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Written by Amethyst Recovery
Amethyst Recovery is a foremost authority on addiction and a trusted online source of substance abuse information. Their expert team of addiction professionals provide well researched content for people in the grip of addiction. All posts are fact checked and sourced.
Trying to get sober from an oxycodone addiction is never easy. Addicts are likely to experience intense withdrawal symptoms that will likely cause them to relapse. To prevent relapses, most drug addicts will go through an oxycodone detoxification process. This involves the use of medications to help normalize brain chemistry levels.
Oxycodone detox works because the brain believes that it’s still getting the drug even when it isn’t anymore. The brain is less likely to rebel and to cause problems while addicts try to get clean. The detox process not only treats physical symptoms, but also prevents mental health issues, like depression or anxiety. The detox process can vary significantly from one patient to another.
Once patients have successfully completed an opioid detox program, they’re usually encouraged to continue with an addiction treatment program. Both an inpatient treatment program or a partial hospitalization program (PHP) are excellent choices. If you’re interested in getting your life back on track, learn more about the opiate detox process.
Why Is Drug Detox a Critical Step to Recovery?
Medical detox is often the first step in any substance abuse treatment plan or treatment option. This is because recovering drug abusers must heal physically before they can work on healing their mind.
Addiction is a chronic disease. It completely changes brain chemistry levels in a person. Those who have an addiction to oxycodone will have fluctuating dopamine and serotonin levels. The fluctuating levels are responsible for the withdrawal symptoms that patients experience when quitting the drug. The effects of oxycodone abuse can be quite tremendous. Some patients will develop irreversible damage to their body and mind.
Drug detox uses medications to help restore brain chemistry levels back to normal. This eases withdrawal symptoms and helps recovering addicts to feel more comfortable when getting sober.
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Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Those who stop taking oxycodone abruptly will experience withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms are due to neurochemical fluctuations in the body. It shows that users have developed a physical dependence on these pain relievers.
Opioid withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to bear. They can cause recovering addicts to relapse. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:
- Anxiousness or irritability
- Difficulties sleeping
- Dilated pupils
- Fast heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Irregular breathing patterns
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches and pain
- Profuse sweating
- Respiratory depression
- A runny nose
- Stomach cramps or diarrhea
- Vomiting or nausea
Treat withdrawal symptoms by getting oxycodone treatment at a rehab facility. With the right oxycodone detox plan, these withdrawal symptoms will subside. Tell your doctor if you experience any opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Physical withdrawal symptoms can last up to 10 days. Psychological withdrawal symptoms can last for months. Drug abusers will need to seek drug rehab to learn how to manage these symptoms of oxycodone addiction and abuse.
Withdrawal Timeline for Oxycodone Abuse
Oxycodone detox will usually span the entire length of the withdrawal timeline. The withdrawal duration for oxycodone abuse will differ for each substance abuser. It all depends on the length of the abuse, the amount taken, and other factors.
In general, the oxycodone detox process will take approximately a week to complete. Physical withdrawal symptoms will begin to appear 6 to 10 hours after the last dose. These symptoms will peak within 2 to 3 days and then start to taper off by the end of the week.
The first physical symptoms to appear usually include nausea, muscle aches and profuse sweating. When the physical symptoms start to peak, recovering drug abusers may also start to experience tremors, shaking and cramps. Drug detox usually targets these physical symptoms. They help ease the intensity, so patients are less likely to relapse.
Most drug rehab centers will recommend an oxycodone detox process of at least a week. The detox process will take care of the nausea, vomiting, shaking, and cramps. At times, the detox process may not necessarily ease these symptoms completely. However, they will lessen the intensity significantly. This makes it easier for recovering addicts to manage the symptoms.
Unlike physical symptoms, psychological symptoms can often last for several months. In extreme cases, recovering addicts have claimed that they’ve experienced psychological withdrawal symptoms, like depression and intense cravings, for years after quitting. Psychological symptoms are often the most difficult to kick. They’re responsible for causing many recovering addicts to relapse.
Understanding Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT)
Opiate Replacement Therapy (ORT) is for both illicit opioids and prescription opioids. This type of medication-assisted treatment substitutes the strong opioids that addicts have been abusing with weaker alternatives. These weaker opioids will stimulate the same opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS). They stimulate the same neurochemical pathways. As a result, these prescription drugs can lessen the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms for recovering oxycodone abusers.
Although the same pathways are stimulated, ORT medications are easier to taper off of. They usually still come with some potential for abuse, albeit the potential can be quite low.
Some of the most common prescription drugs used in ORT include:
- Methadone, which is a full opioid agonist. This means that it works in the same way as drugs like oxycodone and heroin.
- Suboxone, which contains both naloxone and buprenorphine. This is a partial opioid agonist. While it works in the same way as heroin and oxycodone, it comes with a lower potential for abuse. This is because it has a “maximum threshold cap”. After a certain dose, the prescription user will not achieve any effects from this drug at all.
- Vivitrol, which is an opioid antagonist. This drug is a bit different from methadone and Suboxone. It blocks opioids from attaching to any opioid receptors in the CNS. Before taking this medication, the patient’s system must be free of alcohol and opioids.
The dose of each medication will vary from one patient to another. Some patients will need a larger dose, while others can get away with a fairly low dose. It all depends on their biological makeup.
It can be difficult to gauge which type of medication may be best for your situation. Look at how Vivitrol, methadone and Suboxone compare with one another to make an informed decision.
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Medications for Oxycodone Treatment
Oxycodone treatment involves finding the right detox plan. Medical detoxification involves the use of medications to normalize neurochemical levels in the body. Many different types of medications are used in oxycodone detox. Some of the most popular options include:
The detox process usually takes about a week to complete. It’s the first step in the addiction treatment process, and is usually completed at oxycodone inpatient facilities.
There are some key differences between the different types of detox medications. Methadone and Suboxone are both weak opioids. Methadone is a full opioid agonist, and Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist. This means that methadone has a higher potential for abuse than Suboxone. Both medications come in the form of a pill or tablet.
Vivitrol, on the other hand, is injected into a muscle. This medication is only administered once a month. It’s not a narcotic, and is a safer option. The only problem is that recovering addicts must not have any opioids or alcohol in their system when taking the drug.
Understanding the key differences between methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol can help patients make a more informed decision.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Detox
The oxycodone detox process can be separated into two different types: inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment. Both possess unique characters and features that make them stand out from the other.
With inpatient detox, patients will stay at the drug detox center. This allows medical professionals to carefully and closely monitor each patient’s progress. The dose of each medication can be easily adjusted based on each patient’s condition or response to the drug.
In general, inpatient oxycodone detox is highly recommended to those who are likely to experience intense symptoms. Those who have abused oxycodone for quite a long time will usually need an inpatient detox program to get sober.
An outpatient detox program is a bit different. Patients do not have to live at the drug treatment center. Instead, they get their prescriptions from the doctors every week or every day. They’ll take their medications at home. This gives patients more flexibility. They’re not confined to the treatment facility.
Although outpatient oxycodone detox centers do offer more flexibility, patients need to be responsible for taking the medications as prescribed. They must not miss a dose or misuse the medications. Abusing the detox medications can lead to a secondary addiction.
Find a Detox Program that Works for You
For a successful recovery, you’re going to have to find a detox program that fits your needs. There isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to addiction recovery. Some patients will respond to certain medications than others. They may need to try out the different options to see what’s most effective.
The addiction specialists at Amethyst Recovery Center can help you reach your sobriety goals. We can assess your situation and work with you to find a detox plan that works. Our main objective is to help you achieve lifelong sobriety. Let us help you get back on the right track.
Our team is invested in your addiction treatment and recovery. We can treat an addiction to all types of opiates and opioids. Let us walk you through the different oxycodone treatment plans that we have to offer.
The Use of Behavioral Therapies and Counseling
Treatment for oxycodone addiction does not involve only drug detox. There’s also many other things involved. To improve each patient’s mental health condition, all patients will go attend behavioral therapy and counseling sessions. Therapy and counselling can help many drug addicts get over psychological oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. It can also help them identify damaging behavior, and learn how to live a healthy and successful life.
There are many different types of therapeutic modalities used in addiction treatment for oxycodone abuse. Some of the most common options include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Family therapy or family programs
- Individual therapy and one-on-one counseling
- Group counseling
- Spiritual counseling and other faith-based therapies
- Holistic treatment options
- 12 Step programs
Behavioral therapies are a critical part of the addiction recovery process. This is especially true for those who struggle with co-occurring disorders. These individuals may also struggle with bipolar disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, and more. Dual diagnosis treatment is necessary to help these drug addicts get back on the right track.
Mental health treatment is just as important as oxycodone detox. Most treatment centers offer both treatment modalities for substance use disorders.
Counseling and behavioural therapies help drug addicts learn how to change their mindset. They learn how to identify triggers, and how to avoid detrimental situations. For example, they may actively avoid certain social events or certain people.
This type of treatment for oxycodone addiction also teaches patients how to live a healthy life. These therapies teach them how to stay disciplined and motivated. A healthy mindset is vital to a successful recovery. After all, psychological withdrawal symptoms are the most damaging.
Symptoms of an Overdose
In 2016, more than 40% of all overdose deaths were caused by prescription opioids. Oxycodone is one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Learn how to spot the signs and symptoms of an overdose, so immediate action can be taken.
Common signs and symptoms of an oxycodone overdose include:
- Bluish tint around fingernails and lips
- Cardiac failure
- Cold, clammy skin
- Confusion and delirium
- Difficulties speaking
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness and pains
- Pinpoint pupils
- Slowed breathing
- Slowed heart rate
In extreme cases, an overdose can lead to a coma or death. The overdose victim will appear as if he or she is falling asleep. Then, he or she will stop breathing altogether.
Learn more about oxycodone overdose symptoms with a drug rehab center. Those who recover from an overdose should seek drug addiction treatment as soon as possible. Take the overdose as a warning sign from above that the prescription drug addiction has gone too far. Those who overdose will likely need help from an inpatient rehab for oxycodone addiction.
How to Treat an Oxycodone Overdose
Naloxone is an effective opioid-reversing medication that can be administered to stop an overdose. This medication blocks oxycodone from attaching to opioid receptors in the CNS. Many medical professionals recommend having naloxone handy if you or someone you know is addicted to oxycodone. This type of medical treatment may end up saving the overdose victim’s life.
Naloxone can be administered via two ways. It can be injected into a muscle, like the buttocks or the thighs, or it can be sprayed into the nasal cavity. Both methods are just as effective. You should start to see the effects of this opioid-reversing medication within 5 to 30 minutes. If you don’t, you’ll need to administer a second dose.
If the second dose doesn’t work as well, there may be a chance that too long of a time has lapsed. In this event, administering more naloxone won’t make a difference at all.
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