Oxycodone Detox

Like many prescription painkillers, oxycodone can lead to abuse and addiction. For many, their initial need for pain relief may cause them to become physically dependent on their medication, while others may seek out oxycodone to get high. Whatever your reason for wanting to quit oxycodone, it’s critical that you do so safely and with medical guidance.

While opioid withdrawal syndrome isn’t necessarily life-threatening, a person ready to stop oxycodone abuse should seek medical advice before attempting to quit. Some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly dangerous.

Medical Detox for Oxycodone Addiction

Detox is the first step in recovery when struggling with substance abuse or addiction. Detox rids the body of the harmful substance(s) so that the brain and body can begin healing.

How Oxycodone Detox Programs Programs

When detoxing from oxycodone, you can receive care through an inpatient or an outpatient program. Most people can manage their withdrawal symptoms at an outpatient level without needing to enter a treatment center. However, you should seek medical advice before quitting your oxycodone use to ensure your safety.

The length of detox and the severity of the withdrawal symptoms you experience will depend on many factors, such as:

  • Severity of the addiction
  • Length of time oxycodone was taken
  • Amount of oxycodone taken

Tapering off Oxycodone

Your doctor or addiction treatment provider may have you taper off your oxycodone. Over a pre-set amount of time, you will take smaller doses of oxycodone over time, which will help you avoid some of the more acute withdrawal symptoms.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Oxycodone addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most chronic opioid users require medication-assisted treatment to manage their withdrawal symptoms.

If you are undergoing medical detox for oxycodone addiction, your doctor will likely prescribe an FDA-approved medication to help cut down on cravings and alleviate some withdrawal symptoms.

Common medications used for treating opioid withdrawal include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Suboxone
  • Naltrexone
  • Lofexidine
  • Clonidine
  • Ondansetron
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Loperamide
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil, and Alieve

Oxycodone Detox Withdrawal Timeline

Everyone reacts differently to detoxification treatment. The amount of time someone spends in detox will also vary based on a variety of factors, including:

While everyone’s detox experience is different, below is a general outline of what you can expect during oxycodone detox.

Early Stage of Oxycodone Withdrawal

Symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal can begin to occur as soon as eight hours after the last dose. Once these withdrawal symptoms start, you will experience intense cravings.

In addition to cravings, during the early stage of the withdrawal and detox process, you might also experience anxiety and frustration since you can’t have any oxycodone. You may also notice that oxycodone is on your mind a lot.

Peak Stage of Oxycodone Withdrawal

Withdrawal symptoms will typically peak a couple of days into the detox process. At this point, the withdrawal symptoms tend to be the most severe.

Some common peak-stage symptoms include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • More intense cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Nausea and cramping
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Runny nose
  • Teary eyes
  • Excessive yawning

During this stage, people in recovery are at risk for dehydration and other complications. Therefore, seeking medical guidance when quitting oxycodone use is strongly recommended.

Late Stage of Oxycodone Withdrawal

During the later stages of oxycodone detox, you will notice that your physical withdrawal symptoms will begin to subside. Psychological side effects can linger for weeks or even months after the physical symptoms have gone away.

Some of the long-term psychological symptoms you might continue to experience include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Memory loss
  • Concentration issues
  • Trouble sleeping

Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Once you complete medical detox, the next step is entering a drug rehab program. Your doctor or healthcare provider may suggest an inpatient or outpatient treatment program based on your individual needs.

In addition, individual counseling, group therapy, and support groups (such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and SMART Recovery) can offer you additional tools to manage your recovery journey.

Signs of Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone addiction can occur even when taken as medically directed. When you take an opioid like oxycodone, it binds itself to the opioid receptors in your brain. Over time, people can develop opioid dependence because their bodies have become accustomed to the steady flow of oxycodone.

Over time, a physical dependence can lead to addiction, where a person will continue to use (and eventually abuse) oxycodone despite its negative impact on their lives.

Some common signs of oxycodone addiction include:

  • Lying about your oxycodone use
  • Hiding empty pill bottles or drug paraphernalia
  • Ignoring responsibilities to take oxycodone
  • Struggling at work or school
  • Getting into financial trouble as a result of buying oxy pills
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Changes in social groups
  • Taking oxycodone in potentially dangerous situations
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

Some symptoms of oxycodone addiction include:

  • Muscle aches or bone pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Paranoia
  • Drowsiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed movement
  • Anxiety
  • Spasms
  • Overdose

Get Help for Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone detox is the crucial first step in the recovery process. Due to the symptoms associated with oxycodone withdrawal, detoxing should be done under the care and supervision of trained medical professionals.

Call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their online program locator to find opioid and oxycodone addiction treatment options in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oxycodone Detox

What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a short-acting prescription painkiller. Doctors prescribe this opioid to treat moderate to severe pain, particularly after surgery or intense medical procedure.

What are the symptoms of oxycodone addiction?

Symptoms of oxycodone addiction include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Paranoia
  • Drowsiness
  • Mood swings
  • Chills
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle or bone pain
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mood swings

What is oxycodone detox?

Detox is the process your body goes through after becoming physically dependent on a drug or another substance. More specifically, oxycodone detox happens when your body eliminates the oxycodone in your system. During the detox process, you may experience withdrawal symptoms.

Seeking medical support when quitting oxycodone abuse will ensure your safety and increase your chances of success.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction GuideReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AddictionHelp.com and ensures the quality of our website’s content and messaging.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction GuideWritten by:

Content Manager

Jessica Miller is a USF graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has written professionally for over a decade, from HR scripts and employee training to business marketing and company branding. In addition to writing, Jessica spent time in the healthcare sector (HR) and as a high school teacher. She has personally experienced the pitfalls of addiction and is delighted to bring her knowledge and writing skills together to support our mission. Jessica lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband and two dogs.

8 references
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  3. Opioid use disorder. Opioid Use Disorder | Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2022, October 19). Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/opioid-use-disorder

  4. Bansal, M. (2021, July 26). How long does it take to detox from Oxycontin? WebMD. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/addiction-treatment-recovery/prescription/how-long-to-detox-from-oxycontin

  5. Villines, Z. (2021, March 30). Opioid withdrawal timeline: Symptoms, stages, recovery, and more. Medical News Today. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/opioid-withdrawal-timeline#addiction-treatment

  6. Mat medications, counseling, and related conditions. SAMHSA. (n.d.). Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions

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