If you suddenly stop using oxycodone after using it for some time, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. This is true whether you have been taking it as prescribed by your doctor, or misusing it.
Withdrawal is also known as detox or detoxification. It happens when a person quits or cuts back on their use of alcohol or other drugs. Physical or psychological dependence on the drug, or both, might have developed over time.
Physical dependence happens when you’ve taken the drug for a while and your body has begun to rely on it to feel normal. Your body has gotten used to functioning with the drug in your system, so if it isn’t taken, withdrawal symptoms will start.
Psychological dependence occurs when you start to believe that you need the drug to be able to function. Or you may think that you need it for certain situations like socializing at a party or using it to unwind after work. On the other hand, it could be that you believe you need it all the time.
Drug withdrawal symptoms may be mild or severe depending on:
Oxycodone hydrochloride is in a group of drugs known as opioids and this includes any drugs that act on the opioid receptors in the brain. Opioids also include any natural or synthetic drugs that come from, or are related to, the opium poppy. The group of drugs known as opiates is naturally derived from the opium poppy instead of synthetic substances.
The most commonly prescribed opioid is oxycodone, which is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. However, there has been increasing concern about the risks of prescribing these drugs, especially when they’re used for a long time. Oxycodone comes in a variety of strengths and in several forms, including capsules, tablets, liquid, and suppositories. Common brand names are Oxynorm, OxyContin, Endone, Targin, and Proladone.
Oxycodone is broadly used to relieve moderate to severe ongoing pain. It is used in the management of cancer-related and chronic pain. Oxycodone is also used as an alternative to morphine and is considered superior to morphine in the treatment of some pain conditions.
Opioids, like oxycodone, work by attaching to the receptors on the nerve cells in your brain, spinal cord, and other places. This blocks pain messages that your body is sending to your brain. This, in turn, triggers your brain to release dopamine, a chemical associated with reward and feeling good.
Prescription opioids like oxycodone are generally safe to use for a short time, as instructed by your doctor. If you need to stop after taking opioids long-term, you need to be supervised by a medical team. This is usually done by taking less of the drug slowly over time.
The use of any drug always carries some risk–there is no safe level of drug use. Even medications can cause unwanted side effects. So, it’s always important to be careful when taking any type of drug and to follow the directions on the prescription. While oxycodone affects everyone differently, you may experience some or all of these effects:
Long-term regular use of oxycodone may cause:
Stopping the use of oxycodone after a long time is difficult because your body has to get used to functioning without it. Whether you have been taking it as a prescription for pain relief, or purely for the intoxicating effect, it’s important to get help from a health professional when you try to quit.
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may differ from person to person depending on the type of oxycodone taken. The most difficult symptoms usually last about a week and may include:
Seventy-two hours after the final dose of oxycodone is the hardest part of detox. When you get through this, you have made it through the tough part. Symptoms include:
Taking a large amount of oxycodone can cause an overdose. Call 911 immediately if you or someone else has any of these symptoms:
Detox is the first step toward recovery if you’re addicted to alcohol, or legal, and illegal drugs. It is also called detoxification or withdrawal treatment and is the process of clearing the drugs, or toxins, from your body. There are two ways to detox: tapering and cold turkey. In both cases, you may be able to pair either method with prescription medicine meant to ease withdrawal symptoms.
Because it is so difficult to give up opioids safely, most people need to get the help of medical professionals to quit. To help get you through withdrawal successfully you may be given:
Although opioid withdrawal isn’t normally life-threatening, serious problems can occur if you have other health conditions. For instance:
At Magnolia City, we are experienced in helping people from all walks of life detox from many types of drugs and alcohol. A safe, professionally supervised detox with medical monitoring is your best bet for getting off on the right foot. This way you are physically prepared to tackle the emotional work of continuing on the path to long-lasting recovery in a residential or outpatient program.
We know that nobody ever started out to be addicted to oxycodone or any other drug. You can get help for addiction if you just reach out for help. Contact us today by phone or email. We are happy to answer any questions you have. It’s the most important thing you can do for yourself or a loved one.
Dr. Olaniyi O. Osuntokun is a Neurology & Psychiatry Specialist based in Conroe, Texas, and Lafayette, Indiana. He has extensive experience in treating Individuals with substance use disorders and addiction. He earned his medical degree from University of Ibadan College of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.