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OxyContin Withdrawal

Why Withdrawal Occurs

OxyContin (main ingredient oxycodone) is mainly prescribed and used for treating pain. The opioid agonist acts on the central nervous system to change the way the brain perceives pain. But, after a several weeks of OxyContin use, your body may develop a physical dependence. Drug dependence is an expected outcome of regular dosing. But what is it?

Durg dependence signals a switch in your brain’s natural chemical balance. When you are dependence on OxyContin, your brain “speeds up” certain functions in the body to account for the depressant effects of the drug. In esscence, you have adapted to the presence of the drug as a “normal” state and you can only function regularly when you take the drug. Moreover, if you cut down the daily intake or stop taking OxyContin, you will experience OxyContin withdrawal symptoms.

But, what does OxyContin withdrawal feel like? How can it be treated? We review in the article below. After reading it, we invite you in an open discussion in the comments section below. You are welcomed to share your experience with us!

When Does OxyContin Withdrawal Start?

After a few weeks of regular OxyContin use, the body develops OxyContin dependence and adapts to the presence of the drug. As the human system gets used to the chemical components of OxyContin (especially oxycodone),  the system needs time to return to its previous balance and get used to lower amount of OxyContin.

OxyContin withdrawal symptoms start about 6-8 hours after the last dose of oxycodone. Severe symptoms reach their peak about 30-72 hours after the last dose. Furthermore, everyone reacts differently to OxyContin, so withdrawal symptoms differ in intensity, severity, and duration by each individual. Usually, acute symptoms of withdrawal resolve within 7-10 days of detox. However, PAWS (protracted withdrawal symptoms) can last for months after total cessation of OxyContin.

OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms

OxyContin withdrawal symptoms may be severe and uncomfortable. However, they are usually not life-threatening.  Below is a list of the most common OxyContin withdrawal symptoms. This doesn’t mean that every person going through withdrawal will have all symptoms listed here. In fact, each individual reacts differently to the drug. In the same way, detox is different by person.

Common detox symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Body and muscle pain
  • Depression
  • Irregular breathing
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Runny nose and watering eyes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Yawning

How Long Does It Last?

OxyContin withdrawal lasts for 1-2 weeks. The most acute symptoms usually begin to clear up after 3 days, but for some, withdrawal can last even longer than 2 weeks. Moreover, the duration of OxyContin withdrawal period depends upon several factors such as your:

  • Body weight
  • Drug dependency level
  • Drug use history
  • General health
  • Individual metabolism
  • Length of OxyContin abuse.
  • Level of tolerance a drug dependency

Also, the type of detox method you choose can affectwithdrawal timing. For instance, cold turkey detox triggers more harsh symptoms that are resolved in a shorter period of time. Still, specialists advise that people considering withdrawal choose a specialized OxyContin detox clinic with medical supervision when quitting. This is because relapse can be common. Also, medical detox clinics can offer symptomatic medications that address symptoms as they occur, making the process more humane.

It can also help to follow a tapered detox program. This detox often occurs over a period of 3-6 weeks. It takes longer but can be less severe. Basically, during a taper, you reduce doses over time so that you hardly feel the effects of withdrawal until the end.  Then, the most severe symptoms are resolved within a week’s time after the last intake.

Making Withdrawal Easier

The first thing you should when planning to get off OxyContin is to ask help from medical professionals or OxyContin addiction treatment specialists. Psychiatrists, nurses, and doctors are specially trained to deal with addictions and dependence; therefore they can guide you and support you in withdrawal treatment.

There are many ways to ease OxyContin withdrawal; you only need to find the most suitable treatment for you need and individual case. Some of the strategies that can help you get through OxyContin withdrawal include:

1. Rely on your strong self-belief system.

Part of the commitment to sobriety is believing in yourself. If you think you can get sober and stay sober, you will. Most of us have inner power and resources, we only have to dig deeper enough to find them.

2. Accept the process of change and uncomfortable feelings as inevitable.

Physical and psychological pain are a normal part of life. Withdrawal symptoms are most intense during the first week. If you are persistent enough and stay strong at this time, symptoms will eventually subside after the second week.

3. Share your withdrawal experience with friend and family.

Close people can provide you with the support you need during withdrawal. Moreover, you can consult with a spiritual, religious, or community leader for emotional support and guidance during your hard times.

4. Practice meditation, gentle exercises, and learn some breathing techniques.

This way you’ll stay focused on your goals. Learn to manage cravings through mindfulness or breathing. While difficult, this skill can be extremely helpful in the long run.

5. Drink herbal teas and plenty of fluids.

The body can get dehydrated because of sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. Fluids keep your hydrated and fresh during withdrawal.

More Questions?

OxyContin withdrawal symptoms may be very uncomfortable, but they are not life threatening. Consulting and learning about this painkiller is an excellent way to start the process of handling withdrawal.

We’ve given you a basic overview about OxyContin withdrawal symptoms, but if you still have any concerns and questions, please share them in the comments section at the end. All your comments are welcomed and appreciated. And we try to respond to all real-life questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: Teen Drug Abuse: The word of the day: Withdrawal
NIH: Drug of abuse- opiates
White House: Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
NIH: OxyContin

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You can treat OxyContin withdrawal with prescription medications (naloxone, buprenorphine, clonidine, etc.) or over-the-counter aids. More topics on OxyContin withdrawal treatment here.

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