OxyContin Withdrawal Timeline

28 Feb OxyContin Withdrawal Timeline

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OxyContin is a synthetic opioid that entered the American pharmaceutical market in 1996. It was presented by Purdue Pharma as a more effective alternative to an over-the-counter pain reliever. Initially thought to be a safe option for those who suffer chronic pain, the medication impressed doctors and patients with its ability to desensitize bodies to pain for up to 12 hours.

Once our bodies become used to the feelings oxycodone brings, they can have a difficult time functioning healthily without it. This is how our bodies develop an OxyContin addiction. Once our body becomes aware of the missing dopamine levels, the pain levels in our bodies begin to see-saw again. As dopamine levels are reduced to low levels again our bodies become sick. The brain sends pain signals to nerve cells to tell them something is wrong. The brain tells the user they need more oxycodone and a physical dependence is formed.

OxyContin contains a timed release for oxycodone to prevent dopamine levels from rising too quickly. However, immediate release oxycodone pills on the market unleash the chemical at once for more severe pain relief and pleasure. When released all at once the chemical has a greater chance of damaging the body. Once prescription users become dependent on the drug they may begin looking for ways to experience the benefits of oxycodone more quickly and more powerfully.

The longer your OxyContin addiction lasts, the more tolerant their bodies become of the opioid and the greater risk you have of falling victim to an OxyContin overdose. This drives the user to alter the form of the pill which can be very dangerous and even deadly.  Addicts will go to the extent of crushing, chewing, smoking, injecting and snorting pills for a high. Once crushed, the chemical compositions change and the substance goes unregulated in the body. This is a very slippery slope that will result in a painful withdrawal process if not treated as soon as possible

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What to Expect from Opioid Withdrawal: The Symptoms of OxyContin Withdrawal Timeline

OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms

The OxyContin withdrawal process occurs when the addicted body becomes sick because it is so used to the drug being in the bloodstream that it recognizes the absence of oxycodone as an illness. If the user does not get high or take oxycodone, the body will become sick and may even experience severe pain far beyond the level that existed when the physical dependence developed with the prescription.

Overall, the type of oxycodone withdrawal timeline depends on how severely addicted the user is to OxyContin. However, no dosage is too small to avoid withdrawal symptoms once the body is addicted. When addicts abuse higher dosages of OxyContin for a long time, the withdrawal will be especially trying. Oxycodone and other opioids addictions can differ in the fact that many users continue to pursue the drug not for a high or fix, but because they fear experiencing the awful sickness and intense pain that comes with withdrawal. OxyContin withdrawal symptoms are described as an extreme version of the flu.

Addicts who habitually use the painkiller typically experience the following withdrawal symptoms for 24 – 72 hours:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed or irregular heartbeat
  • Hot/cold sweats
  • Pinpoint needle pupils
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Itchiness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bone or joint aches/pain
  • Runny nose

Challenges You Will Face During Withdrawal

During the withdrawal timeline, it’s important to anticipate hurdles as your body is fighting the effects of the drug. After going for a period with high levels of dopamine, your body will continue to crave the chemical even when it’s not in your system. This will be strongest during the first week of withdrawal. That’s why it’s critical to endure the withdrawal symptoms your body will experience as you resist its urges. Essentially you are reversing your body’s perception of what it should feel like with drugs and are retraining it to become naturally balanced. You may also find it difficult to sleep or have little to no appetite as your body begins to return to its natural rhythms.

By the second week of being oxycodone-free, your body will experience chills but will begin to return to normalcy. It could take up to a few weeks for the drug to completely leave your system, and up to a month or two for your body to start feeling like it did before you were an addict. At this stage, it’s crucial to eat as healthy as possible and get the nourishment your body needs. Your body will be regenerating cells as it is literally fighting the chemical reactions within itself. A good way to resist temptation when experiencing oxycodone withdrawal symptoms is to make sure you have a support system to go through it with you. Exercise can be a great way to create endorphins that make the brain feel happy your body feel good. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it. If you can endure at least a week of withdrawal symptoms, you can win the battle for your body and be its rightful master again.

When going through withdrawal you will also need to fight your mind. Your brain was overtaken by oxycodone and, as a result, it will never be the same. It will be a struggle, but you can overcome destructive habits by reinstating healthy and uplifting thoughts. If you can control your mind, you can do anything.

What Kind of Treatment is Available?

The battle for recovery is a multi-faceted process which is why we recommend treatment centers that can offer medical detox as well as a support system that is available at all times. Attempting to recover from oxycodone addiction cold turkey can be very dangerous and in some cases deadly. The time of your oxycodone withdrawal treatment and thereafter is an opportunity to conquer the drug and its negative impact on your life. Use this time to become stronger. We understand it can be daunting to face the challenge of withdrawal alone. That is why we recommend understanding your options and selecting an addiction treatment that suits your needs.

Emotional support is very important during withdrawal from OxyContin which is why therapy is a great tool. A counselor can help you with grief and other emotions you are experiencing at this point. As an addict, you may have experienced great loss from your opiate addiction. Whether within yourself, your family, relationships, jobs or finances, it is an experience that will make you a different person. You may experience self-doubt, guilt, self-hate, discouragement, fear and a feeling of helplessness when during OxyContin detox. It’s important to confront every feeling and to forgive yourself. While you may be tempted to relapse again due to the escape OxyContin provides, therapy can help you face reality and equip you to deal with it head on while healing you from the inside out.  This will most likely be a lifelong process as you continually learn to love and accept yourself.

Oxycodone detox programs are available to help flush the drug from your body. Short term detoxes are intense because the program is designed to occur over a condensed period of time, but it is executed in a way that limits your body’s pain and cravings during detoxification. The detoxification process is done with the assistance of anesthesia and in conjunction with therapy. This is best for those who are ready to let go of their addiction and for those who have a good support system for long-term follow-up and accountability.

Exercise and diet will also play a big role in the speed of your physical recovery. Your environment can subconsciously influence you to either be active or remain idle. Activity will keep your body and mind occupied. This is critical as you learn to become productive again in day-to-day activities. If possible, seek a treatment center with a staff nutritionist or dietician to help guide to optimal health. Many foods can help aid your mind by triggering hormone activity for positive emotions. Knowing exactly what to eat and having proper support for physical activity will help you through difficult days.

This is your recovery and you need to be in a place that makes you feel safe, accepted and welcomed when enduring medical detox. Most of all, you want to be in a place that genuinely supports you and believes in you. When selecting a center, it is also important to decide how far you will be from loved ones. It may be easier for you to be farther or nearer to relatives and friends who support you. However, building a new system of support and leaving old connections who you knew were guilty of OxyContin abuse is also helpful. Trusting those that will help you during your recovery is one of the biggest factors that should determine your treatment. While this is your responsibility up to a point, trust can only be cultivated by people who are genuine and want the best for you. This is especially important because you’ll need key people to continue encouraging you long after you leave treatment.

Long-term rehab programs are another option. When considering long-term recovery, it is important to look at programs that can be customized to your needs. Look at the housing you’ll be staying at and becoming familiar with the staff that will serve you. It’s also important to be aware of the type of experience the doctors and clinicians have on-site. Can they offer ways to manage withdrawal symptoms? Do they have a good success rate? What are their policies for living there? Is there a healthy and safe community for those that are recovering? What happens if there is a relapse? While most treatment centers will have rules, make sure you know what you are and aren’t comfortable with. It’s also crucial you can speak to the staff with no apprehensiveness.  These are all questions to keep in mind as you research your options.

Georgia Detox is an organization committed to guiding you through long-term recovery with oxycodone withdrawal treatment programs tailored to your individual needs. We offer the dedication of a professional staff that is trained to provide the best attention to each person in their care to ensure you have the best chances of defeating your oxycodone addiction. Our center is designed with your comfort in mind to make you feel at home. Your recovery is our priority which is why we work with you to identify and help you achieve your goals. We understand that this is your life and your path. Let us walk it with you.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards addiction recovery call us at (678) 293-9115.


Thomas, Scot. “Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms, Length, and Detox Centers.” American Addiction Centers. 14 Mar. 2019. https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/oxycodone

“Oxycodone Withdrawal and Detox.” Addiction Center. 14 Mar. 2019. https://www.addictioncenter.com/opiates/oxycodone/withdrawal-detox/

O’Keefe Osborn, Corinne. “How Long Does Withdrawal From Oxycodone Last?” Verywell Mind. 10 Feb. 2019. 14 Mar. 2019. https://www.verywellmind.com/oxycodone-withdrawal-4178972

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