OxyContin, the brand name for the drug oxycodone, is a prescribed narcotic pain-relief medication. The opioid also has a high risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms. OxyContin alters how the body feels and reacts to pain. The medicine is commonly prescribed to treat pain associated with cancer. The drug is often misused and is a contributor to the opioid crisis.
OxyContin misuse can lead to dependence and eventually addiction, which involves the body craving the high the drug provides. Whether used as prescribed for pain relief or illicitly, people can develop a tolerance for the opioid. When this occurs, a larger dose is often required to achieve the desired effects. After people build a tolerance and either stop taking OxyContin or try to reduce the dosage, the body reacts to not having the drug by going through withdrawal.
Experiencing withdrawal is a challenging but necessary part of the detoxification process. People can experience the first withdrawal symptoms within 24 hours of last taking the opioid. Common early withdrawal symptoms include:
- Muscle aches
- Teary eyes
- Runny nose
- Frequent yawning
While someone struggling with addiction might feel the urge to resume OxyContin use when withdrawal symptoms develop, life without a substance use disorder is within reach. With the help of a professional treatment center, addressing withdrawal symptoms does not have to be as challenging as it would be if the person tried to detox on their own.
Certain effects from opioid detoxification can appear days into the process. These effects, which can happen as early as a day without OxyContin, include:
- Pupillary dilation
- Hot flashes or chills
- Hyperalgesia (e.g., aches and pains)
- GI distress (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- Anxious and irritable emotional state
Despite the challenge faced during the OxyContin detox process, medical supervision and opioid replacement medications can help you or a loved one reach a healthier, opioid-free life.
If you or a loved one is dependent on opioids such as OxyContin, it’s important to safely detox. If a person took OxyContin exactly as prescribed but still developed a dependence on the drug, their doctor can gradually reduce the dosage to ease or eliminate some or all withdrawal symptoms.
If someone is misusing OxyContin, a medically supervised detoxification program may be the best first step toward recovery. Due to the side effects and risks associated with the withdrawal symptoms of opioid addiction, it’s important to have professional assistance for a safe transition.
Certain opioid replacement medications can help during withdrawal. However, medication-assisted detox should only be done under the guidance of trained medical professionals. Some of the most common medications used during the OxyContin withdrawal and detoxification phase include:
- Methadone – Helps relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings for OxyContin
- Subutex – Assists in managing withdrawal from opiates and can shorten the length of detox
- Clonidine – Helps reduce anxiety, agitation, muscle aches, sweating, runny nose and cramping
- Naltrexone – Can prevent cravings and help people avoid recurring use of OxyContin
A drug detoxification program that works for one person might not work for someone else, so finding a location suitable for you or your loved one is important to recover from OxyContin addiction properly.
Detoxification is an important step in the recovery process from opioid addiction. Because of the unique challenges detox presents, people are encouraged to seek medical assistance during the OxyContin withdrawal and detoxification phase. Some people attempt a “cold-turkey” detox strategy, which involves no opioid medications or medical assistance to wean themselves off of regular use. Cold-turkey detoxification includes embracing the severity of withdrawal symptoms, possibly leading to strong cravings for OxyContin and recurring use or death.
Some medical treatment facilities promote a form of OxyContin detox known as rapid detox or ultra-rapid detox. This strategy uses an opioid antagonist called naltrexone that induces withdrawal. Using this type of detox, the patient is put to sleep through the withdrawal phase to avoid uncomfortable symptoms. After waking up, a recovery period of one to two days is all that remains in the detoxification process.
However, there are negative effects of rapid detox. A study published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence stated there was a lingering presence of opioid withdrawal symptoms in patients and 80 percent of rapid-detox patients experienced a setback after a six-month checkup.
There is no quick-fix solution for substance use disorder, but an addiction-free life is attainable with the help of medical professionals and resources. If you or a loved one seek OxyContin addiction treatment, a reputable detoxification program can be an effective transition away from the drug.
Beginning the recovery journey can be a life-saving decision for you or your loved one. However, navigating available addiction treatment services can be overwhelming, especially in a time of crisis and despair. Knowing your options is the first step to choosing wisely.
Choosing a detoxification center is an important part of the process. With the help of a reputable program, recovery is possible. At The Recovery Village, patients experience a continuum of care to help them reach recovery. A happy, healthy life can be available for everyone and The Recovery Village’s dedicated staff is available to help you or your loved one find an addiction-free future. Contact The Recovery Village to speak to a representative about a treatment program that can work for you. Make the call, your future is worth it.
Signs, Symptoms & Side Effects of OxyContin Abuse
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.