More than 11.5 million Americans have abused opioid medications like oxycodone. While opioid pain relievers can be used safely, these prescription medications can be addictive–even when people take them under their doctor’s supervision.
Oxycodone is the active ingredient in Percodan, Percocet, and OxyContin. The drug effectively relieves moderate to severe pain for a short time. Because oxycodone also provides a euphoric effect in some users, people may use it for longer or in greater amounts than prescribed. Some may take it recreationally without a prescription. Using opioid drugs differently than prescribed can quickly lead to physical dependence or addiction.
Oxycodone addiction is a severe and complex condition. While abusing oxycodone, people can face serious consequences to their physical and emotional well-being. Some become involved in activity that can lead to life-altering legal and financial trouble. People often require professional treatment to overcome Oxycodone addiction.
The first aspect of treatment involves detox, during which people experience symptoms of withdrawal. The oxycodone withdrawal timeline can vary from one person to the next, but the symptoms often mimic a case of the flu. Knowing what to expect during oxycodone withdrawal can help you prepare for treatment.
What Are the Symptoms of Oxycodone Abuse?
Oxycodone is generally only used for a short term and always under a doctor’s supervision. Some people experience unpleasant side effects when using the medication, including:
- Dry mouth
Opioid medications, including oxycodone, can cause slow, shallow breathing that can become a medical emergency. The likelihood of dangerous or life-threatening overdose increases if people take more of the medication than advised by a doctor.
You may imagine what an addicted person looks like or how they behave. However, anyone who takes oxycodone can develop a dependence on it, even without a prior history of substance abuse.
Recognizing the signs of addiction can help you seek treatment as quickly as possible. These include:
- Taking more oxycodone than prescribed or taking it more often
- Needing more of the drug to get the desired effect
- Taking oxycodone longer than your doctor recommends
- Feeling unable to stop using oxycodone when you want to
- Spending significant time getting, using, or recovering from using the drug
- Getting into financial or legal trouble as a result of oxycodone use
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you take less or stop using the medication
It is important to be aware of the signs of oxycodone addiction and seek professional treatment as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
Oxycodone withdrawal can be very uncomfortable, although it is typically not life-threatening. Symptoms may include:
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Irritability and mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Body or muscle aches
The severity of symptoms people experience varies from one person to the next. Various factors, including the length of the substance abuse, can affect the timing of their symptoms.
How Long Does Oxycodone Withdrawal Last?
The oxycodone withdrawal timeline may vary depending on several individual factors, including:
- How long you have been addicted
- The dose your body is used to taking
- The frequency of your drug use
- Co-occurring mental or physical health conditions
- Age, weight, and gender
- Overall health and metabolism
- Polysubstance abuse
Most people who are addicted to oxycodone begin having symptoms within 8-12 hours after taking their last dose. Symptoms typically peak around day three and begin to subside after day 5. The majority of acute withdrawal symptoms will go away after one week, but some people may experience long-term depression or cravings as part of post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS).
Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline
Detoxing from opioids can be painful and scary, but knowing when your symptoms will come to an end can help motivate you to complete detoxification. Most people who detox from oxycodone experience the following withdrawal timeline:
Day 1-2: Withdrawal symptoms may begin within 8-12 hours of the last dose. Early symptoms include muscle and joint pain, headache, quick breathing, loss of appetite, fatigue, pupil dilation, watery eyes, runny nose, sweating, and anxiety. During this stage of withdrawal, you may also begin anticipating worsening symptoms which will make your anxiety worse. This anticipation can be so anxiety-provoking that you convince yourself to keep using opioids rather than continue detoxing because you want to avoid worsening symptoms.
Days 3-5: Symptoms may peak during this time. Shaking, cramps, nausea, and vomiting are common. Muscle aches stay constant. Because of how severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings can be during this time, there is an extremely high risk for relapse. The only way to guarantee your safety and continued sobriety is to detox at a medical facility.
Days 6-7: Physical symptoms lessen, and psychological discomfort worsens. Many individuals experience significant anxiety or depression. By this point in the withdrawal timeline, you may become extremely irritable and impatient as you are desperate for your symptoms to subside so you can get some relief. The psychological distress you may experience during this time, combined with the fatigue of experiencing symptoms for several days straight, can result in relapse without medical treatment.
Day 8 and beyond: Symptoms may lessen as detoxification is completed. Some struggle with feelings of guilt and remorse as they begin to become aware of their actions while abusing oxycodone. Relapse is still likely, even at this stage of oxycodone withdrawal, unless you seek medical treatment.
The extreme discomfort that many people experience can lead to early relapse, so it is essential to seek professional treatment to ensure a safe, complete detox and withdrawal from Oxycodone.
What Happens During Oxycodone Detox?
An inpatient opioid detox program can help you detox safely and comfortably. During detox, medical professionals and addiction specialists will monitor and treat your withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for withdrawal often includes medications like buprenorphine and methadone and holistic therapies to aid healing. You may also meet with a therapist during this time to start discussing your treatment regimen.
After a safe, complete detox, you will continue your treatment program. Oxycodone addiction treatment programs combine evidence-based and holistic therapies to treat addiction’s physical, behavioral, and emotional aspects. Treatment options at Sheer Recovery include:
- Inpatient residential rehab
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
Speak with a trusted admissions counselor today to find out which program is right for you.
Find Help for Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction Today
Nearly everyone who tries to detox from prescription opioids on their own fails to complete the detox process. Attempting to self-manage oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can also be dangerous because it can lead to serious health complications, including anxiety, depression, seizures, vomiting, dehydration, hypernatremia (elevated blood sodium level), heart problems, and relapse. The best thing you can do for yourself is to ask for help and seek treatment.
At Sheer Recovery, our medical detox program is designed with your safety and comfort in mind, and your clinical plan is supported by cutting-edge technologies that can pave the way for long-term sobriety. Start your recovery today by speaking with one of our qualified admissions counselors. Call now to get started.
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