How Does Oxycodone Detox Work?

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Whether you’ve been prescribed oxycodone for chronic pain and are ready to stop taking it or you’ve fallen victim to drug addiction, quitting oxycodone suddenly will result in painful withdrawal symptoms that resemble a case of the flu. Even though opioid withdrawal is usually not life-threatening, the symptoms can be difficult to endure. That’s why oxycodone detox centers in New Jersey can help you manage your symptoms and learn how to stay sober.

Oxycodone is an opioid medication that is found in many prescription painkillers including Percocet and OxyContin. The medication was first used in 1916 by German researchers. Today, it is one of the most commonly abused prescription opioids. This medication works by activating opioid receptors in the brain to reduce pain perceptions, produce dopamine in the brain, and cause feelings of euphoria.[1] Unfortunately, this medication is highly addictive, and when abused, it has more dangers than benefits.

Differences between Oxycodone and OxyContin

Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction

If you abuse oxycodone over and over, your brain will become accustomed to the excess amounts of dopamine available. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps the brain process and understand pleasure and reward. As a result, repeated oxycodone abuse leads the brain to view the substance as a reward, perpetuating consistent drug use.

After a regular and constant flow of opioids to the brain, it will become dependent on opioids to function normally. This results in withdrawal symptoms when opioid-dependent users attempt to quit taking the drug they are addicted to. Oftentimes, many drug users will continue taking oxycodone simply to avoid getting sick and having to experience the withdrawal symptoms associated with their dependence.

If you have noticed that you don’t feel well when you aren’t taking oxycodone, you could be experiencing opioid addiction and withdrawal. A New Jersey oxycodone detox center can help you move past your symptoms and obtain the care you deserve.

Symptoms of Oxycodone Withdrawal

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are similar to those produced by other opioids. Many people compare opioid withdrawal to the flu.[2] These symptoms may consist of the following:

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

  • Yawning
  • Lacramentation (teary eyes)
  • Runny nose
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Shaking/trembling
  • Cold sweats
  • Chills/goosebumps
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of concentration

The amount of oxycodone you take, the frequency at which you take it, and other factors such as your metabolism, history of drug abuse, and overall health will all affect how long oxycodone withdrawal lasts. Most people begin experiencing symptoms in as little as 8-12 hours after taking their last dose and symptoms may last for 5-7 days.

You can expect your withdrawal symptoms to peak around 72 hours after your last dose. This is when the most severe withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings will occur. During this time, it is more important than ever to be at a detox program that is qualified to treat oxycodone addiction. Medical detox programs employ expert doctors and staff who can administer medications and help you cope with your symptoms.

Oxycodone Detox Programs in New Jersey

The most effective and comfortable way to detox from oxycodone is to follow a tapering schedule. A taper involves a careful and slow reduction in the dosage or amount of drug being taken. This allows the body to slowly get used to a lower and lower dose until you’re no longer dependent on oxycodone.

Opioid tapers are usually done using an opioid treatment program (OTP) involving medications like buprenorphine or methadone. Both buprenorphine and methadone are approved by the FDA in the treatment of opioid abuse and dependence. These medications activate opioid receptors without producing a high so they are less addictive, help reduce withdrawal symptoms, and manage cravings.[3]

Other medications that may be prescribed to you include clonidine for high blood pressure and anxiety, anti-nausea medications, anti-diuretics, and any mental health medications that are necessary. The good thing about drug detox programs in New Jersey is that they offer individualized treatment plans to each person, so no two treatment plans are the same.

When you enroll in an oxycodone detox program, the first thing that will happen is you will meet with an addiction specialist and a doctor. They will evaluate your medical history, current symptoms, and drug abuse to create a treatment plan that works for you. Then, throughout the detox process, you’ll have access to 24/7 care and support. In the event of a medical emergency, staff will be available to intervene. In the end, going to a medical detox center is the best way to ensure your safety, comfort, and success during detox.

Find a Drug and Alcohol Detox in New Jersey Today

Beating oxycodone addiction isn’t easy, but it’s completely possible. Detox, however, is only the first step. We also encourage you to participate in inpatient or outpatient rehab to learn about your addiction, your triggers, and how to develop coping skills that will help you stay sober. Our addiction treatment program in New Jersey is here to help you achieve all of those goals. Pick up the phone and contact us today to get started on your recovery journey.



Medically Reviewed: January 26, 2021

Dr Ashley

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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