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OxyContin, the brand name for the powerful narcotic oxycodone hydrochloride, is used to treat moderate to severe pain. OxyContin works by affecting the brain and changing how the human body feels and responds to pain. However, OxyContin is one of the most abused prescription drugs in the US because it can produce a euphoric effect at high doses.

It is commonly confused with oxycodone, the main ingredient in OxyContin. OxyContin differs from pure oxycodone because it contains a time-release feature to help people manage their pain more efficiently during a 24-hour period. However, people who abuse OxyContin often crush the pills and snort them, bypassing the time-release effects of the drug.

People addicted to OxyContin who abruptly stop taking the drug experience what is known as OxyContin withdrawal. The withdrawal process happens because the body is attempting to function without the drug in its system. Withdrawal symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anxiety, and blurry vision.

On the street, OxyContin is known as “Blue,” “Oxy,” “Hillbilly Heroin,” “Kicker,” “Oxycotton,” “40,” for a 40-milligram tablet and “80,” for an 80-milligram tablet. The federal government classifies OxyContin as a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning the medication has high potential for abuse.


Heroin Signs

The signs and symptoms vary in each stage of withdrawal. For example, someone with a milder addiction may not suffer from hallucinations or severe pain that often accompanies the more severe withdrawal phase. Below are the symptoms to be aware of if you suspect you or a loved one are suffering from withdrawal.

Once a dependence on the drug has been established, which doctors say can happen just after a few weeks of use, it can be difficult to stop. There is no one way or best way to withdraw from OxyContin.

The severity of withdrawal for the addicted person will vary according to age, genetics, medical history, daily use habits, and environment, among other things. These factors influence how long withdrawal lasts and how severe those symptoms are.

If three or more of the symptoms occur within the first 24 to 48 hours after the last dosage of OxyContin, contact 911 immediately.

  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Dysphoria
  • Fatigue
  • Involuntary leg movement
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Restlessness
  • Shaking/sweating

Heroin Timeline

The duration of withdrawal differs for each user. Depending on the age, duration of the addiction, pre-existing medical conditions, and the number of pills abused, an addicted person can suffer from withdrawal for seven or more days. The initial stages of withdrawal are usually when the worst symptoms are felt. After the first five to seven days, symptoms reduce or lessen as the body begins to adjust back to its normal state.

The first two to three days are considered among the most challenging of withdrawal; it also is the period when users are more susceptible to relapse. Withdrawal symptoms may begin to set in anywhere within 24 hours after the last dose taken begins to wear off. This is when users in withdrawal may experience abdominal cramps, flu-like symptoms, and increased irritation. This stage of discomfort can last for a few days.

After the first 72 hours of withdrawal, symptoms continue as the person abstains from using the drug. An inability to sleep, shakes, and intense cravings for the drug are experienced during this time.

Symptoms start to subside and even out as the body becomes normalized during the second week of withdrawal. Sleep patterns may start to improve, but abdominal pains, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting may occur.

Users start to feel better physically, but may still find themselves managing anxiety, depression and other psychological effects, such as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), as a result of long-term abuse of the drug.


Heroin Treatment

For many people, withdrawal is an uncomfortable experience and will require professional treatment to successfully stop using the drug. In some approaches, detoxification, which rids the body of OxyContin, is the first step. Other medicines may accompany this process to help ease other symptoms and manage and reduce symptoms.

Before starting treatment, clients are given an assessment to help determine which program would be best suited to their recovery needs. During detox, clients are monitored by medical professionals who monitor their health, progress, medicine intake, and more. The length of detox can vary and depends on each individual’s situation.

  • Methadone or Buprenorphine: As a milder opiate, these drugs are used to treat opiate addiction by blocking pain, discomfort, and other common withdrawal symptoms. Addicts suffering from a severe addiction may rely on these drugs for a long period to stop withdrawal symptoms, which is known as methadone maintenance.
  • Clonidine: This sedative is used in detox to treat anxiety, hypertension, and high blood pressure.
  • Chlorpromazine (Thorazine): An antipsychotic, this drug is used for opiate withdrawal to treat mental or mood disorders, anxiety, and restlessness.

After detox, clients can also start a recovery program where they can relearn coping skills and strategies to manage the issues that started them to use drugs. Recovery programs include the following options:

  • Residential Rehabilitation Programs: This option requires clients to live at a secure center for a period while they undergo treatment, typically for about 30 days. The facility offers a structured environment that promotes health and wellness for the client in recovery.
  • Outpatient Treatment Programs: These programs allow more flexibility for clients who need a less-structured schedule because they have responsibilities to their family, a job or their education. This program also allows people to maintain more control over their schedule as well as their privacy.
  • Mental Health Dual-Diagnosis Treatment: Dual-diagnosis addresses and offers mental health care as well as substance abuse treatment for the client. If the client meets the criteria for a mental health disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, among others, they might want to consider dual-diagnosis treatment.

Heroin FAQ

Oxycodone is an opioid pain medication that is found in OxyContin. Though both are used to treat pain, they have distinct differences. OxyContin has a time-release feature that releases the medication in the body in 4- to 6-hour intervals throughout the day. Since OxyContin is stronger, it allows the patient to take less of it, but it’s more addictive.

The initial recommended dosage for patients who are not opioid dependent is 10 mg orally every 12 hours. But depending on your medical condition, it is best to consult with your physician so they can prescribe the recommended dosage to treat your pain.

The long-term effects of withdrawal can lead to a person depending on opioid treatment for the rest of his life or severe pain. Many addicts rely on methadone maintenance to block withdrawal symptoms, but the biggest risks are overdose or developing a heroin addiction.

The long-term effects of withdrawal can lead to a person depending on opioid treatment for the rest of their lives or severe pain. Many addicts rely on methadone maintenance to block withdrawal symptoms, but the biggest risks are overdose or developing a heroin addiction.

The best way to help a loved one with an addiction is to convince them to enter a detox or treatment program. Also, you may be enabling the addiction by giving them money and other resources, therefore, cutting off those resources may convince your loved one to seek help. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from addiction, call our hotline today.



At a drug rehab center, you can start your recovery with a healthy support group of trained clinical staff, other like-minded recovering addicts, and addiction counselors that only want you to succeed.


Addiction treatment programs will vary by individual and substance, depending on the severity of his addiction and whether other treatment methods need to be included, such as dual-diagnosis or holistic therapies.


Some medications that could be used in OxyContin treatment include buprenorphine, Suboxone, and methadone. Medicines for non-pain health conditions may also be administered, such as for diabetes and high blood pressure.


People who have used oxycodone for long periods will likely experience withdrawal symptoms should they decide to suddenly reduce their use or stop it altogether. Symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal are often an unpleasant but necessary experience to endure before one can get on the path to recovery.

The safest way to end dependence on oxycodone is get help from medical professionals at a detox or drug rehab facility. Medical supervision will keep users safe as they cope with the symptoms, which are uncomfortable but rarely life-threatening. Getting medical help with drug detox also may reduce the possibility of relapse.



of all U.S. opioid-related drug overdoses involve a prescription opioid like OxyContin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone.


of people are prescribed opioids in office-based settings, despite not being diagnosed with pain-related causes.


of of high school seniors that have abused prescription opioids have gotten them for free from a family member or friend.