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Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline and How a Medical Detox Center Can Help

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oxycodone withdrawal timeline and treatment

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 13 million Americans abuse oxycodone every year.[1]

Oxycodone is an opioid medication used to treat severe pain. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as narcotic analgesics (pain medicines). It is intended for short-term use as it is highly habit-forming and addictive.

When an individual becomes addicted to oxycodone, they will develop a physical dependency. This means that if they attempt to cut down or stop using the drug completely they will experience symptoms of withdrawal. The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal timeline can become extremely distressing, causing individuals to relapse to soothe their symptoms.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline and Symptoms: What to Expect

The withdrawal symptoms associated with oxycodone addiction can be difficult to deal with, especially if an individual is attempting to detox at home. More often than not, detoxing without a medical program leads to relapses and overdoses, as the individual attempts to take the same dosage of oxycodone as they did before stopping the medication. However, medical detox centers in Massachusetts can help patients cope with the effects of withdrawal.

The symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:

  • Irritability and agitation
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Body aches
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart arrhythmias

Withdrawal symptoms usually begin to appear 8 to 12 hours after the individual’s last dosage. The symptoms peak, becoming the most severe at around 72 hours of detox. While these symptoms usually subside within a week, the cravings for oxycodone and psychological symptoms of withdrawal can persist for weeks or even months.

The oxycodone withdrawal timeline heavily depends on the type of medication an individual was taking. Immediate-release oxycodone has a half-life of 3 to 4 hours, while extended-release has a half-life of 12 hours.[2] How the drug was administered (swallowing, smoking, snorting, or injecting) plays a role in the timeline of withdrawal as well.

How Can a Medical Detox Center Help with Oxycodone Withdrawal?

Oxycodone withdrawal can be painful and extremely uncomfortable, but medications can be administered to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. Opioid detox centers in Massachusetts help patients through the detox process using a combination of medications and supportive care.

Detox Medications

The most common medications used to treat the symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include methadone and buprenorphine. These opioid dependence treatment medications work to soothe the symptoms of withdrawal and reduce opioid cravings.

Methadone is a long-acting full opioid agonist, meaning it activates the brain’s opioid receptors to make the individual feel as if they have taken oxycodone. This helps them overcome withdrawal symptoms and taper off of the opioid substance safely and effectively.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. This means it activates the opioid receptors just enough to alleviate symptoms, however, it does not produce psychoactive effects similar to oxycodone and other opioids. This prevents individuals from experiencing the effects they were addicted to while experiencing the same benefits as methadone treatment.

24-Hour Supervision and Support

During a detox program, each patient has access to 24-hour supervision and support. Dealing with detox can be extremely difficult, especially when considering that the individual’s coping mechanism was taken away. Detox programs have licensed mental health professionals ready to help patients throughout the oxycodone withdrawal timeline.

Holistic Therapies

Opioid detox centers also use holistic therapies to help manage the symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal and reverse any damage that the substances caused the individual. For example, nutritional therapy helps patients replace the vitamins and minerals that became depleted during opioid addiction.

According to a study, “Malnutrition is a major consequence due to substances not only replacing nutrients but interfering with the metabolism of nutrients. In chronic opioid abuse, B vitamin folate deficiency occurs and has a disastrous eوٴect on the digestive system.”[3]

Additionally, yoga and meditation are used to help individuals soothe symptoms of pain and psychological symptoms like anxiety or depression. These practices help individuals be present in the moment, increase levels of calmness, and let go of past traumas associated with addiction.

Group Counseling

Lastly, group counseling sessions are used in detox facilities to help individuals gain insight into their issues and receive support from their peers. Being able to interact with individuals who are going through similar issues as themselves allows patients to feel less alone.

This improves the psychological symptoms of withdrawal and prepares patients for inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment, which heavily relies on the use of individual and group therapy for addiction recovery.

oxycodone withdrawal treatment and timeline

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Get Connected with a Massachusetts Opioid Detox Center Today

Oxycodone addiction – or any opioid use disorder for that matter – is not an easy thing to go through. Because of this, if you or a loved one suffers from an addiction to opioids you should seek professional help. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment Center can provide you with the medical detox services you need and allow you to transition into residential treatment immediately after. This provides you or your loved one with all of the tools you need to recover, all within one location. Contact us today to get connected with a Massachusetts opioid detox center.


  1. https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/manhattan-us-attorney-announces-conviction-local-doctor-unlawfully-dispensing-more-12
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17525040/
  3. https://hosting.uaa.alaska.edu/afpmc/Cunningham_JAddictionResearch_Therapy.pdf
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Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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