OxyIR Detox

OxyIR detoxification brings a drug-dependent person to a drug-free state. OxyIR contains oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opioid pain reliever that drug manufacturers make from derivatives of the opium poppy plant. The “IR” in OxyIR means it is an immediate release formula, which relieves pain quickly. Purdue Pharmaceuticals produces OxyIR in a 5 mg tablet for oral use.

Doctors prescribe OxyIR to treat moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone, the active ingredient in OxyIR, is a commonly prescribed pain reliever. In 2010, U.S. pharmacists dispensed 58.2 million prescriptions for drugs containing oxycodone. Most people use OxyIR as prescribed but some abuse this drug for non-medical reasons, either to get high or to treat a condition other than the one the doctor intended to treat when she wrote the prescription. About 5 million Americans use OxyIR and other painkillers for non-medical use every year.

The oxycodone in OxyIR works with the nervous system to change the way the brain perceives pain signals. Other nervous system effects include relaxation, sedation, and a pleasant feeling of euphoria. Opioids cause other neurological and physical changes throughout the body. Long-term use or high doses of OxyIR causes these changes to become more permanent and affect the way the individual thinks, feels and behaves. In time, these cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes interfere with the individual’s ability to hold a job, take care of responsibilities, or interact with others.

Anyone can become dependent on OxyIR, whether he uses this drug as part of prescribed therapy for chronic pain or for non-medical reasons. The human body adapts to the presence of certain substances, including the oxycodone in OxyIR. When someone uses OxyIR regularly, his body begins to depend on a certain level of oxycodone to feel normal: this person is now opioid-dependent When opioid levels fall, the body struggles to achieve a drug-free state. Medical specialists refer to this as detoxification.

The patient experiences his body’s struggle for OxyIR detoxification through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that begin a few hours after the last dose of OxyIR and persist for five or more days. Withdrawal symptoms fade as the body completes the detoxification process and do not return unless the individual again becomes opioid-dependent. Someone can stop the detoxification process and its associated withdrawal symptoms at any time by taking more opioids, but relapse reverses the effects of detoxification and returns the patient to an opioid-dependent state.

Detoxification can also refer to the medical process of lowering opioid levels and addressing withdrawal symptoms through medications and professional supervision. According to statistics cited by the Institute of Addiction Medicine, almost 2 million Americans are opioid-dependent; these individuals will need to participate in some form of detoxification to achieve an opioid-free state. An opioid-dependent person might try self-detoxification at home, or engage the help of professionals through inpatient or outpatient facilities.

While OxyIR detoxification brings patients to an opioid-free state, it does little to change the behaviors that could lead the patient back to drug abuse. Most opioid-dependent people benefit from rehabilitation to learn how to lead a drug-free life. Rehabilitation often includes counseling and behavior modification to teach patients how to identify situations that could lead to drug abuse and how to refuse OxyIR when offered.

OxyIR detoxification helps patients enter rehabilitation and remain there long enough to reverse some of the neurological and physical changes that alter the patient’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors. OxyIR detoxification promotes abstinence, and reduces the frequency and severity of drug use episodes when they do occur. Detoxification restores as much of the patient’s former life as possible, helping him get back to work, take care of his responsibilities and interact with others.

Types of Detox

Unpleasant and prolonged withdrawal symptoms prevent many people from completing the detoxification process. Over the years, doctors have tried different approaches to taming these withdrawal symptoms in hopes of helping more people achieve an opioid-free state.

Experts estimate that, in 2001, more than 21 million people in the United States needed treatment for alcohol or drug abuse problems, including dependence on OxyIR. Of these that needed help, only about 10 percent got it at a specialty facility, such as an inpatient hospital, outpatient clinic, or mental health institution. Everyone else tried to overcome substance abuse issues at home, with the help of a private physician, in an emergency room, or while incarcerated in prison or local jail.

Self Detox

When a patient takes OxyIR for a long time to treat pain associated with a chronic condition, his doctor might recommend he wean himself from opioids by taking a smaller dose each day - just enough to cover withdrawal symptoms - until he completes this self-detoxification process.

Self-detoxification typically takes place at home. It is most appropriate for those who do not suffer from chronic or severe opioid dependence, and do not have any underlying health issues or co-existing substance abuse problems.

Cold turkey

While tapering works for most people, persistent withdrawal symptoms prevent some from completing the detoxification process. These individuals might try quitting cold turkey by discontinuing OxyIR abruptly. Quitting cold turkey causes severe withdrawal symptoms, especially if the individual does not take any action to reduce these symptoms.

Natural remedies

Some people decrease the intensity of OxyIR detoxification through natural remedies, consuming certain herbs, vegetables, soups and juices to ease withdrawal symptoms. Someone might take chamomile or cayenne to stop diarrhea, for example, or use ginger or peppermint to combat nausea. Others try acupuncture, yoga, massage, or meditation to enhance the body’s response to OxyIR detoxification.

Many people take a scientific approach to self-detoxification, creating treatment plans that use prescription and non-prescription drugs to ease symptoms. One well-known plan is The Thomas Recipe, which calls for Librium or Xanax to calm the patient and help him sleep, vitamin B6 with supplements and hot baths for muscle aches or restless legs, Imodium for diarrhea and L-Tyrosine for a burst of energy.

Medical Detox

Outpatient and inpatient clinics offer medication-assisted treatment, or medical detoxification. Doctors give patients opioid and non-opioid drugs to control withdrawal symptoms. Medical OxyIR detoxification improves the likelihood patients will complete the detoxification process and participate in rehabilitation.

Many people are familiar with the phrase “methadone maintenance program.” About 100,000 Americans use a methadone maintenance program to prevent the detoxification process from occurring, so the patient does not experience withdrawal symptoms. Patients come to an approved methadone clinic each day to drink a beverage containing a weak dose of this opioid. Since methadone is an opioid, therapeutic doses of methadone prevent withdrawal symptoms but they do not get the patient high. The patient participates in rehabilitation while taking methadone. He then weans himself from methadone at a later day.

Outpatient clinics now use methadone and buprenorphine to help patients wean themselves from OxyIR and other opioids at home. Patients start out on a high induction dose that curbs withdrawal symptoms then takes smaller doses of methadone or buprenorphine during the tapering phase. Tapering can take days or weeks.

Outpatient detoxification is appropriate for patients who have a chronic substance abuse problem lasting longer than a year but do not have any underlying health issues or substance abuse problems that might complicate treatment.


A German chemist first synthesized methadone as a pain reliever in 1939. In 1964, doctors tried using methadone as a response to an epidemic of heroin use sweeping across New York City, and realized its potential for treating opioid dependence. The FDA approved methadone for use in the treatment of opioid dependence in 1972. Today, doctors prescribe methadone as a pain killer, as part of a maintenance program, and to help opioid-dependent people complete the detoxification process.


Doctors now prescribe buprenorphine as part of a drug maintenance program or as part of medically supervised withdrawal. While there is no set tapering schedule, some patients can complete detoxification in as little as a week, spending the first one to three days in the induction phase and tapering after the fourth day.

The patient places a buprenorphine tablet under his tongue, where it dissolves and enters the bloodstream.

Suboxone and Subutex

Some people abuse buprenorphine intravenously to get high by dissolving the tablet before injecting the drug into a vein. Drug manufacturers deter this abuse by adding naloxone to the brand name buprenorphine preparations, Suboxone and Subutex. When taken under the tongue as directed, naloxone has little to no effect on the consumer. When used intravenously, however, naloxone neutralizes the effects of buprenorphine so that the consumer does not get high. Furthermore, intravenous administration of naloxone causes withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent consumer.

Inpatient care provides the greatest level of support through OxyIR detoxification, as doctors can prescribe powerful anti-withdrawal drugs while observing the patient closely. Physicians might administer hydroxyzine or promethazine for nausea, Loperamide to stop diarrhea, and Clonidine to soothe watery eyes, sweating and restlessness.

Inpatient OxyIR detoxification is appropriate for anyone who desires medications to ease withdrawal symptoms along with extra support and structure to avoid relapses. Inpatient care is right for anyone with a documented history of not participating in or benefiting from other less restrictive approaches. Inpatient care helps those who are at risk for severe withdrawal symptoms or complications, and for those with co-existing illnesses or substance abuse problems that may interfere with OxyIR detoxification.

Inpatient OxyIR detoxification is necessary for anyone recovering from an overdose, or who otherwise cannot receive treatment safely as an outpatient. Those with serious mental disorders should participate in inpatient care, especially those suffering from acute psychosis, depression with suicidal thoughts, and those who may present a danger to their own safely or to the safety of others.

Rapid Opiate Detox

Rapid detox rids the body of opioids in a safe and efficient way, bringing the patient to an opioid-free state in just one or two hours. Specially trained anesthesiologists sedate and anesthetize the patient before administering the standard detoxification and anti-withdrawal drugs so the patient dozes in comfortable “twilight sleep” during OxyIR detoxification.

Rapid detox improves the detoxification experience for all patients by bringing patients to an opioid-free state in a short amount of time, free from withdrawal symptoms that may have prevented success in the past.

Our detox center: Who we are and what we do

We are a group of highly qualified, board-certified anesthesiologists and other medical professionals who provide rapid detox procedures for opioid-dependent patients. We have delivered compassionate and effective care to thousands of patients since opening our doors more than a decade ago.

We treat our patients as people, not as drug addicts. We understand that each patient is unique with different needs. We prescreen patients in our fully accredited facility to spot any underlying conditions that may interfere with treatment then develop a personalized treatment plan to bring the patient to an opioid-free state efficiently and safely. After completing OxyIR detoxification, patients may continue treatment in our qualified aftercare facility.

Detox Comparisons

Choosing a form of treatment can be confusing. It is often helpful to compare the various approaches to OxyIR detoxification to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Without the cost of anti-withdrawal medications or professional guidance, self-detoxification is the least expensive way someone can achieve an opioid-free state. Unfortunately, without the benefits of anti-withdrawal drugs and professional support, self-detoxification can result in uncontrolled withdrawal symptoms and relapse. Someone can complete self-detoxification in one to two weeks.

Outpatient detoxification offers anti-withdrawal drugs and professional counselors to help patients complete the OxyIR detoxification process. Outpatient OxyIR detoxification reduces the risk for complications and relapse. Some outpatients can complete OxyIR detoxification in one to two weeks, while many others remain on methadone or buprenorphine for weeks, months, or even years.

Inpatient care usually employs stronger anti-withdrawal drugs than a patient can secure for use in home treatment plans such as The Thomas Recipe, so inpatients experience less severe withdrawal symptoms than those who try self-detoxification. Inpatient care also provides the greatest level of support and supervision to guide patients through the detoxification process and protect patients from relapse. Inpatient care brings patients to an opioid-free state faster than through self-detoxification or outpatient care: a patient stays at an inpatient facility for an average of 4 days, compared with 197 days for medication-assisted therapy through an outpatient clinic.

As compared with any other treatment plan, rapid detox is the most efficient and humane approach to OxyIR detoxification. Rapid detox provides complete detoxification, bringing the patient to an opioid-free state in the least amount of time. Because they doze comfortably through the detoxification process, rapid detox patients are the least traumatized by uncomfortable and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms.

Detox Possible Complications

OxyIR detoxification is not usually a death-defying process but severe and prolonged withdrawal symptoms, underlying illnesses, co-existing alcoholism or other substance abuse problems, pregnancy and acute or chronic OxyIR abuse may cause dangerous complications.

The primary complication associated with all approaches to OxyIR detoxification is relapse to opioid use. Some patients return to opioid use to stop the pain of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification, while others relapse after completing the detoxification process.

Relapse increases the risk for fatal overdose. OxyIR detoxification decreases the individual’s tolerance to opioids, making his body more sensitive to the effects of oxycodone. This reduced tolerance makes it possible for someone to overdose on a smaller dose of OxyIR than he used to take before experiencing even minor withdrawal symptoms for a short time. In 2008, overdose from oxycodone and other opioids killed 14,800 people in the United States, claiming more lives than overdose from cocaine and heroin combined.

Self Detox Possible Complications

Without the protection of anti-withdrawal drugs, prescreening for underlying or co-existing conditions, and professional supervision, people who attempt self-detoxification are at special risk for developing complications. For example, extreme and protracted vomiting or diarrhea can cause dehydration and imbalances of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes.

Withdrawal symptoms can worsen a pre-existing condition to cause unexpected and sometimes serious complications. OxyIR detoxification can cause an increase in blood pressure, pulse and perspiration that can aggravate some heart conditions. Patients already suffering from pre-existing anxiety orders may feel overly anxious during OxyIR detoxification. OxyIR detoxification can cause the return of pain in those who take opioids to relieve chronic pain caused by a long-term illness, such as cancer or arthritis.

Outpatient Care Possible Complications

The medications and professional guidance provided by outpatient clinics reduce the risk for complications associated with withdrawal symptoms, but outpatient detoxification does pose the risk for different complications that could interfere with treatment.

Patients may grow dependent on the replacement drug and have trouble quitting methadone or buprenorphine at the appropriate time. Harvard Medical School Publications estimate one-quarter of patients who take methadone as part of a drug maintenance program eventually quit drugs completely while another 25 percent stay on methadone permanently. A full 50 percent of patients on methadone maintenance go on and off this replacement drug for the rest of their lives.

While methadone sales account for only about 2 percent of the prescription painkiller market, methadone overdoses account for about one-third of all opioid pain reliever deaths. The number of deaths associated with methadone overdose is rising - in 2009, there were 5.5 times as many deaths associated with methadone as there were in 1999.

Inpatient Detox Possible Complications

While inpatient OxyIR detoxification provides the greatest protection against withdrawal symptoms through thorough prescreening, anti-withdrawal drugs, professional treatment plans and ample supervision, some inpatients do experience complications. Patients withdrawing from multiple substances are at special risk for complications, especially those detoxifying from alcohol, benzodiazepines, sedatives, or anti-anxiety drugs.

Rapid Detox Possible Complications

Rarely, a patient may suffer an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to the drugs used in rapid detox procedures. A patient may have trouble breathing or suffer increased blood pressure or heart rate after receiving strong sedatives. Someone might experience bruising, swelling or infection at the anesthesia injection site.

Detox Myths

Medical researchers have worked for decades to establish the facts about OxyIR detoxification, yet myths still prevent many people from getting the help they need to achieve a drug-free state. Exposing these myths encourages opioid-dependent people to seek qualified help during the detoxification process and continue treatment into the rehabilitation phase.

Self Detox Myths

Myth: Because it is not a life-threatening procedure, anyone can safely complete OxyIR detoxification at home - it is never necessary to spend money on medications or professional treatment.
Fact: While many people can reach an opioid-free state safely through self-detoxification, some suffer from co-existing illnesses or substance abuse problems that make self-detoxification unsafe.

Myth: Home remedies like The Thomas Recipe are safe and effective because they use prescription and non-prescription drugs to control withdrawal symptoms.
Fact: Combining prescription and over-the-counter remedies may cause dangerous drug interactions. Furthermore, only a doctor has the medical education and legal power to prescribe safe, effective prescription drugs.

Outpatient Detox Myths

Myth: Throwing drug addicts in jail is cheaper than treating them.
Fact: A year of imprisonment costs taxpayers about $24,000 per prisoner, while that same year of methadone treatments costs about $4,700 per patient.

Myth: Methadone rots your teeth.
Fact: Many medications, including methadone, cause a dry mouth. This can promote the development of dental plaque that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Methadone patients should drink plenty of water and improve dental hygiene by brushing and flossing at least once daily.

Myth: Methadone rots your bones.
Fact: Inadequate methadone doses may cause bone ache, a symptom of methadone withdrawal. Any methadone patient who suffers from bone ache should consult the prescribing physician to discuss increasing dosages.

Inpatient Detox Myths

Myth: It is pointless to treat opioid dependence as all drug addicts relapse eventually.
Fact: Opioid dependence and addiction are chronic conditions and share relapse rates similar to other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma. Even with treatment, relapse rates for drug addiction are 40 to 60 percent. Relapse does not mean treatment has failed - it just means the patient must return to treatment or consider a more aggressive form of treatment.

Myth: Communities do not have the money to waste on drug addicts these days.
Fact: Drug treatment actually saves money. Experts estimate that for every dollar spent on drug treatment programs, a community enjoys a return between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime rates, criminal justice costs and theft. Factor in healthcare costs associated with dependence, and these savings spring to a yield of $12 gained for every dollar spent.

Rapid Detox Myths

Myth: Pain and humiliation are important features of OxyIR detoxification - they teach the patient a lesson about abusing drugs.
Fact: Suffering is never an appropriate part of medical treatment. In fact, the uncomfortable and demoralizing withdrawal symptoms associated with OxyIR actually cause people to relapse. Rapid detox is the most humane approach to medical detoxification because it removes the unpleasant aspects of OxyIR detoxification, freeing patients to complete detoxification without pain or humiliation.

Myth: Complete detoxification takes days or weeks to perform.
Fact: Rapid detox brings patients to an opioid-free state in one to two hours. Patients remain in the hospital for couple of days to stabilize and recover.

Detox and Pregnancy
Opioid dependence increases the likelihood a woman will suffer from underlying illnesses, such as anemia, blood infections, heart problems, hepatitis, pneumonia, mood disorders including depression, and infectious diseases including tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV/AIDS. These conditions can complicate the health of a pregnant woman or unborn child. The mother may develop gestational diabetes, or blood sugar levels that fluctuate wildly during pregnancy. She may also develop other complications during pregnancy, labor and delivery, including hemorrhage and uncontrolled bleeding, separation or inflammation of the tissues shared between mother and baby, slowed fetal growth, spontaneous abortion, premature labor and delivery, or even fetal death.

Methadone reduces these complications and is currently the only approved approach to treating opioid dependence in pregnant women.

A baby born to a woman who takes OxyIR or other opioids during pregnancy may be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome and experience withdrawal symptoms and other complications during the first weeks or months of life. These babies may suffer from low birth weight, seizures, breathing problems, difficulty eating or death. Hospitals will typically keep these babies for close observation for 72 hours after delivery.

Self Detox and Pregnancy

An opioid-dependent woman may suffer complications during pregnancy that make self-detoxification unsafe. A pregnant woman should consult her physician before attempting self-detoxification, as methadone maintenance may be more appropriate.

Outpatient and Pregnancy

A pregnant woman may start methadone maintenance as an outpatient to prevent OxyIR detoxification from occurring until after she delivers her baby. A doctor will usually start a pregnant woman on 10 to 20 mg of methadone and increase dosages based on the woman’s response to treatment. A pregnant woman may need stronger doses towards the end of her pregnancy. The maximum methadone dosage for a pregnant woman is 60 mg.

Inpatient and Pregnancy

It is safer for pregnant women to start a methadone maintenance program in an inpatient facility where doctors can properly evaluate her response to treatment. In an inpatient facility, nurses closely observe the condition of the mother and perform fetal movement monitoring to assess how well the baby is tolerating methadone treatments. A pregnant woman can expect to remain in the hospital about three days as healthcare workers establish the proper dose and stabilize her condition.

Opiate detox symptoms

Symptoms associated with OxyIR detoxification tend to appear in two waves, with the first phase beginning a few hours after the last dose of OxyIR. Initially, the patient will seem agitated or anxious and may have trouble sleeping. He may experience muscle aches, watery eyes and a runny nose, along with excessive sweating and yawning.

Later the patient may develop stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. His pupils may dilate and become large and he may get goose bumps on his skin. These symptoms fade as the individual completes OxyIR detoxification.

What is the best method to detox from this drug?
The best method of OxyIR detoxification depends largely on the patient’s personal needs. The individual should assess her ability to refrain from drug use and her need for structure and support, and then choose a form of treatment that best reflects her capabilities. She should opt for the form of treatment that offers the most flexibility but is still likely to provide safe and effective care. The best form of treatment is the one the patient is most likely to participate in and benefit from.