A Guide to OxyContin Detox and Withdrawal

OxyContin is a controlled-release form of the pain medication oxycodone. 1 While the medication is sold and prescribed as a pain reliever, people may abuse it on the streets or become addicted to the medication after it’s prescribed to them.

If a person takes large amounts of OxyContin regularly, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication. If a person finds they’ve lost control over how much OxyContin they take (even when they know the medicine is bad for them), they may need to turn to professional rehabilitation help to reduce the symptoms and overcome the strong cravings a person may experience as a result of their OxyContin addiction.

What Is OxyContin Detox Like?

OxyContin addiction can be dangerous and life-threatening. A person may take too much of the drug and stop breathing, which can result in coma and death. While a person detoxing from OxyContin may experience some side effects, these pale in comparison to the risks a person’s body, mind, social life, and occupation can face due to addiction. When a person goes through OxyContin detox, they may experience flu-like symptoms. These include:
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aching
  • Problems sleeping
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
While the symptoms of opiate withdrawal are rarely deadly, if a person becomes severely dehydrated, they could experience adverse health effects, including heart failure or seizure. 2 As a result, many people who are addicted to OxyContin choose to detox at a professional rehabilitation facility instead of attempting to do so at home. One of the greatest risks to a person who is detoxing is that they might relapse not long after they’ve started the detox process. Once the body starts to eliminate the drug from the body, taking in a larger dose or even the same dose a person used to take can lead to overdose. For this reason, it’s important that a person have the medical and psychological support to continue in their sobriety and decrease the chances of relapse.

How Medical Professionals Can Help

Medical Professionals can help a person go through OxyContin withdrawals, and there are a variety of approaches to take. One example is an opioid taper. 3 This involves creating a customized plan based on how much OxyContin typically taken. During this time, the amount of OxyContin taken will be reduced until they stop taking the medications altogether. Throughout this time, medical professionals will monitor heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs to ensure health and safety.

Another option is to prescribe medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms. The FDA has approved several medications that can act on opioid (pain-relieving) receptors without creating the euphoric high of OxyContin. Examples of these medications include methadone and Suboxone. Some people can take these medications as an alternative to OxyContin to minimize withdrawal symptoms and reduce the likelihood they’ll overdose.

A further option is to quit “cold turkey” or taper OxyContin more aggressively. A rehabilitation facility can provide medications to reduce nausea and promote sleep while a person withdraws from OxyContin.

Where Can I find Help with Oxycontin Detox?

In addition to medications and approaches to help reduce the physical symptoms of OxyContin detox, a rehabilitation facility also has counselors that can provide emotional support. This includes cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches. This therapeutic approach involves educating a person on how and why they are experiencing their symptoms and how they will soon go through the most acute symptoms.

Professional help can be the difference between gaining sobriety and control over addiction or continuing a daily struggle with OxyContin. Rehabilitation services can help.