

Physically, you’ll feel as if you have the flu. Side effects include:

  • Aches throughout your body
  • Goosebumps
  • Nause
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure

This many already seem challenging enough to deal with while detoxing. But in addition to physical side effects, you’ll also feel psychological ones. They may be:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Cravings for oxycodone
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide

When you combine these symptoms with the physical ones, it’s easy to see why many people abandon detox and go back to using oxycodone. In most cases, it’s not worth it to them to suffer through these side effects when they can get relief from taking the opioid.

Detox With the Help of Medical Professionals

As you can see, withdrawal and detox come with lots of unpleasant side effects and can cause someone to use again. Detoxing on your own usually doesn’t have a very high success rate, especially if you don’t have a good support system.

In addition, the optimal way to detox is to taper your usage and not to go cold turkey. This is especially true if you are heavily dependent on oxycodone; quitting cold turkey can result in dangerous side effects such as seizures and even death.

The best thing to do is get into recovery at a rehabilitation center that has a fantastic team of medical professionals. They’ll be able to monitor your detox process 24/7 and prescribe the proper medication (if necessary) to make it safer and more comfortable for you.

After you’ve thoroughly detoxed, you can then receive additional help to decrease your chances of relapse and increase your chances of a sober life. This is done through counseling (both individual and group), which will help you determine what your triggers are and how to handle them in a wholesome way.

This will allow you to return to your normal life with less temptation of opioid usage.

Find a Rehab Facility That's Right for You

Now you know what to expect when it comes to oxycodone withdrawal and detox. While it may seem difficult when you’re in the moment, it’ll be worth it all when you can finally rid your body of all the toxins from this opioid.

Know that you don’t have to face this challenge alone. Whether it’s for you or a loved one, there are plenty of professional rehab facilities that can help you clear the hurdle of detox and get you on the path to sobriety.

Do you or a loved one want to get off of oxycodone? Then use our search function to find an opiate treatment center near you. Our database includes all states, including Washington D.C.