The Road to Recovery: An Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

This article will help you understand the stages of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline and learn how to manage symptoms effectively. 

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline: What Is Oxycodone?

Understanding the oxycodone withdrawal timeline is an essential step in preparing for the journey of recovering from addiction. If you or a loved one are suffering from oxycodone, it is important to learn more about it and the ways you could recover from the drug. 
Substance use disorder is currently a global problem. There are several substances that have been implicated in its development. One common prescription medication linked with addiction is oxycodone.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

What is Oxycodone Used For?

Oxycodone is a potent prescription opioid medication. It is used to manage moderate to severe pain when other non-opioid pain relievers are ineffective.

It works by changing how the brain and nervous system respond to pain. Oxycodone is sold under several brand names. These include OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Percocet (a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen).1

Oxycodone Misuse and Addiction

Oxycodone is a legal medication prescribed by a healthcare provider. However, it also has the potential for misuse and addiction due to its ability to produce feelings of euphoria, relaxation, and reduced anxiety in users.
Misuse can occur when someone takes the drug in a manner or does something other than prescribed.

How is Oxycodone Classified?

Due to its potential for misuse, oxycodone is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance in the United States. 

This means it is legally available only through a prescription but also has a high potential for abuse. Thus, it can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.2

Is Oxycodone Addictive?

Oxycodone is highly addictive. As a potent opioid, oxycodone binds to the opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other areas of the body.
This binding reduces the perception of pain and triggers the release of dopamine.3 Dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward.
This release of dopamine can lead to a sense of euphoria. This is particularly the case when oxycodone is taken in higher-than-prescribed doses. The feeling of euphoria oxycodone elicits makes it prone to misuse and addiction.

Understanding the Types of Addiction

Oxycodone addiction can be both physical and psychological. These addictions:
  • Physical Addiction: Physical addiction occurs when the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug and requires it to function normally. When oxycodone is stopped abruptly or significantly reduced, withdrawal symptoms can occur.
  • Psychological Addiction: Psychological addiction, on the other hand, involves a perceived need or craving for the drug. The craving is often to experience its euphoric effects or to avoid the discomfort of withdrawal. This psychological aspect can make it very difficult to stop using oxycodone even when it is no longer medically necessary.

Important Considerations

The risk of developing an addiction to oxycodone increases with drug misuse. It’s important to note that not everyone who uses oxycodone will become addicted. People can use the drug responsibly under medical supervision for pain management without developing an addiction.
It’s crucial to remember that oxycodone addiction is a treatable condition. There are a variety of treatments available, including medications to ease oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline: Symptoms of Oxycodone Use

Oxycodone use, particularly misuse, can result in a variety of symptoms. So, it’s important to recognize potential signs of misuse or addiction. 

These symptoms are also crucial as they can mark the beginning of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline if a user decides to stop.

Indications of Oxycodone Use

Below are some key symptoms of oxycodone use:
  • Pain Relief: Oxycodone is an opioid medication that relieves moderate to severe pain. It alters how your brain and nervous system respond to pain.
  • Euphoria: Oxycodone can induce euphoria, especially in higher-than-prescribed doses. This sensation can lead to misuse of the medication. It may signal the starting point of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline if the user decides to quit.
  • Respiratory Depression: Oxycodone can slow breathing. This can be dangerous when it’s used at high doses. It can also happen when oxycodone is combined with other substances that depress breathing, including alcohol or benzodiazepines.4
  • Confusion: Users of oxycodone may also experience confusion, particularly in older adults. This can affect the individual’s ability to make sound decisions, including decisions to stop use.
  • Physical Dependence and Withdrawal: Chronic use or misuse of oxycodone can lead to physical dependence. As the body becomes accustomed to oxycodone, stopping or reducing the dosage can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tolerance: Over time, regular oxycodone use can result in the body building a tolerance to the drug. This increases the risk of overdose and can influence the severity and onset of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline.

What Does Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline Look Like?

Understanding the oxycodone withdrawal timeline can be vital in successfully navigating the path to recovery from opioid addiction.
Withdrawal from oxycodone involves a series of stages, each associated with specific symptoms. The oxycodone withdrawal timeline can vary greatly among individuals.
However, it generally follows the same process. The stages of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline include the following:

Early Stage (6-12 hours after the last dose)

The initial stage of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline typically commences within 6 to 12 hours. This refers to the hours following the last dose for those using immediate-release oxycodone.
This stage can be characterized by symptoms that resemble the flu. They include muscle aches, anxiety, restlessness, sweating, runny nose, and sleep disturbances.

Peak Stage (72 hours after the last dose)

Next on the oxycodone withdrawal timeline is the peak stage. Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms generally reach their peak around the 72-hour mark. During this peak phase of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline, early symptoms may intensify.
People may experience additional symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Psychological symptoms such as irritability and depression may also peak during this stage of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline.

Additional Stages to the Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

Oxycodone withdrawal timeline may vary from person to person based on different factors. The additional stages to the oxycodone withdrawal timeline include the following:

Subacute Stage (1 week after the last dose)

The oxycodone withdrawal timeline enters the subacute phase approximately a week after the last dose. At this point in the oxycodone withdrawal timeline, the intensity of physical symptoms usually begins to lessen.

However, psychological symptoms like anxiety and cravings can persist or even become more severe. The risk of relapse is high during this phase too. This is because people might be tempted to use oxycodone again to alleviate these symptoms.

Protracted Withdrawal Stage (several weeks to months after the last dose)

Following the subacute stage, the oxycodone withdrawal timeline can extend into a protracted phase. This is also known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). 

During this stage of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline, people might experience lingering psychological symptoms, such as mood disturbances and continued drug cravings.

It also includes symptoms like sleep issues and a generalized feeling of discomfort. These symptoms can persist for several weeks to months following the cessation of oxycodone use.

Recovery Stage (several months to a year after the last dose)

Recovery continues after the immediate stages of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline. In this stage, individuals learn to manage occasional cravings for oxycodone, especially in the face of triggers.

This final stage of the oxycodone withdrawal timeline is where long-term therapy and support groups come in. They play a critical role in helping the individual maintain sobriety and prevent relapse.

Effective Strategies for Managing Symptoms During Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

Successfully navigating the oxycodone withdrawal timeline requires a range of strategies and interventions. Many of these are most effective when carried out under medical supervision.

Here are some effective techniques for managing symptoms during the oxycodone withdrawal timeline:

Medical Detoxification

This is typically the first step in the oxycodone withdrawal timeline. It is usually done under the supervision of medical professionals in a detoxification facility. 

The purpose is to safely manage the physical symptoms of withdrawal, which can be severe.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Certain medications can be used to help alleviate the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. They also help reduce cravings and decrease the likelihood of relapse.
Some common medications used in MAT include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. A medical professional must supervise the use of these medications.

Physical Care

Proper nutrition, hydration, and rest are essential during the oxycodone withdrawal timeline. Withdrawal can be physically demanding. 

So, providing the body with the nutrients and rest it needs can help ease some symptoms and promote recovery.

Psychological Support

Therapy and counseling are key elements of a comprehensive treatment plan. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help individuals understand the causes of their addiction. 

It can help them develop coping strategies, manage cravings, and address any underlying mental health conditions.

Other Effective Strategies for Managing Symptoms

There are several other strategies to consider when you are managing your symptoms during the oxycodone withdrawal timeline.

Potential additional strategies include the following:

Support Groups

Peer support can be invaluable during the oxycodone withdrawal timeline. Support groups provide a safe, understanding environment for people to share their experiences. 

They’ll also be able to learn from others in similar situations, including Narcotics Anonymous and SMART Recovery.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

This includes techniques like mindfulness meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises. They can help manage stress, reduce anxiety, and improve mood during the oxycodone withdrawal timeline.

Physical Activity

Regular, gentle exercise can boost mood, reduce anxiety, and promote better sleep. All of these can be beneficial during oxycodone withdrawal.

Medically Supervised Tapering

In some cases, doctors may recommend a gradual reduction of oxycodone dosage rather than abrupt cessation. This approach, called tapering, can help to lessen the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

Long-term Aftercare

After the initial withdrawal period, long-term aftercare is crucial to maintain recovery and prevent relapse. This may include ongoing therapy, regular check-ins with a healthcare provider, and continuing participation in support groups.

While withdrawal is a significant step in overcoming oxycodone dependence, it’s just the first step in a long journey toward recovery. Addiction is a chronic condition, and managing it requires ongoing care and support.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Timeline

How Can Choice House Help?

Are you currently struggling with oxycodone withdrawal? If you are looking for help, Choice House is here for you. We provide excellent, evidence-based therapies, a sense of community support, and purpose-driven treatment modalities to help men effectively overcome their addiction challenges.

In addition to this, you should know that highly trained and experienced specialists will handle your detox, so you won’t have to worry about poor management of symptoms that may appear during withdrawal.

With a focus on trauma and attachment, we provide targeted support for individuals dealing with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Healing in Boulder, Colorado

At Choice House, we are committed to empowering men to regain autonomy and maintain long-term sobriety from oxycodone.

Let us guide you on the path to recovery and help you regain control of your life by determining what is the best way to prevent relapse. Contact us at 303-578-4981 to talk to our admissions team, fill out our online contact form, or email us at

We can’t wait to meet you and get you started on your journey to freedom, personal growth, and lasting sobriety.
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