What Is Oxycontin Withdrawal? What To Expect

OxyContin is one of the brand names for oxycodone hydrochloride. It is a potent prescription opioid drug that can lead to dependence and misuse, resulting in unpleasant oxycontin withdrawal symptoms.

OxyContin is a potent, semi-synthetic opioid drug prescribed to deal with moderate to severe pain due to arthritis, injuries, and cancer. People may misuse OxyContin because it can result in a euphoric feeling that corresponds to the high caused by heroin. In addition, OxyContin is a Schedule II substance comprising drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. This means that OxyContin has a high possibility for misuse and dependence.

Oxycodone is a packed opioid agonist, meaning it operates by binding to the mu-opioid receptors in the brain and throughout the body. These receptors are primarily responsible for pain control, respiratory depression, euphoria, and sedation. Long-term misuse can lead to physical dependence. In addition, it can be associated with many adverse effects, including OxyContin withdrawal. It is crucial to be aware that OxyContin is an extended-release formulation, which implies it discharges the opioid in the body for a long time, which can have a greater hazard of overdose and death.

As per the 2020 NSDUH (National Survey on Drug Use and Health), 3.2 million people aged twelve and older misused oxycodone products, which contain OxyContin. Although the NSDUH doesn’t provide detailed OxyContin addiction statistics, it notes that 2.3 million people had a prescription pain drug use disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of OxyContin Withdrawal?

OxyContin withdrawal consequences are similar to those of other opioid pain drugs, such as Percocet or Roxicodone. They can be more harsh depending on how the medication was used, such as snorting or injecting and how large the usual dose was. OxyContin withdrawal signs and symptoms are commonly both physical and psychological.

Physical Impacts Of OxyContin Withdrawal

The physical impacts of OxyContin withdrawal are often undesirable. Sometimes, they can be hazardous or even fatal. Physical OxyContin withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Congestion and runny nose 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurry vision 
  • Reduced appetite
  • Rapid heartbeat 
  • Shivering or goosebumps
  • High blood pressure

Psychological Impacts of OxyContin Withdrawal

OxyContin withdrawal can also have profound mental impacts, partially due to the shortage of dopamine levels within the brain. Psychological signs of OxyContin withdrawal include:

  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety
  • Anger or agitation

OxyContin Withdrawal Timeline

OxyContin withdrawal impacts can be quite uncomfortable, but the substantial duration of symptoms isn’t extremely long. Commonly, the worst symptoms come and go within a week or two. Here is a timeline of the OxyContin withdrawal procedure:

  • One or two days: OxyContin withdrawal typically starts with flu-like signs on the first day. Mental withdrawal signs, like mood changes, are generally seen on the second day.
  • Three to twenty days: Once withdrawal signs fully set in, they can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks or even longer. In several cases, they peak at seventy-two-hours and gradually decrease over the course of the next two weeks.

Although the worst signs and symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal usually pass within a few weeks, less harsh side effects like OxyContin cravings can endure for much longer.

OxyContin Withdrawal Treatment

The SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) recommends hospitalization or another form of twenty-four-hour medical care for people who are withdrawing from opioids due to safety reasons and the potential of severe suffering. People withdrawing from opioids run the risk of difficulties, such as uncontrolled pain, severe dehydration, or underlying cardiac illnesses, or suicide. The support, supervision, and medication offered by medical OxyContin detox near you helps you stay as comfortable as possible.

It is important to remember that medical detox is not a replacement for more extensive rehabilitation. Detox is a procedure that helps the body return to a stable state while managing withdrawal signs in a supportive and safe environment. It is frequently only the first step in addiction recovery, and it enables the person to prepare for addiction treatment. Beyond detox, people typically continue their healing in a formal rehab or treatment program to deal with the underlying problems that led to the addiction. During detox, withdrawal signs may be managed with medications, including:

  • Methadone. This opioid-based drug reduces withdrawal signs and cravings.
  • Buprenorphine. This opioid-based drug reduces withdrawal signs and cravings.
  • Clonidine. Clonidine, not an FDA-approved drug for withdrawal, may be used off-label during detox to lessen withdrawal symptoms.
  • Lofexidine. This non-opioid drug can minimize physical withdrawal signs.

What Happens After Successful Withdrawal Management?

Once a person has completed detox, they may receive different therapies and treatments as a part of an extensive treatment plan. As previously mentioned, it can be crucial to enter rehab after detox so a person can work through the underlying problems that led to the addiction in the first place. Rehabilitation can take place in different settings, including:

Inpatient Rehabilitation

During inpatient or residential rehab, a person lives onsite for the duration of oxycodone withdrawal treatment. They receive around-the-clock support and care and participate in various therapies. It can be useful for people who prefer or need a high level of support, like those with extreme addictions or those without supportive home settings.

Outpatient Rehabilitation 

Outpatient rehab involves going to the rehab facility for treatment but then returning home, to school, or to a sober living setting after completing their therapies and counseling sessions daily. Outpatient treatment can be a reasonable option for numerous people but can be particularly well-suited for those with supportive home settings and reliable transportation.

Ongoing medication supervision can help people stay sober and prevent relapse. For example, people may remain on drugs like methadone or buprenorphine during maintenance, and they may also obtain naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that obstructs the euphoric impacts of opioids. This implies that an individual taking naltrexone would not get high or experience consequences if they use opioids again, which can enable them to stay sober. 

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