Quitting OxyContin "Cold Turkey"

Severe, life-threatening complications can arise if someone who's addicted to OxyContin tries to stop taking it "cold turkey." This means they stop taking the medication suddenly or abruptly without weaning or getting professional help with detox. This would cause almost immediate opioid withdrawal, which can be severe, affecting a person's physical and psychological wellbeing.

OxyContin is a narcotic prescription medication that is meant to treat moderate to severe pain that persists. It is often reserved for people with cancer or other terminal illnesses but in recent years, more doctors have been prescribing it for chronic pain conditions. The drug is supplied in tablet form with a controlled-release formula that allows the drug to be administered every 12 hours.

OxyContin is a Powerful Drug That Can Cause Dependence and Severe Withdrawal

OxyContin and other opioids, such as Vicodin, Fentanyl and Percocet, can cause a physical tolerance to develop. This means that patients may need increasingly higher dosages to achieve the same pain relief. Many people who take these medications long term develop physical opiate dependency. OxyContin addiction refers to both physical and psychological dependency and is often marked by patterns of misuse and abuse.

Opioid withdrawal can be very serious, especially among those who take the drug in large quantities or over a long period of time. It can develop within hours of last use and can be crippling, causing seizures and possible death. Patients who try to gradually step down their dosage can also become seriously ill and should not attempt this on their own. Symptoms of OxyContin withdrawal can include:

*Strong cravings that persist and possibly worsen *Muscle and bone pain *Crawling sensations *Nausea *Vomiting *Diarrhea *Body tremors and shakes *Restlessness *Extreme agitation *Depression *Aggression *Sleeplessness *Seizures

OxyContin Treatment Options Can Include Detox and Therapeutic Services

Trying to go through this alone can be very difficult and dangerous. There are plenty of options to choose from when trying to get off OxyContin. Some people hire a "home detox" service to assist in the detox process. This can also be dangerous because patients need to have access to medical personnel and facilities if something goes wrong. OxyContin detox is a difficult process if withdrawal isn't adequately treated. Home detox is often a bad idea because it doesn't offer the kind of support patients need at this time.

OxyContin treatment can be inpatient or outpatient, ranging from physical detox programs to OxyContin rehabs and rapid opiate detox. These options may also include aftercare in the form of intensive therapy or counseling in a group setting. Some facilities also encourage participation in a 12-step program. The length of stay at these facilities varies, and some rehab programs require weeks-long or months-long stays.