OxyContin withdrawal symptoms: How to find treatment, relief and help
No more OxyContin: NOW WHAT?
You’ve taken your last dose of OxyContin. You’ve been on it for more than a few weeks. Now what?
Well, your body and brain need to get re-adjusted to life without OxyContin. And we’re not talking about the cravings and the mental attachment that you may have to the drug. OxyContin withdrawal is a physical process. And although symptoms of withdrawal are predictable, they can be scary. Plus, OxyContin withdrawal symptoms (also called OxyContin withdrawal syndrome) can be severe and last a long time (up to 10 days).
In brief, Oxy detox sucks. But soon enough, you’ll start feeling normal again. More on OxyContin withdrawal symptoms length here. In the meantime, common symptoms people experience when withdrawing from OxyContin include:
- abdominal cramps
- bone pain
- dilated pupils
- goose bumps
- increased blood pressure
- increased heart rate
- increased respiratory rate
- involuntary leg movements (restless legs syndrome)
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches
- muscle pain
- runny nose
- secretion or discharge of tears
So what can help ease these acute symptoms of withdrawal and make OxyContin detox more bearable? Well, your brain has adapted its neurotransmitters to accommodate OxyContin. Now, it’s in hyper drive. We’ve found with three ways that you can get help ask OxyContin leaves your body and your brain starts to react. Please feel free to add your tips and suggestions in the comments section below.
1. Find an OxyContin detox center
If you want to stop OxyContin for good, the first thing you should know is that you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, the most common treatment for OxyContin withdrawal syndrome involves supportive care in a medical environment. Reasons NOT to do cold turkey OxyContin withdrawal here. Medical supervision is available in the form of detoxification (detox) centers throughout the U.S. Check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA drug treatment locator on their website at findtreatment [dot] smhsa [dot] gov.
2. OxyContin withdrawal relief with medications
Firstly, doctors prescribe medications to target specific symptoms of withdrawal. The most commonly used medicine during detox for OxyContin is Clonidine, which helps treat anxiety, agitation, abdominal cramping, muscle aches and pain, sweating, and runny nose. Doctors also routinely prescribe medications for vomiting and diarrhea.
Secondly, some detox professionals aim to lessen withdrawal symptoms by slowing decreasing the amount of opiates in your body. For this reason, the manmade opioid Buprenorphine (Subutex) can be prescribed to gently scale down opiates in your system and can even help shorten the length of time spent in detox. Methadone has also been used to eliminates withdrawal symptoms from heavy opiates like OxyContin and can also help relieve drug craving during addiction treatment.
3. OxyContin withdrawal treatment alternatives
Alternative treatments can also help target specific OxyContin withdrawal symptoms. For example, Vitamin B6 and can help relieve RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) caused by opiate abuse. Zinc and magnesium supplements may help reduce muscle spasms. A multivitamin or bananas can increase potassium in the body. And Slimfast drinks can help keep you hydrated and nourished, even if you can’t eat for lack of an appetite.
You might also ask about acupuncture or alternative touch therapies during withdrawal. Although these treatments have not been clincially tied to improved symptoms, if you believe they can help, they might! Also, make sure your friends and family know what you are going through so that you can get the support that you need during the hard time. And pace yourself, training your mind to keep going. During OxyContin withdrawal, remember that the only way to freedom is the slow way.
Acute Oxy Contin withdrawal versus extended withdrawal
We’ve been talking about managing the acute withdrawal symptoms that occur when you rapidly decrease or discontinue use of OxyContin. But keep in mind that other symptoms also occur in the long term. In fact, you can experience protracted withdrawal symptoms such as ‘chemical urge and yearning’ weeks to months after your last dose of Oxy. Keep reading about extended withdrawal symptoms here, or ask us your questions about OxyContin withdrawal below. We will be happy to answer quickly and personally to your concerns!
Reference sources: Drug info on OxyContin c/o NIH
Clonidine for withdrawal
Substance Bause Protracted Withdrawal Department of Health Services State of Wisconsin
Rutgers University Community Forum topic on Oxycodone Withdrawal
The Facts on Opioids
Photo credit: Lucy Nieto