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Overview of Oxycodone detox

As a society, there are a wide variety of problems that we face today. The economy is an issue that tends to be at the forefront of most of our minds as it affects the cost and quality of our lives. Another issue is politics since the laws and legislation that govern us provide a tentative blueprint for how we live our lives, or at least how we should live our lives. There are also a number of health concerns of which we’ve become increasingly aware, including lifestyle-related problems like obesity and diabetes. However, one of the most urgent of these lifestyle-related issues is the disease of addiction.

The use and abuse of mind-altering substances isn’t exactly a novel idea. Human beings have enjoyed alcohol for close to 10,000 years or so, and in that time there were periods when people were discouraged from drinking anything that wasn’t alcohol due to questionable sanitization. Since then, we’ve added countless other substances to the list, many of which were created for noble purposes and yet they became extremely prone to abuse. Unfortunately, it’s only relatively recently that we’ve really begun to understand the nature of that abuse such as why and how it happens and how to mitigate it.

Not too long ago, people who exhibited problematic consumption behavior were assumed to be godless people, weak in will and worthy of punishment. In short, it was assumed that they were simply choosing not to control themselves. But we know better now.

Today, the disease of addiction is one of the most urgent issues we face at both the individual and societal levels as well as all levels in between. Although addiction has been a concern for many decades and perhaps even centuries, it was until the 1990s that the term “epidemic” was coined to describe the sudden spike in abuse and addiction rates. With the benefit of hindsight, we can look back on the 1990s and pinpoint the single moment that started us on this downward spiral: the 1996 release of the drug oxycodone, which is also known by the brand name OxyContin.

Click below for detailed Opiate detox guides

How Detoxing From Oxycodone works

Oxycodone is arguably the most notorious of all opioid substances as this is the drug that put us on the path to the heroin addiction that is devouring the U.S. from the inside. Oxycodone is a derivative of opium, which is the potent, narcotic sap obtained from the opium poppy. There’s a long history of opium use, especially the smoking of opium in special “opium dens”, in Asia before the practice eventually made its way to the U.S. coincident with the construction of the transcontinental railroad and the California gold rush. However, it wasn’t until 1917 that oxycodone was first created, a semi-synthetic synthezoid of thebaine, which is one of the primary alkaloids obtained from opium—others include codeine and morphine.

In creating oxycodone, the goal was to develop better analgesic, or pain-relieving, medications than what were available at the time; not necessary more potent, but with less side effects. Specifically, it was intended as the unofficial replacement for heroin, which had just been removed from commercial production after being marketed by Bayer as a safe, non-addictive cough-suppressant. In a sense, oxycodone was a success because it didn’t offer the same rapid onset as heroin and morphine and doesn’t last quite as long; however, the drug retained more of its opioid traits than they had intended.

The contemporary use of oxycodone is limited to the treatment of moderate to severe pain, prescribed to patients who suffer from conditions involving pain so that they may have a better quality of life. However, since it offers effects that could be described as a milder, slower- and shorter-acting version of heroin or morphine, oxycodone is still highly addictive. Not surprisingly, it’s extremely common for patients who received oxycodone prescriptions to become addicted to the drug, at which point they require an oxycodone detox in order to break their dependence.

WHAT DOES THE Oxycodone DETOX PROCESS LOOK LIKE?

An addiction to opioids like oxycodone doesn’t exactly happen overnight. For physical dependence to develop, a person must continue to imbibe oxycodone consistently over an extended period of time. However, a person doesn’t necessarily need to be abusing oxycodone to become dependent. Patients who suffer from conditions that involve chronic pain often become dependent even when they are taking oxycodone as prescribed, which is why more and more physicians are becoming hesitant to put patients on opioid drugs or other addictive substances.

When a patient becomes dependent, it’s often not until he or she tries to stop taking the drug or switches to a non-opioid drug that he or she realizes that addiction has occurred. For those who become addicted to oxycodone that they’ve bought illegally on the street, it doesn’t usually take very long to realize when addiction has occurred. Many of these individuals will be forced to experience withdrawal symptoms at their fullest intensity on occasions when they’re unable to obtain more oxycodone or whichever drug to which they’ve become addicted. Once they experience withdrawals as such an intensity, it’s often an intense fear of these withdrawals that prevent them from seeking recovery. In fact, many people who become addicted to oxycodone or other pharmaceutical opioids switch to heroin rather than seek treatment, which allows them to substitute oxycodone with a substance that can offer virtually the same effects as oxycodone and save them from the experience of oxycodone withdrawals. However, detoxing from oxycodone via an actual oxycodone detox program offers an alternative to heroin substitution.

Although oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid that, more or less, has very predictable effects, there are some people who respond quite differently to the drug after it’s introduced into their bodies. Oxycodone—and all other opioids for that matter—are considered depressants in that they cause drowsiness and dampen one’s senses; however, some individuals actually get a boost in energy from oxycodone, especially when they take higher-than-prescribed doses. Some of the more expected effects of oxycodone include a sense of extreme relaxation, an overall reduction in anxiety, and, of course, a reduction or the elimination of physical pain. Additionally, oxycodone is known to produce the signature opioid euphoria, which occurs due to the flood of neurochemicals that the drug triggers; the increased level of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters result in increased activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure and the reward circuit.

Unfortunately, oxycodone withdrawals entail a complete reversal of the symptoms of oxycodone intoxication. Specifically, the hallmark opioid euphoria is absent and an overall discomfort or even a sense of physical pain in the joints and muscles takes its place. There’s often a sense of anxiousness and the body offer trembles while the legs are jittery with restless leg syndrome; however, the individual has very little energy. The eyes are typically watery, there’s frequent sneezing and yawning, and individuals in this state find it all but impossible to sleep. Oftentimes, oxycodone withdrawal is accompanied by a perpetual state of nausea that makes it impossible for them to eat; this may even progress into intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Oxycodone Detox Withdrawals

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Although oxycodone is a semisynthetic opioid that, more or less, has very predictable effects, there are some people who respond quite differently to the drug after it’s introduced into their bodies. Oxycodone—and all other opioids for that matter—are considered depressants in that they cause drowsiness and dampen one’s senses; however, some individuals actually get a boost in energy from oxycodone, especially when they take higher-than-prescribed doses. Some of the more expected effects of oxycodone include a sense of extreme relaxation, an overall reduction in anxiety, and, of course, a reduction or the elimination of physical pain. Additionally, oxycodone is known to produce the signature opioid euphoria, which occurs due to the flood of neurochemicals that the drug triggers; the increased level of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters result in increased activity in areas of the brain associated with pleasure and the reward circuit.

Unfortunately, oxycodone withdrawals entail a complete reversal of the symptoms of oxycodone intoxication. Specifically, the hallmark opioid euphoria is absent and an overall discomfort or even a sense of physical pain in the joints and muscles takes its place. There’s often a sense of anxiousness and the body offer trembles while the legs are jittery with restless leg syndrome; however, the individual has very little energy. The eyes are typically watery, there’s frequent sneezing and yawning, and individuals in this state find it all but impossible to sleep. Oftentimes, oxycodone withdrawal is accompanied by a perpetual state of nausea that makes it impossible for them to eat; this may even progress into intermittent vomiting and/or diarrhea.

List of Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Depression
  • Increased breathing and heart rates
  • Yawning
  • Agitation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Intermittent hot flashes and cold chills
  • Insomnia
  • Flu-like symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, etc.)
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness

Can you detox from Oxycodone at home?

Generally, people addicted to oxycodone or any other substance are encouraged to seek detox treatment at an actual treatment facility rather than attempt to detox at home on their own. Inpatient medical detoxification is encouraged for a number of reasons, but the most important is the assurance of safety throughout the oxycodone detoxification process. In the event that an individual’s withdrawal symptoms would become extremely severe or life-threatening, he or she would be in grave danger if the individual was detoxing at home, but would receive immediate medical care to alleviate those symptoms and restore him or her to a state of safety and relaxation at a detox facility.

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How long does it take to detox from Oxycodone

Everyone who develops an addiction—to oxycodone or any other substance—is affected by the disease in a different way. Some people experience more of the physical effects while others experience more of the mental or emotional effects. Therefore, just as addiction is a very individual journey, so, too, is the detoxification process, making it difficult to say definitively how long any given person’s detoxification will take. It’s important to remember that even in cases when an estimate is provided, patients in detox treatment are given whatever amount of time they need in order to successfully complete their detoxifications.

Generally, oxycodone withdrawal symptoms will begin to manifest around six hours after the last dose of the drug, peaking within about 72 hours, or three days, of cessation of use. As a whole, an individual addicted to oxycodone should expect to spend about seven to ten days in oxycodone detoxification, although it’s possible that more or less time may be needed.

  • The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that more than 13 million Americans have, at some point, used oxycodone for non-medical, recreational purposes or have become addicted to the drug.
  • Although the United States accounts for a mere 5 percent of the global population, it’s estimated—by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)—that no less than 81 percent of the world’s oxycodone supply is consumed in the U.S.
  • A 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that the 18-to-25 age group is the most likely to report oxycodone abuse (9.9 percent) compared to 6 percent of the 26-and-older age groups.
  • At least one in 30 high school seniors has abused OxyContin (oxycodone) one or more times.
  • Between 2012 and 2013, the number of people who reported actively abusing OxyContin or another form of oxycodone declined; however, the number of people who admit to having used this drug for non-medical, recreational purposes at least once increased.
  • In 2013, it was found that about seven million Americans over the age of 12 had recreationally used oxycodone in their lifetimes.