OxyContin Withdrawal

oxytocin addictionThe withdrawal process is an inevitable experience most addicts must endure if they want to reach a place of sobriety and recovery. Some will enter withdrawal involuntarily due to a shortage of their drug supply while others choose to withdraw in an effort to get clean.

During withdrawal, addicts can experience a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms. Depending on which substances they have been abusing and for how long, the timeframe for when these symptoms will resolve is variable. Those who abuse opioids are more likely to experience longer periods of withdrawal symptoms, and around nine percent of Americans misuse opioids at some point in their lives, Medline Plus reports.

OxyContin Withdrawal

OxyContin is one of the most widely abused prescription opioid pain relievers on the market. A large number of individuals who misuse or abuse this drug are doing so with a legitimate prescription from their own physician. In 2013 alone, US physicians wrote 207 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers, such as Oxy, the National Institute on Drug Abuse notes.

Withdrawing from Oxy can be pretty unpleasant, with symptoms including:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea with or without throwing up
  • Cramps and diarrhea
  • Cravings for OxyContin
  • Fatigue
  • Goose bumps
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Body aches and pains

Data from 2012 depicts past-year prescription opioid abuse among the elderly at an alarming rate of 2.8 million senior citizens, according to Medscape. Another large demographic fan base Oxy seems to carry is high school students, with four percent of seniors reporting past-year abuse of the drug, the U.S. Department of Justice reports. Alongside them, those with mental illness are seemingly predisposed to a greater likelihood of drug abuse. Around 29 percent of all people battling mental illness are also substance abusers, per Helpguide.


doctor ready to treat patientManaging withdrawal has never been as straightforward as it is today. Professional healthcare is essential, because problems may arise at any time that can seriously impact treatment and the health of the addict.

For detoxing opioid addicts, the risk of overdose is heightened after attempting to withdraw from opioids as tolerance lowers. The Los Angeles Times reports over 92,000 overdoses seen in American emergency rooms in 2010 were due to doctor-prescribed opioid painkillers like OxyContin.

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Generally, detoxing from Oxy is a long-term process that involves maintenance of symptoms. While most picture detox as a 10-day stint of letting a substance wear off, that’s not always how the process works with opioids. Relapse is almost inevitable without some kind of maintenance program for most opioid addicts.

The most popularly prescribed treatment is methadone, an agonist that is given in regular daily doses to essentially trick the body into believing it is still using Oxy. This method boasts a 60 to 90 percent success rate, the California Society of Addiction Medicine reports. Buprenorphine is another treatment option. A partial agonist, it works in the same manner as methadone while limiting the user’s ability to get high from abusing multiple doses of the drug. This ceiling effect is making it more popular among some physicians. Success rates are lower at 49 percent after 12 weeks of treatment in one study, though that number dropped to 8.6 percent after participants stopped taking the medication, per the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. Naltrexone may also be used to limit a user’s ability to get high if they take any opioids while on it.

All treatment methods are most successful when used in conjunction with therapy and follow-up care.

Regardless of which route you take to get clean, we can help with the process. Call us today to learn about how detox can be a vital and helpful part of a comprehensive recovery plan.


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