More than 13 million Americans have abused OxyContin at some point — some as young as 12 years old.
Although it is a medically prescribed drug, the transition from normal use to abuse and addiction is quick and dangerous.
This article will cover everything you need to know about OxyContin withdrawal symptoms.
What Is OxyContin?
OxyContin is a powerful prescription pain medication. It is prescribed to people who experience moderate to severe pain. It is commonly prescribed after traumatic injuries, neuralgia, arthritis, bursitis, and cancer. It is an opioid drug, like methadone, morphine, and codeine.
It can be highly addictive because of the euphoric feeling it gives users. Its effects are very similar to those of heroin. In the eyes of the law, OxyContin shares the Schedule II substance label with other drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. This means that it has a very high potential for dependence and misuse.
OxyContin was developed in 1995 to help patients experiencing severe pain get long-lasting relief. Because of this, it was not meant to be taken often. However, it quickly became associated with addiction and abuse problems.
OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
Although withdrawal from opioids like OxyContin isn’t considered to be life-threatening, it can be extremely distressing and uncomfortable to those experiencing them.
If an addicted person using OxyContin suddenly stops using it, it can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms, severe, uncontrollable pain, and possibly even suicidal thoughts.
Some common symptoms and signs of OxyContin addiction withdrawal include:
- Muscle pain
- Bone pain
- Higher sensitivity to pain
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
People who experience OxyContin withdrawal also often report experiencing other illnesses at the same time. This can include severe flu, gastroenteritis, dysphoria, and anxiety at the same time.
OxyContin Withdrawal Timeline
The timeline for the OxyContin withdrawal process from opioids depends on the type of opioid. There are two types: short-acting opioids and long-acting opioids. OxyContin is an extended-release type of oxycodone. This means it creates the long-acting effects of opioids.
Withdrawal symptoms from OxyContin typically start about 2-4 days after the last dose of it is taken. The worst of the symptoms usually peak after 72-96 hours. Finally, symptoms will begin to subside after two weeks.
However, many people still experience prolonged symptoms. This can include cravings, low mood, pain, and insomnia for weeks or even months after the last dose is taken.
It’s important to note that everyone experiences withdrawal differently. A variety of factors will affect the duration, magnitude, onset, and character of the withdrawal symptoms. Some factors include:
- Amount of OxyContin taken
- Duration of opioid use
- Types of opioids used
- History of previous withdrawals
- Overall health
- History of surgeries
- History of medical or psychiatric disorders
All of these can affect the length and severity of the withdrawal symptoms.
OxyContin Withdrawal Treatment
People that are experiencing withdrawal from opioids are advised to be hospitalized by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This is because of safety concerns as well as the possibility of intense suffering.
People that are suffering from opioid withdrawal have a high risk of complications, including:
- Uncontrollable pain
- Severe dehydration
- Worsening anxiety
- Underlying cardiac illnesses
- Thoughts of suicide
Several different medications are also used to help manage withdrawal symptoms. These include:
24-hour medical detox care can provide support, supervision, and medication to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort. However, it’s important to note that medical detox is not the same as a replacement for comprehensive rehabilitation.
Detox is the process of helping the body reacclimate to a medically stable state. It does this by managing symptoms in a safe environment. In simple terms, it is just the first step to OxyContin addiction recovery.
After detox, patients need to continue with a rehabilitation or treatment program. This can address underlying issues that may have contributed to the addiction.
What Happens After Successful Withdrawal Management?
After completing a successful detox, there are different treatments or therapies that can be prescribed as part of a treatment program.
Rehab can take place in different settings, including inpatient and outpatient rehab.
Inpatient rehab, also known as residential rehab, allows patients to live onsite for treatment. They get around-the-clock care and participate with other people in different kinds of therapy. This is a great option for people who need a lot of support, like people who don’t have home support or are experiencing severe addictions.
Outpatient rehab has patients travel to the rehab facility and return home afterward. This is a good option for people who have supportive home environments and transportation.
As patients undergo ongoing medication maintenance, they might keep taking medications like buprenorphine or methadone. Another medication that might be prescribed is naltrexone. This blocks the euphoric effects of opioids, meaning they won’t be able to experience the effects of opioids if they happen to relapse.
There are several other treatment options as well. This can include counseling, behavioral therapies, family therapy, vocational training, case management, and aftercare.
Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or contingency management (CT) allow patients to build positive habits and changes in their lives. Family therapy can help fix relationship issues that they might be experiencing.
Get the Support You Need To Recover From Addiction
That’s everything you need to know about OxyContin withdrawal symptoms. The disease of addiction doesn’t care what your background, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality is. It affects millions of people every year. Although it can be a long, tough journey, know that recovery is possible.
The first step to recovery is getting the help and support you need. No matter who you are, you can achieve long-term, sustainable recovery if you are given the right tools and therapy to work through it.
At Altitude Recovery Community, you can get a customized experience in a world-class residential setting to help you through the recovery process.