Oxycodone Withdrawal And Detoxification
Oxycodone is an opiate (narcotic) that is prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone impacts a person’s brain and changes the pain response by manipulating the neurotransmitter dopamine. When oxycodone enters the blood and makes it to the brain, it will cause excess dopamine and a state of euphoria.
While oxycodone is an effective pain reliever, chronic use of the drug does not come without its risks. Aside from the pain-reducing qualities, people continue to take and oxycodone to feel the euphoric rush it provides. It is this rush that can cause many people to get addicted to and continue using oxycodone.
Unfortunately, taking oxycodone for an extended amount of time can lead to developing tolerance. Tolerance occurs when your body adapts to the effects of a drug and requires you to ingest more of the drug to achieve the same impact once previously obtained. When tolerance is reached, a person will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop using it.
Oxycodone Abuse and Withdrawal
Taking increased amounts of oxycodone to achieve heightened effects can be extremely dangerous. People who misuse oxycodone this way are at higher risk for dependence and addiction and will suffer through withdrawal symptoms when they stop using.
If a person who is addicted does stop, the withdrawal process will develop in three specific stages. These stages are categorized based on the types of symptoms, intensity, and how long each stage is expected to last.
The timeline for how long each stage of withdrawal may last and will vary from person to person. The lengths that the withdrawal starts stops and its intensity will vary upon some of these factors.
- method of use (smoking, injecting, snorting)
- duration of use
- amount of use
- persons overall health and weight
Stages of Oxycodone Withdrawal
On average, opiate withdrawal symptoms begin roughly six to twelve hours after the last dose was taken, and can last anywhere from one week or more. The three stages of the withdrawal process: early withdrawal, peak period, and late withdrawal, put the person through the gamut of both physical and emotional symptoms.
For the best success rate of managing withdrawal symptoms and undergoing detoxification, it is recommended that a person seek a professional treatment center. Effective treatment centers like The Bluffs offer 24 hr/monitoring, counseling services, accountability, and encouragement throughout detoxification.
First Stage: Early Withdrawal
The first stage of withdrawal symptoms usually begins within six to 12 hours after the last dose. These early-stage symptoms start off mild but will continue to worsen over the next 24-48 hours.
The early withdrawal symptoms include:
- racing heart
- runny nose
- body and joint aches and pains
- loss of appetite
- increased blood pressure
- mood swings
Second Stage: Peak Period
Peak period withdrawal symptoms set in at about 72 hours after the last use. During this stage, symptoms hit their highest point, and then begin to fade slowly. For some, this period can be the most challenging stage in the process. The person experiencing the symptoms may develop flu-like symptoms, and the lack of appetite is extremely common.
However, during this time, it is essential to stay hydrated and nourished. Specific symptoms from the withdrawal process will deplete the body of fluids, and offering IV fluids and providing soft foods can help reintroduce fluids and nutrients back into the body.
Late withdrawal symptoms include:
- stomach cramps
- intense drug cravings
Third Stage: Late Withdrawal
During the third stage, most of the physical symptoms have begun to ebb. However, while these physical symptoms might fade into the background, the psychological symptoms remain. A person who undergoes an opioid withdrawal will need additional care and gentle treatment following all three phases of the process.
Once the majority of the physical symptoms dissipate, a person’s mental and emotional health may still be adversely impacted by withdrawal. Cravings wax and wane, and sometimes a person may turn back to their drug of choice as a way to cope. The high percentage for relapse is another reason why seeking professional help is so critical during this process.
Medically Assisted Detox Program for Oxycodone Abuse
Medically assisted (MAT) detox programs are an effective way to remove oxycodone from a person’s system. Physical drug dependence will cause withdrawal symptoms within hours after the last use.
Medically assisted detox is a safe way to undergo oxycodone withdrawal. Professional detoxification programs like the one offered at The Bluffs provide 24/7 medical supervision and can treat discomfort caused by withdrawal symptoms. Supervised medical detox also reduces the risk of becoming severely dehydrated as a result of symptoms during the first and second stages of withdrawal.
A medically-supervised detoxification program gives your body and minds a supervised and safe space to heal and cleanse itself. Long-term use of oxycodone will cause these toxins to build up in the body, and detoxification encourages the body to renew itself by flushing the substances out of its system.
Getting Support For Opiate Addiction At The Bluffs
Taking the first step to stop the use of oxycodone is very important for long term health and wellness. It is also essential to know that it isn’t a step you need to take alone. At The Bluffs, our trained and compassionate staff will offer the resources and care you need at our drug detox program.
Undergoing the withdrawal process alone can be distressing and dangerous. Choosing medical detox at The Bluffs under medical supervision in a safe inpatient setting is generally considered the most reliable way to detox from oxycodone.
Contact our specialists at The Bluffs today to discuss oxycodone addiction treatment options that may be available for you or a loved one today.
MedlinePlus — Opiate and Opioid Withdrawal
Center For Substance Abuse Research—Oxycodone
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Prescription Opioid Overdose Data
Mayo Clinic—Oxycodone (Oral Route)