When opioid pain
medications, such as OxyContin are prescribed, doctors will take time to assess
the patient in terms of the possibility of developing a dependence on the drug
and getting into addiction trouble. If
taken as prescribed, for the right length of time, there is no reason to fear
that a patient will have withdrawal trouble.
However, that is not always the case and there are times when those
using OxyContin will experience withdrawal symptoms.
All of us are unique
Every person is
different, so how much OxyContin they took and for how long will play into the
possibility of withdrawal symptoms cropping up.
Over time, a person builds tolerance to OxyContin, and other drugs, so
the brain is sometimes tricked into thinking that the drug needs to be there in
order to function.
After a period of time, and this is usually several weeks,
the person can develop a physical dependence on the drug, so taking the drug
away suddenly is going to be difficult. In general OxyContin withdrawal, and
for that matter withdrawal from other opiates, will not be fatal;
uncomfortable, but not fatal.
A person may experience sweating, soreness in the muscles
and joints, coughing, nausea and
vomiting, insomnia, irregular heart beat and palpitations and fatigue. These signs of OxyContin withdrawal will
occur sometime between six hours and a day or so after the last use. Depending
on the history with the drug, a person may fight these inconveniences for up to
Addicts usually have
HUGE fear of withdrawal
including Oxy addicts, fear the withdrawal probably more than the actual
addiction, even though they may fully understand the health ramifications of
the disease. They just don’t want to go
through the withdrawal, so they avoid going in for treatment.
However, there is no reason for concern, as treatment
centers will facilitate a medical detoxification period, which significantly
reduces the discomfort of withdrawal and helps the addict get back on track
with his/her treatment quickly. Usually
if the person is abusing the drug and is not an addict, the withdrawal can be
less intense, but even occasional users can experience withdrawal.
sometimes be medically dangerous
withdrawal can be dangerous in some cases.
One of the possible symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal is nausea and
vomiting. If the person aspirates
stomach contents into the lungs that can cause severe damage. It can choke the individual, or cause an
infection to develop.
In either case, it’s a serious matter. People can become
dehydrated through the withdrawal process, which causes a myriad of problems
with bodily function and health.
However, the single biggest worry that an OxyContin user has after
withdrawal is overdose. Let’s say a
person elects to go through medical detoxification and the chemical is purged
from their body.
The tolerance they built up is no longer in play and the
body cannot handle the amount of drug they used to take to get high, or achieve
relief from pain. The system gets
overloaded and people wind up in the emergency room. OxyContin withdrawal is
not fatal, but overdose can be.
is almost always the best choice
Treatment is the
best option for those struggling with OxyContin withdrawal. The withdrawal
symptoms can last a few days, but there are longer term problems that people
may experience. Once the initial medical work has been done, the focus is on
helping the patient deal with the lingering withdrawal—the cravings.
To help people get off of OxyContin and help them maintain a
healthy lifestyle, two drugs in particular come to mind—Methadone and Suboxone,
which are used as a part of a longer-term program, often times in an
out-patient setting. Methadone is taken
in a special clinic, while Suboxone can be administered by a doctor.
While they act differently, both drugs are designed to block
the cravings that the OxyContin addict will have after detox and
treatment. In either case, the idea is
to get the person off of any drug, even the ones to keep him/her off the
opiate. Sometimes the program takes place over long periods of time, as the
maintenance dosage is just enough to help the person function without the
Meanwhile, patients can be prescribed other medications to
help them deal with anxiety, the muscle aches and other symptoms.
Don’t take opiate
and addiction are not to be taken lightly, as addiction to this potent opiate
is dangerous to a person’s health and well-being. Addicts may receive treatment
in a residential facility or in an out-patient clinic, but it is important that
they deal with their disease.
Oxy addicts don’t just go “cold turkey” and few can just
decide one day to quit. Again, treatment
is the most viable option and people can chose which facility best suits them,
but going without treatment can lead to their untimely death.
It’s a difficult process, and relapse sadly is a part of that process, but people do overcome
addiction to OxyContin and other opiates, so it is important to focus on the
goal and persevere.