Last Updated: December 22, 2022
Making the decision to begin oxycodone addiction treatment is a valuable step in recovering from an oxycodone use disorder. Many make this decision and attempt to quit their oxycodone use at home, but this may make the inevitable oxycodone withdrawal process more challenging.
Beginning your recovery with a medical oxycodone detox gets the substance out of your system in the safest and most comfortable way possible.
What Causes Oxycodone Withdrawal?
Oxycodone dependence occurs when a person physically needs the drug in order to function normally. When someone is dependent on a substance in this way, withdrawal symptoms will occur when the drug is stopped. In other words, someone that is dependent on a substance will experience uncomfortable physical and mental effects of the sudden absence of the drug.
How Long Does Oxycodone Stay In Your System?
Half-life describes the length of time it takes for approximately half of a substance to be metabolized and eliminated from the body. The half-life of oxycodone is relatively short — about 3.2 hours for immediate-release formulas and 4.5 hours for extended-release. It generally takes about four to five half-lives for a drug to leave the system, meaning oxycodone stays in the system for an average of 16 to 23 hours. Withdrawal symptoms may set in quickly if oxycodone is stopped suddenly after prolonged use.
Oxycodone is excreted in the urine. It has a short detection window of about 2–4 days in urine when tested, and this is even shorter in the blood due to metabolism. Oxycodone can be detected in head hair for up to 90 days and body hair for even longer.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms
Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person, and include both physical and psychological symptoms. Some symptoms may be mild, while other symptoms can be severe.
Physical symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal:
- Upset stomach
- Dilated pupils
- Flu-like symptoms
- Increased blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalances
- Muscle aches and pains
- Increased heartbeat
- Inability to fall or stay asleep
Psychological symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal:
- Increased aggressiveness or agitation
- Anxiousness or anxiety
- Decreased concentration
- Cravings for oxycodone
- Feeling disconnected from oneself
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling irritable
- Rapid mood swings
- Panic attacks
- Feeling suicidal, threatening or attempting suicide
Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline
Anyone experiencing an oxycodone use disorder might wonder how long oxycodone withdrawal will last.
While not everyone’s timeline will be exactly the same, oxycodone withdrawal usually begins 8–24 hours after the most recent dose, and can last anywhere from 4–10 days. Most symptoms will occur around 72 hours after the last use of the drug, but they may take time to improve.
After the physical effects of oxycodone withdrawal subside, some psychological effects, such as severe cravings, can persist for weeks or even months.
Factors Impacting Oxycodone Withdrawal
Factors that impact the length and severity of oxycodone withdrawal may include age, gender, weight, the length, amount, and frequency of oxycodone use, and whether other substances were used at the same time. Other potential factors include whether the person stops “cold-turkey” or tapers off oxycodone.
Dangers of Oxycodone Withdrawal
Oxycodone withdrawal may not be life-threatening, but it is challenging. The cold-turkey approach is associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms and cravings, increasing the risk of relapse. It is recommended that withdrawal occurs under the supervision of medical professionals rather than at home to help alleviate uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Although rare, dangerous symptoms such as convulsions and delirium have been observed during opioid withdrawal.
During the oxycodone detoxification process, withdrawal symptoms may last a week or longer. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to detox at home or in the comfort of a professional rehabilitation facility. The extent of oxycodone use, previous failed detox attempts, and an individual’s support system at home all influence the predictability of successful detox. To help mitigate symptoms associated with oxycodone withdrawal, a medically-assisted detox is the recommended option.
Can You Detox From Oxycodone at Home?
It is generally not recommended, but detoxing from oxycodone at home is an option. When detox is done at home, there is no medical supervision to prepare for anything that may go wrong. Complications are more likely to occur during an at-home detox since a person is at higher risk of relapse when unsupervised.
Detoxing at a Treatment Center
The most reliable way to detox from oxycodone is to utilize an accredited medical facility. At a treatment center, patients will be fully monitored and cared for according to their specific detoxification needs. Staying hydrated and eating proper meals can make the process easier, although many individuals going through detox may have a poor appetite.
Medically Assisted Detox
In cases that are deemed medically necessary and safe, some people may receive medications to manage withdrawal from oxycodone. One of the most popular approaches is to administer methadone. Methadone is a long-acting opioid that can essentially replace oxycodone in the system. This reduces withdrawal symptoms experienced during the detoxification process and can help curb cravings.
Tapering Off Oxycodone
For those who do not want or cannot receive medically-assisted detox, the oxycodone taper method is another option and can be done at home with your doctor’s supervision. Tapering at home takes willpower and should be done with the support of family and friends. It is characterized by a gradual decrease in the oxycodone dose over time. This can help minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced until the individual is able to fully stop using oxycodone.
It is recommended to taper off oxycodone under the supervision of medical professionals at a medical rehabilitation facility, where an oxycodone taper schedule may be used to help ensure successful outcomes.
Finding an Oxycodone Detox Center in Ohio
If you’re ready to detox from oxycodone use, choosing the right rehabilitation facility can feel overwhelming. Speak with your facilities of interest to learn what is included in a typical oxycodone detox protocol to help you decide the right option.
It is highly recommended to complete the detox and withdrawal process in an accredited facility. Professional treatment facilities offer constant support, and trained medical professionals are available to assist in every step of the detox process. After the initial detoxification process, extended treatment at the facility is highly encouraged. You can learn coping skills for life after rehabilitation and develop a relapse prevention plan. Without staying in treatment for an extended period after detoxification, relapse is more likely to occur.
Do you or a loved one struggle with an addiction to oxycodone or another opioid? Contact The Recovery Village Columbus to discuss treatment options for an oxycodone use disorder and any co-occurring mental health conditions. Speak with one of our skilled, compassionate representatives today to discuss rehabilitation programs and how to embark on your road to recovery.
Our Recovery Advocates are ready to answer your questions about addiction treatment and help you start your recovery.