As the country continues digesting the factors that led to the opioid epidemic, new light is shone on this particular class of drugs. Once sold to the public as non-addictive analgesics, drugs such as oxycodone, sold under the brand names, OxyContin or Percocet, swept through the population as doctors enthusiastically prescribed the pain reliever like candy. Ultimately, the reality of the opioid’s highly addictive potential became apparent, as tens of thousands of Americans annually became dependent, many of who eventually lost to overdose deaths.
The nation now must be supportive of individuals who are committed to breaking free from oxycodone, and provide not only encouragement but also the important information about detoxification and rehabilitation process.
Detox is step one in recovery. Understanding the basics about the oxycodone withdrawal process will help prepare those interested in seeking help for an opioid addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can be highly unpleasant, but equally true is the fact that medical detox providers can alleviate much of the discomfort through a variety of interventions.
About Oxycodone Detoxification
Oxycodone misuse, whether a result of legitimate pain relief efforts or recreational abuse, has a powerful impact on brain chemistry. Addiction to oxycodone can happen in a very short period, even less than one week of regular use. Oxycodone addiction is both psychological and physical, only making it that much more difficult to break away from. Anyone who has experienced the withdrawal symptoms that begin to creep in between OxyContin dosing is understandably reticent about going through detox, the necessary first phase of recovery from opioid addiction or dependence.
But once someone has decided to get treatment for an opioid addiction, detox and withdrawal must be the first step of the recovery process. The detoxification from the oxycodone will take about one week to complete, although this will vary depending on:
- The length of time misusing the oxycodone
- The usual daily dosing of Oxy
- The presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder
- The general health of the person
Detox proceeds along a fairly predictable course involving three stages of withdrawal symptoms—early stage, peak stage, and subsiding stage. Withdrawal from the extended version of the oxycodone will take longer than the short-acting varieties.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant that many who attempt to detox on their own will fail to ever complete the detox, meaning they remain in active addiction. To overcome the discomforts of detox, it is always recommended that the individual seeking recovery begin with a medical detox. During the medically monitored detox process, the detox team will provide necessary medical interventions and psychological support to help safely transition the person from detox and withdrawal into active rehabilitation.
Early stage of detox: Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may begin as early as 6 hours after the last dose of the drug. The emerging symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Tearing eyes
- Muscle and joint aches
Peak stage of detox: Days 2-5 will feature an escalation of the withdrawal symptoms. These peak symptoms include:
- Nausea and vominting
- Abdominal cramping
- Blurred vision
- Rapid heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
Subsiding stage of detox: Around day 5 the individual will notice symptoms beginning to subside. This final stage may last 1-5 days and features these symptoms:
- Digestion problems
- Loss of appetite
- Seizures (for more severe addictions)
Medication-Assisted Detox (MAT)
Several drugs are FDA approved for helping someone with an opioid addiction succeed in their recovery efforts. The drugs work in different ways, so a doctor who specializes in addiction recovery determines the best MAT course of action. These drugs act to block opioid receptors in the brain and can block any high that the person would normally experience from opioids. Some of these drugs can be prescribed during detox to help diminish the discomforts of withdrawal. The MAT drugs include:
The drugs are all regulated and monitored, as these, too, can become drugs of abuse.
Comprehensive Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction or Dependence
It is a serious mistake to believe that once the body has been detoxified the person is good to go. Opioid addiction involves a lifelong effort to remain clean and sober. Without acquiring the tools needed to make fundamental changes in behaviors, there is no hope of overcoming the addiction. This is why an extended rehab program is needed if there is to be recovery success.
Rehab services for oxycodone recovery will vary to some extent depending on the underlying philosophy of the treatment program. However, in most rehabs a core menu of treatment interventions will define the program, including:
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy remains the standard-bearer for addiction recovery as it serves two important functions—1) to examine and heal underlying emotional pain or trauma and 2) to identify disordered thoughts that have led to the self-destructive drug-seeking behaviors and then make fundamental changes in these thought/behavior patterns.
Group therapy: Meeting in small groups, facilitated by a therapist, allows a safe, supportive environment fostering peer support. In the group sessions individuals are encouraged to share their own experiences, frustrations, challenges, and hopes with others.
Addiction education: Learning about how drugs impact brain chemistry and how addiction develops helps individuals understand how dependency evolves. The classes teach recovery skills, such as coping skills, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, as well as prepare for post-rehab by developing a relapse prevention plan.
It is absolutely possible to break free from an oxycodone addiction and to reclaim a happy, fulfilling life.
Quest 2 Recovery Leading Los Angeles Rehab Provider for Oxycodone Recovery
Quest 2 Recovery is a private rehabilitation program located in North Lost Angeles County. Individuals desiring to overcome an addiction to oxycodone will find Quest 2 Recovery to be a comfortable, family-like program where they will receive abundant support and attention throughout the recovery process.
Offering a respite from the city, Quest 2 Recovery leverages the surrounding quiet serenity in creating a warm, inviting program where individuals heal and thrive in recovery. Using an integrated approach that combines core evidence-based therapies with holistic therapies, Quest 2 Recovery treats the whole person, not just the diagnosis. For more information about our program, or for specific questions about oxycodone withdrawal, please reach out to Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.