OxyContin is a powerful prescription opioid painkiller used to treat moderate to severe pain. However, it carries a high potential for abuse and addiction. If you become dependent on OxyContin and suddenly stop using the drug, it can lead to uncomfortable and, at times, dangerous withdrawal symptoms. That’s why it’s essential to approach the detox process with knowledge and support.
Many people who are addicted to OxyContin can benefit from detox services, including those in the following circumstances:
You Have a Severe OxyContin Addiction:
If you have been using OxyContin for a long time and you’ve developed a severe addiction to the drug, you may need help detoxing. When you stop using the drug, you can experience some intense withdrawal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, chills, and in severe cases, seizures. Withdrawal can be very uncomfortable and even dangerous without proper medical supervision.
You’ve Tried To Quit on Your Own
Many people attempt to quit OxyContin on their own and fail because they don’t have the proper support, making it easy to fall back into drug usage. In these cases, medical assistance becomes necessary. Certified detoxing programs can help make withdrawal symptoms easier to bear and teach you how to cope with triggers that can cause relapse.
You’re Experiencing a Lot of Stress
Withdrawal on its own is a high stress and painful event, and it can feel more unbearable when someone is in a high-stress environment. For instance, if your withdrawal process coincides with relationship or financial issues, you may find it particularly challenging to stay the course. As the stress becomes overwhelming, it’s not uncommon to seek relief from the drug. Professional detox programs provide a comfortable, safe, and low stress environment, offering the necessary support and counseling services to avoid relapse.
You’re Afraid of Withdrawal Symptoms
If you have previously experienced or witnessed the impact of severe OxyContin withdrawal, the thought of going through it can create intense fear. In these cases, it is best to opt for detox services to ensure a comfortable, safe process.
During OxyContin detox, you may experience a variety of withdrawal symptoms as your body clears the drug from its system. They can vary from mild to severe, depending on the person, how long you’ve been using the drug, and how much of the drug you’ve been using. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical attention, especially if you’re experiencing moderate to severe symptoms These symptoms can include:
Mild OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
- Agitation and restlessness
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Runny nose or teary eyes
- Sweating or chills
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
Moderate OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
- Rapid heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Shakes or tremors
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Confusion or disorientation
- Severe mood swings
Severe OxyContin Withdrawal Symptoms
- Hallucinations or delirium
- Heart attack or stroke
- Respiratory failure
- Coma or death
The first stage of OxyContin withdrawal usually begins around 2-4 days after your last dose. You may start experiencing symptoms such as muscle aches, nausea, cravings, irritability, headaches, restlessness, and rapid breathing. You may also experience sweating and insomnia as your body adjusts to the sudden lack of the drug. These early symptoms can last for several days, with the intensity varying from person-to-person.
Withdrawal symptoms typically peak around day 3 or day 4. At this point, you may experience the worst symptoms of withdrawal, such as severe muscle aches and nausea that may be accompanied by vomiting. Shaking and cramps may also occur, and you may start to feel a lack of energy. In rare cases, withdrawal can lead to seizures, which can be life threatening. Additionally, vomiting and diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration, and can also result in heart failure – both of which can be fatal.
These symptoms can be very difficult to deal with, and you may feel like you want to give up. However, it’s essential to remember that this is a normal part of the withdrawal process, and it will pass.
Withdrawal symptoms can linger for up to two weeks for many people, but will gradually get better after the peak. At this point, the physical symptoms such as nausea and diarrhea begin to fade, but higher levels of anxiety and depression may remain. You may experience mood swings, where you feel happy one moment and then depressed the next.
Some people continue to experience lingering symptoms, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), for weeks or even months. PAWS is a condition that can occur in people who have been using drugs or alcohol for an extended period.
During this time, you may experience a range of physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms. PAWS can make it difficult to function normally in your daily life, and it can be a significant obstacle in the recovery process.
Some of the most common symptoms of PAWS include poor concentration, increased anxiety, depression, lack of energy, mood swings, and irritability. These symptoms can be challenging to deal with, but it’s important to understand that they are a normal part of the recovery process. As you learn how to cope with these symptoms, they will begin to feel better over time.
Medications are often used during detox to help manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. A few of the most common medications used include:
Suboxone is a medication that is used to treat withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings for opioids, such as OxyContin. It contains two active ingredients, buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid that attaches to the same receptors in the brain as other opioids but has a weaker effect, which helps to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing a high. Naloxone prevents misuse of opioids. If someone tries to inject suboxone, the naloxone will cause immediate and severe withdrawal symptoms.
Another medication used in detoxing is Naltrexone. It blocks receptors in the brain that bind to OxyContin. Naltrexone is a non-addictive medication, and it is not a controlled substance. However, it can be dangerous to use opioids while on any form of Naltrexone due to the higher risk of overdose.
Methadone is another medication that may be prescribed long term to reduce cravings, maintain abstinence from prescription or illicit opioids, and reduce the risk of overdose. Methadone is a controlled substance and can be habit-forming, but it is useful when used under close medical supervision.
Benzodiazepines may also be used to manage withdrawal symptoms during OxyContin detox, but they are not recommended for long-term use because they can be addictive and can cause difficulty breathing when combined with opioids.
Going through OxyContin detox is an incredibly challenging experience, and you may be left feeling somewhat uncertain about continuing your recovery journey. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available that can help.
In inpatient treatment programs, patients receive 24-hour medical care, group and individual therapy sessions, and some form of medication if necessary. Programs usually last between 30 and 90 days. It is an excellent choice if you have a severe addictions or feel that a structured and supportive environment would be helpful for you.
Partial Hospitalization Programs
Partial hospitalization programs are another option for treatment. It is similar to inpatient treatment except you don’t stay overnight at the facility. Instead, you participate in treatment during the day and go home in the evening to sleep. It is a good option for people who do not require 24-hour care but still need a structured environment that can provide them with necessary care and support.
Intensive outpatient programs offer treatment sessions up to three or four times a week, for two to four hours at a time. During these sessions, you participate in group and individual therapy sessions that help you better understand your addiction and develop the skills you need to maintain sobriety.
Outpatient programs allow you to continue your life and attend individual and group therapy sessions once or twice a week. Outpatient treatment is a suitable option if you have a mild substance use disorder, can function well in daily life, and have a supportive network of family, friends, or a sober living environment.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a 12-step program designed to provide support and guidance to individuals seeking to overcome alcohol and drug addiction. The core of NA lies in the 12-step process, which provides a structured framework for personal growth, self-reflection, and ongoing recovery.
NA meetings bring together people who share similar experiences and challenges, fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual understanding. This supportive environment encourages open communication, allowing members to share their struggles and successes without fear of judgment.
Therapy offers a supportive and healing environment that can help you overcome your addiction. Individual counseling and group therapy can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms and provide you with a safe space to talk about your life experiences, emotions, and struggles you might encounter during your recovery journey.
While detox is a critical first step in the recovery process, it does not guarantee lasting or complete recovery from OxyContin addiction. Rehab after detox is crucial for the following reasons:
Address Underlying Reasons for Use
Addiction is often a symptom of deeper issues such as mental health conditions, trauma, or other personal struggles. Rehab centers provide access to mental health professionals who can address these issues and offer the support and guidance needed to manage them. By understanding and treating the underlying reasons for drug use, you can identify triggers and develop coping mechanisms to prevent relapse.
Develop Life Skills
Many individuals who become addicted to OxyContin don’t have well-developed coping mechanisms and are struggling to deal with life’s pressures. In rehab, you will learn essential life skills such as effective communication, how to manage stress and anxiety, coping mechanisms, and healthy lifestyle habits. This will equip you with the tools and abilities you need to overcome your addiction and continue to lead a sober life even after leaving rehab.
Build Support System
Addiction can be lonely, and it’s not uncommon to end up with strained relationships with family and friends. Rehab offers a supportive communal environment where you can share your experiences with other struggling and recovering addicts. This environment not only helps you find empathy and understanding but also builds a support system that you can rely on post-rehab. Developing strong bonds with other sober peers encourages accountability and increases the chances of long-term recovery.
Relapse prevention is a critical component in a successful recovery program. Treatment facilities will teach you coping mechanisms to resist the desire to use OxyContin again. You will learn to recognize triggers and avoid situations that may lead to relapse.
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