16 Mar Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline
The process of detoxing and recovering from an oxycodone addiction can be a rocky journey, but it is an important path to take in order to achieve a healthy life, both physically and psychologically.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that approximately 20% of adults in the United States have abused painkillers at one point or another, with 75% of those individuals abusing oxycodone.
As a highly addictive and accessible drug, many adults struggle with oxycodone dependency; however, recovery is within reach. The withdrawal process is not an easy experience, but with the help of treatment professionals, it is an attainable and rewarding goal.
Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
There are a variety of physical and mental symptoms associated with oxycodone withdrawal. The side effects vary from person to person and are based on a number of internal and external factors.
For example, not only is each individual’s body unique, but the duration of the abuse, the dosage of oxycodone, the type of oxycodone, and the method of ingestion can all impact the withdrawal timeline.
Even though the process will fluctuate from person to person, there is one factor that remains consistent across the board—quitting cold turkey can be dangerous, painful, and is often unsuccessful because it is so challenging.
Quitting should be done under the supervision of a professional, and should be done in stages. By completely removing oxycodone from the system, especially in the case of long-term abuse, individuals are at risk for experiencing harmful symptoms.
Physical Side Effects of Oxycodone Withdrawal
When addicted to oxycodone, the brain expects the drug in order to experience the feelings of relaxation and happiness associated with dopamine. When the body is no longer receiving oxycodone to trigger the dopamine release, the impact of withdrawals kick in.
Physical symptoms vary per case, but may include teary eyes, coughing, body and muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fever, tremors, runny nose, headache and overall fatigue.
In addition to these flu-like symptoms, there are some high-risk physical side effects. These effects include trouble breathing, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.
Since these are very serious symptoms, it is important to remain under professional supervision during the recovery process. A professional will monitor the individual’s vitals and provide them with safe medication that can stabilize some of these uncomfortable and dangerous symptoms.
Psychological Side Effects
In addition to the physical symptoms of withdrawal, there are also psychological side effects. Again, the recovery process is different for everyone, but some mental effects to expect may include cravings for oxycodone, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, depression and trouble concentrating.
Unlike physical symptoms, which last around a week, the mental side effects can result in a longer recovery process. However, this is where a treatment center can be a wonderful resource in staying on track with sobriety.
How Long Does Oxycodone Withdrawal Last?
In regards to the withdrawal timeline, it will vary based on how long the individual has been abusing oxycodone and the amount they take. However, there are general benchmarks that many people experience during the detox process.
Some individuals will start experiencing symptoms only hours after taking the last pill. This is because there are different types of oxycodone (immediate release and slow release). The first 72 hours are often the most difficult for people because the physical side effects and cravings are so strong that they are at high risk for relapse.
For this reason, detoxification is most successful when administered under the tapering method of a professional. A professional will also monitor one’s vitals, ensuring there are not any life-threatening symptoms. In the first couple of days, the most common symptoms are physical nausea, vomiting, aches and sweating.
On days three through five, physical symptoms may increase with additional shaking and stomach cramps. Toward the end of the week on day six or seven, the physical side effects will finally begin to subside.
After approximately a week, the body will physically stabilize; however, this is commonly when psychological side effects heighten. After about eight days, depression and remorse often take hold, risking relapse.
When in a treatment center, individuals will often be monitored physically for the first week, and then psychological support will continue for long-term recovery. Physically removing oxycodone from the body is only half the battle. Maintaining sobriety, particularly on a mental level, is the other key part of the recovery process.
The oxycodone withdrawal timeline will vary based on the individual, and treatment centers can help cater the recovery to each person’s specific needs. Through tapering, monitoring of vitals, supplementation with approved drugs to ease the physical side effects, and mental coaching, recovery is obtainable. Although breaking an addiction is never an easy process, the physical and mental health benefits can result in irreplaceable life-long rewards.