Oxycodone is an opioid pain reliever. You may know it better under its branded prescription name OxyContin. Because the substance directly affects nerve cells, it’s a powerful tool for doctors helping patients with short-term pain management. Problems arise when a patient becomes addicted to the substance. Although getting off the drug is possible, many are afraid of oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
Before You Stop Taking Your Medication: A Reality Check
Don’t stop taking your medication cold turkey. You may trigger physical responses that could damage your health. Instead, consider carefully if you have an addiction. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse offers a list of symptoms that should encourage a conversation with specialists about withdrawal.
- Personal concern over ingested doses. Perhaps you worry that you take too much of the substance and wish that you could just stop.
- Length of the treatment period. When you initially received the prescription, you thought that you only needed it for a few weeks. This short-term goal is in the distant past. You may realize that you’ve been taking oxycodone for many months now.
- Behavior changes. You have a difficult time dealing with situations at work or school. Your interactions at home are getting more challenging. You feel misunderstood but know that your medication can help you feel better. In fact, you may be developing a craving for the substance if you haven’t taken it in a few hours.
Although this isn’t an exhaustive list of signals that point to a possible problem with prescription drug abuse, pay attention when you notice these signs. Contacting a high-quality rehab facility to discuss symptoms with professionals is a good start. These friendly professionals can also help you overcome your fear of oxycodone withdrawal.
Television Oxycodone Withdrawal is Different from Real Life Experiences
When crime dramas or made-for-TV movies seek to depict a person going through oxycodone withdrawal, producers will ensure drama. In real life, the sweating, raging antics of the actors are usually far off the mark. For starters, any withdrawal experiences depend on the length of time you suffered from the addiction and the dose to which your body has become accustomed.
From there, a list of symptoms may include some or all of the following experiences at varying levels of severity.
- Nausea or vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea.
- Chills or hot flashes
- Sore muscles, tremors, or irregular heartbeat
- Depression, anxiety, or mood swings
Getting Help During the Detox Process is Crucial
Don’t try to go it alone at home. A medically monitored detox program is ideally suited for weaning your body off oxycodone and reducing the severity of any symptoms. In fact, the medical community recognizes the use of Methadone as an accepted practice to ease withdrawal symptoms and put you on the road to recovery.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms – What Timeline One should Expect?
As discussed earlier, oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid drug that may have significant side-effects when a person stops taking it. Oxycodone has active ingredients that are found in different prescription painkillers. Some of its brands are sold under brand names, like Roxicodone, Percocet and OxyContin. These may also contain acetaminophen and aspirin.
This opioid drug is known for effectively blocking pain sensations in the body. It alleviates pain by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain and influencing the dopamine levels. The heightened dopamine levels create a quick euphoria, and give patients a ‘feeling of high’ or relaxation. The drug suppresses the body’s central nervous system and affects blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and respiration.
According to a recent estimate by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), approximately 4 million people misused this drug in 2016. The same figure was reaffirmed by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). That means a lot of people don’t consider regular use of oxycodone harmful, which is an alarming sign.
Oxycodone can make changes or alter the way your brain processes information. The drug can affect the brain’s ability to send, absorb, and receive chemical messengers.
It’s also important to understand that once dopamine levels drops in the brain, the long-term use of oxycodone combats brain’s ability to level it out again. This is what causes emotional and physical withdrawal.
The withdrawal symptoms vary according to the dependence level of a patient. In other words, the duration and intensity may vary from patient to patient.
Timeline for Withdrawal Symptoms
According to expert therapists at 1stStep Behavioral Health Center, the manifestation of the withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone depends on a number of factors that may influence its withdrawal timeline. For instance, a patient’s metabolism can have an effect on oxycodone processing time, particularly when withdrawal is most likely to get initiated by the body.
Men have faster metabolism than women. That means withdrawal will take more time for a woman’s or they may suffer from the prolonged symptoms of oxycodone. It occurs because their body will take more time to store the drug.
Along with race, age, and sex, various other genetic and biological factors can influence withdrawal and metabolism. A family or personal history of drug addiction makes the withdrawal process more complicated. Besides this, other aspects, such as stress levels, and an unstable life, can also affect the duration of oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. If a patient is a drug or alcohol addict, it may exacerbate the symptoms while extending timeline.
In addition, presence of co-occurring mental health problems can complicate the withdrawal timeline. The level of drug dependence is one of the most important indicators. Following factors can affect the withdrawal timeline:
- Average dose on daily basis
- Abuse or use of oxycodone
- How long patient has been using the drug
- Method of taking oxycodone
In short, oxycodone withdrawal time is different for all individuals. Therefore, therapists at 1stStep Behavioral Health Center manage it through professional programs.