The most commonly abused prescriptions are opiates. 75% of those who abuse opioids use oxycodone or hydrocodone. 45% of that group prefers to use oxycodone, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).
Oxycodone is a painkiller that modifies pain receptors and produces a euphoric feeling by changing the dopamine levels in the brain. Even when taken as directed by a doctor, oxycodone has adverse side effects. When opioid receptors are activated, heart rate and respiration slow down, and blood pressure and body temperature lowers.
When someone is on oxycodone for an extended period of time or abuses oxycodone, the brain becomes accustomed to its presence. When the brain becomes accustomed to oxycodone, and when it doesn’t get it, the body starts experiencing withdrawal symptoms. A person begins to feel “dope sick,” and if they do not receive a dose of oxycodone, the symptoms get worse.
When a missed dose starts to make a person go through withdrawal symptoms, then addiction has begun. The earlier a person recognizes the signs of oxycodone addiction and seeks treatment, the better. Oxycodone addiction detox is dangerous and should be done in a medical detox facility.
Side Effects of Oxycodone Use
Side effects are the symptoms of taking a medication. The side effects of oxycodone do not reflect the addiction symptoms. People with opioid use disorder can have serious and extreme side effects. It is essential to know the side effects of oxycodone. It is an indication of what someone who abuses oxycodone will experience but in a more severe form.
SIde effects of oxycodone include:
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
When someone abuses oxycodone, they risk seizures and respiratory depression. And some individuals have even experienced psychiatric problems. Other effects of abuse include:
- Abnormal thoughts
- Abnormal dreams
When individuals abuse oxycodone, they risk overdosing. Overdose left untreated can result in death. A partial list of oxycodone overdose symptoms is as follows.
- Extreme fatigue
- Shallow breathing
- Small pupils
Signs and Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction
It may seem obvious to some, but it is essential to say that oxycodone can lead to addiction. Some people still believe that if a doctor prescribed a medication that it is safe. That is far from the truth. Individuals build up a tolerance, which requires them to take more to feel the same effects. As a person gives in to the amount the body needs to function, a dependence develops.
Once a person stops using oxycodone or reduces the amount they take, withdrawal symptoms begin. Withdrawal symptoms can start within six hours, and some people do not feel symptoms of withdrawal for up to thirty hours after their last dose. Symptoms will change as the withdrawal continues. Potential oxycodone withdrawal symptoms include:
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Muscle aches
Some of the symptoms of withdrawal can be dangerous and even life-threatening. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to severe complications. To safely withdraw, it is vital to do so in an oxycodone addiction detox center.
Oxycodone Addiction Detox and Withdrawal
Detox is the process of ridding the body of substances. Withdrawal is the collection of side effects that occurs when an individual stops using a substance. The detoxification process from oxycodone can be difficult and dangerous. It is highly recommended for people to attend a medically supervised oxycodone addiction detox facility.
The symptoms of withdrawal from oxycodone can begin within 6 hours of the last dose. The symptoms usually peak within 72 hours and decrease over the next week. Many symptoms of withdrawal can continue for weeks or months and sometimes even years. Many factors influence the symptoms of withdrawal. A few considerations include:
- The type of drug a person is addicted to.
- The amount of that drug a person takes in a single dose.
- The length of time a person has been addicted.
- If a person suffers polysubstance abuse. An addiction to multiple drugs.
- If a person suffers co-occurring mental disorders.
If an individual takes immediate-release oxycodone, their withdrawal symptoms will start sooner than if they take extended-release oxycodone. Some people prefer to inject, snort, or smoke oxycodone for instant gratification. But this can make withdrawal symptoms more intense and more severe. A medically supervised detox program can ease the detox process and safely get a person through with withdrawal symptoms.
Oxycodone Addiction Withdrawal Timeline
The extensive use of oxycodone produces strong physical and mental dependency. It can be challenging for a person to stop taking oxycodone without professional help. A person who tries to detox by themselves, typically relapse quickly once the withdrawal symptoms begin.
The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal change as the detox process progresses. A breakdown of the symptom progression is as follows.
Days 1-2 Withdrawal symptoms will start to appear in the first 6 hours after the last dose. Some possible symptoms include:
- Muscle and joint aches
- Rapid breathing
- Appetite loss
- Dilated pupils
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Excessive sweating
Relapse is most common in the first two days of detox.
Days 3-5 Symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal will peak and start to improve during these days. Muscle aches are common, as well as nausea and vomiting. Shaking and cramps are also typical.
Days 6-7 The physical symptoms of withdrawal start to decrease, but the psychological symptoms become very strong. Muscle aches and nausea and diarrhea are still present, while anxiety and depression begin to kick in.
Day 8 and beyond by now, the oxycodone addiction process has rid the body of all substances. Remorse for past actions and behaviors start in many people. So the psychological withdrawal from oxycodone should be closely monitored in an inpatient treatment facility. Close monitoring of a person in early recovery can help avoid relapse.
Oxycodone Addiction Detox
Withdrawal from oxycodone can be uncomfortable and painful. For some individuals, the most comfortable way to detox is by a gradual reduction. An opioid treatment program (OTP) can help with a gradual decrease in oxycodone consumption. A Medication Assisted Treatment program (MAT) helps with the detox process from oxycodone.
MAT is an excellent option for individuals that have a history of chronic relapse. Common medications used in medication-assisted treatment include Suboxone or Subutex. Once detox is complete, Naltrexone can be very beneficial in decreasing cravings and increasing continued sobriety.
While a person is in detox, doctors may prescribe medications to help with specific withdrawal symptoms. The drugs trick the brain into thinking it is still getting oxycodone. This reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms and can make the detox process more comfortable.
Common medications used in oxycodone addiction detox include:
- Clonidine – Individuals who have taken clonidine reported a more comfortable and tolerable detox process. Clonidine can improve an individual’s chance of long-term sobriety. Some of the symptoms Clonidine ease include:
- Cognitive issues
- Suboxone – Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone gives relief from oxycodone withdrawal symptoms without the euphoric effects. It reduces cravings and makes the process a little more bearable. Suboxone used for a more extended period of time can increase the chances of sobriety. But Suboxone comes with addiction risks of its own.
- Naltrexone – Naltrexone is commonly prescribed for maintenance. Naltrexone blocks the receptors that opioids bind to. This stops the euphoric effects of oxycodone and reduces cravings while increasing continued recovery. If used during the detox process, Naltrexone can cause acute withdrawal that can be severe and life-threatening if a person still has opioids in their system.
When the detox process is coming to an end, therapists and staff in the detox facility will help individuals facilitate the next step of recovery.
The Next Step After Oxycodone Addiction Detox
A comprehensive oxycodone addiction treatment program is vital to continued recovery after completing detox. Deciding on the next step on treatment depends on many personal factors. An assessment can help determine the best course of action. An evaluation includes a person’s physical, psychological, social status, and home environment to identify the relapse risk factors.
Inpatient treatment for oxycodone addiction is the most successful form of addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment provides individuals a safe and secure environment to continue their recovery. The 24-hour supervision of an inpatient program provides encouragement and the support to battle through the hard struggles of recovery.
Outpatient addiction treatment may be the only choice for those who can’t step away from their responsibilities in life. But outpatient treatment isn’t successful for everyone. Oxycodone addiction can be very difficult to overcome. Relapse is prevalent even in those who have been clean for months.
Outpatient treatment allows a person to tend to their responsibilities and still attend therapy sessions. People in an outpatient treatment program must have a reliable support system and have a strong enough willpower to not give in to the cravings. Even though some individuals have been successful in outpatient treatment, most people need the structure of inpatient treatment.
Therapy should be the main focus of whichever treatment a person chooses. Therapies in addiction treatment are either psychotherapy or behavioral therapy. Both types of therapy are essential to recovery from oxycodone addiction. A comprehensive treatment plan will incorporate multiple forms of therapy to heal the complete person and not just the addiction.
Therapy Options at LA Detox
Therapies that we offer at LA Detox to treat an addiction to oxycodone are as follows.
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
- Trauma therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral therapy
- Dialectal Behavioral therapy
Many inpatient treatment facilities schedule time for exercise in the daily routine. Exercise is a healthy way for individuals to deal with cravings and bad days. Depending on the facility and their location, they may offer additional alternative therapies that include:
- Chiropractic care
- Animal therapy/equine therapy
12-step meetings are vital in recovery. The support systems built in these group settings can be crucial to sobriety. 12-step meetings do not involve a therapist. Individuals take turns running the meetings. Individuals share their experiences in recovery and help others on their journey.
Care After Oxycodone Addiction Detox and Treatment
The last phase of recovery is aftercare. At this point, an individual has successfully completed detox and a continued treatment program. When a person leaves rehab, they have a relapse prevention plan in place. This plan will help keep individuals on track in their recovery and give them a list of people to call when they are on the verge of relapse.
A comprehensive aftercare program will include:
- The continued attendance of individual and group therapy
- Living in a sober living environment
- Maintaining a medication regimen if required
- Random drug and alcohol screening
- Case management services
The main focus of aftercare is keeping a person sober. Addiction treatment centers like LA Detox, understand that the risk of relapse from an oxycodone addiction is highly possible. Our caring staff is there for all individuals even after they have completed treatment. An essential part of an aftercare program is finding a sponsor.
A sponsor is someone who has been sober long enough to mentor someone else through their recovery. A sponsor will help a person through their cravings and prevent relapse. Sponsors are available day and night and can help reinforce the sobriety skills learned in treatment.
Every person needs support throughout the recovery process. But it is crucial to build up your willpower and stay strong on your own. It is essential that at the beginning of aftercare you take time for self-care and focusing on your sobriety needs. It is ok to be selfish during this time as your sobriety should be your primary focus.
LA Detox Can Help You Beat Oxycodone Addiction
Today is a great day to start your journey to sobriety. LA Detox offers a range of addiction services from detox to aftercare. Contact us today and start enjoying a life free of oxycodone addiction.