Oxycodone is a prescription painkiller intended to treat moderate to severe pain. Withdrawal symptoms related to oxycodone typically begin within 8-12 hours of using the last dose and peak in 48-72 hours. Physical symptoms generally subside within seven days, although some psycho-emotional effects and cravings may persist for longer.
Oxycodone Dependence and Addiction
Statistics show that oxycodone addiction has been steadily increasing in the last two decades and that more than 13 million people in the U.S. are abusing the drug. In fact, each day, more than 5,000 people misuse oxycodone for the first time. By being able to recognize the signs of oxycodone abuse and withdrawal, people are better equipped to identify these problems in themselves or a loved one and realize that it’s probably time to seek help.
Oxycodone is a potent painkiller that can be found in stand-alone formulations as well as combination medications, such as Percocet. It is considered to have a high potential for dependence and addiction. Dependence can occur following two weeks of use or longer and is characterized by the brain and body’s adaption to the presence substance following repeated use. When this occurs, the body can no longer function properly. When a person attempts to discontinue the use of the drug, they encounter highly unpleasant symptoms, also referred to as withdrawal.
A person can become dependent on oxycodone even if used as directed, but when it’s abused (e.g., used more often or in excessive amounts), the likelihood that this will occur increases. One part of addiction is associated with the development of tolerance, a state in which the person needs more and more of a substance to achieve the sought-after effects.
Some people misuse oxycodone for pain relief, but also effects such as feelings of reward and well-being. Regardless of why it’s used, oxycodone use can eventually result in full-blown addiction. When this occurs, a person will begin to seek its attainment and use compulsively. Furthermore, they will do so despite adverse consequences and may go to great lengths, such as stealing, to satisfy drug cravings.
Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal
As noted, withdrawal symptoms for oxycodone begin once a person has become dependent on the drug and requires exposure to it to function normally. The onset of withdrawal symptoms is often the primary factor that forces people to remain trapped in their addictions. Although such effects are rarely life-threatening, they can feel as if they are. Physical pain and discomfort are often accompanied by intense anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other emotional issues.
A person who is withdrawing from oxycodone abuse may experience the following physical symptoms:
- Body aches and pains
- Restlessness, inability to relax
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal cramps or diarrhea
- Sweating or chills
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate or breathing
- Runny nose and teary eyes
- Loss of appetite
People who are experiencing symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal may also feel fatigued or very agitated for seemingly no reason. They may feel extremely depressed or moody.
The Onset of Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal from oxycodone dependence begins shortly after the person’s last use—as noted, within 8-12 hours, although more severe cases may onset within 6 hours. Symptoms continue for several days and are usually at their worst between 48-74 hours after the last use.
People who are addicted to oxycodone may experience physical withdrawal symptoms for up to a week, but emotional symptoms can persist for two weeks or longer. People may experience a high level of irritability or depression in addition to cognitive and emotional dysregulation for weeks or months. For this reason, detox is often not enough alone to help a person stay sober long-term, and comprehensive treatment that includes psychotherapy and group support is often needed.
Due to the severity of oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, the withdrawal process should be supervised by medical professionals who understand how to manage symptoms and can help the individual navigate the detox process and the long-lasting effects associated with addiction.
Getting Treatment for Addiction
Just Believe Recovery is a specialized addiction treatment center that offers detox services as well as rehab programs in both inpatient and partial hospitalization formats. We employ highly-trained, caring staff who are dedicated to ensuring that all of our clients receive the education, tools, and support they direly need to be successful at maintaining long-term sobriety and wellness.
If you recognize the symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal in yourself or someone you know, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options with one of our trained addiction recovery counselors. We will explain the steps needed to undergo treatment in one of our recovery programs, and the services we offer to help people overcome addiction to oxycodone, other drugs, or alcohol.
If you are ready to break free from the vicious cycle of addiction for life, we urge you to call us today!