Roxicodone Withdrawal

Withdrawal from opioids such as Roxicodone is an uncomfortable process endured by an increasing number of people in the United States. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. hospital admission rates for opioids, not including heroin, skyrocketed by 414 percent between 1997 and 2007. This rise parallels the rate at which Americans consume opioids; even though the U.S. represents only about 5 percent of global population, Americans consume about 80 percent of the world's opioids. The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, says, "Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States." While illicit opioids are still a problem, the CDC reports that since 2003, there have been more overdose deaths from opioid pain relievers than from heroin and cocaine combined.


Withdrawal symptoms are a normal and predictable consequence of a sudden drop in the level of opioids in the body of a person who is physically dependent on these drugs, in a process known as detoxification. Withdrawal manifests itself in a variety of overpowering physical symptoms that can last five or more days as the levels of Roxicodone toxins slowly decrease; psychological symptoms of withdrawal may last much longer.


The human body adapts to the presence of certain substances in the body, including Roxicodone. The body even becomes tolerant of certain chemicals, which means it takes an ever-increasing amount of opioids to cause the intended euphoric or pain-relieving effect. With continuous use, the body may become dependent on the chemical, which means the individual must maintain a certain level of Roxicodone for the body to feel normal. If the level of Roxicodone drops rapidly, the body struggles to maintain its chemical balance. This struggle manifests itself through uncomfortable, flu-like withdrawal symptoms.


About 9 percent of people abuse opioids at some point in their lives, either to get high or to treat a medical condition for which the prescription was not intended. This is known as using a drug non-medically.

Roxicodone withdrawal symptoms are painful and demoralizing, but usually not life threatening.


Withdrawal from Roxicodone is typically associated with physical symptoms similar to the flu, but withdrawal also causes psychological symptoms whose demoralizing affects can be just as overpowering as the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Symptoms of Roxicodone withdrawal typically occur in two waves. The first set of symptoms usually begins 12 hours after the last dose of Roxicodone and includes agitation, anxiety, muscle aches, watery eyes, insomnia, runny nose, sweating and yawning. Later symptoms include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, dilated pupils, goose bumps, nausea and vomiting.


Physical symptoms of Roxicodone withdrawal last five or more days, with the worst symptoms occurring on or about the fourth day.

Physical symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever, Runny Nose or Sneezing
  • Goose Bumps and Abnormal Skin Sensations
  • Hot Sweats and Cold Sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Low Energy Level
  • Muscle Aches or Pains
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Rigid Muscles
  • Runny Nose
  • Shivering, Tremors
  • Teary Eyes
  • Yawning


The psychological symptoms of Roxicodone withdrawal are demoralizing and pose a substantial obstacle to recovery, especially when left untreated or undertreated. Psychological symptoms can dissolve an individual's resolve to attempt recovery. Roxicodone withdrawal leaves many feeling demoralized and unworthy of leading a fulfilling life without Roxicodone.

Psychological symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Restlessness
  • Social isolation

Possible Complications

While Roxicodone withdrawal itself is not life threatening, dangerous complications may arise during withdrawal, especially when detoxification is attempted without the help of a medical professional. One such possible complication is aspiration, which is vomiting and then breathing the stomach contents into the lungs. Aspiration may result in fluid in the lungs or infection. Extreme and extended vomiting and diarrhea associated with withdrawal may result in dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

The largest complication associated with Roxicodone withdrawal is the return to opioid abuse. A person who has recently attempted Roxicodone detoxification faces a greater risk for overdose because detox reduces tolerance to opioids; even after abstaining for a short time, he can overdose on a much smaller dose than he used to take.

Treatment options

Abuse and physical dependence to opioids such as Roxicodone is a growing epidemic among American adults and youth. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 23 million people in the United States over the age of 12-years needed treatment for alcohol or substance abuse in 2010; of these, only about 11 percent received treatment at a specialty facility. Just over 5 percent of admissions to publicly funded substance abuse programs were for treatment of opioid abuse. These treatment facilities assist individuals in overcoming physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms during detoxification and rehabilitation.


Many individuals attempt self-detoxification without the help of trained professionals. This is called "going cold turkey" in reference to the cold, clammy, pale and bumpy appearance the skin takes on during withdrawal - the skin resembles a plucked turkey. Self-detoxification is grueling, painful and not terribly effective without medications to reduce Roxicodone withdrawal symptoms.

Some people develop a homemade treatment plan including drugs to reduce Roxicodone withdrawal symptoms. One such remedy is The Thomas Recipe, in which individuals take Xanax, Ativan or some other anti-anxiety medication to ease anxiety and insomnia, along with anti-diarrhea drugs, vitamins and supplements to ease muscle aches and reduce overwhelming lethargy. The hope is to make it past the fourth day of withdrawal symptoms, after which the individual weans himself from the anxiety medications.

While the Thomas Recipe and other homemade treatment plans may reduce the duration and severity of the detoxification process somewhat, these forms of self-detoxification frequently lead to complications such as aspiration, dehydration and relapse.

Relapse is a significant complication associated with Roxicodone withdrawal. Without professional assistance, an individual may try to "come clean" several times before he is successful. Each time he returns to opioid use, he risks overdose due to lowered tolerance.

Overdose is a life threatening medical emergency that requires immediate attention. Emergency department physicians administer naloxone and other drugs to lower opioids to non-toxic levels. Once the patient is stable, he may participate in rehabilitation to address the underlying issues that lead to Roxicodone abuse.

Drug Replacement Therapy

Patients who are in otherwise good condition may opt for drug replacement therapy, or DRT, in which he takes methadone, Suboxone or buprenorphine instead of Roxicodone so that he does not experience withdrawal symptoms while he learns to live without illicit drugs. DRT medications last longer than other types of opioids and do not produce the intense euphoric effects. The individual then weans himself from DRT medications after he participates in behavior modification.

Many people have a difficult time stopping DRT. Harvard Medical School cites estimates that 25 percent of methadone DRT patients eventually abstain, another 25 percent continues to take the drug and 50 percent go on and off methadone. Withdrawal symptoms set in within 30 hours of the last dose of methadone, longer than for most opioids.

Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, refers to any substance abuse treatment plan that includes pharmacological intervention to reduce the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMSA, this medical intervention:

  • Improves Survival
  • Increase Retention in Treatment
  • Decreases Illicit Opioid Use
  • Decreases The Risk for Hepatitis and HIV
  • Decreases Criminal Activities
  • Increases Employment
  • Improves Birth Outcomes for Pregnant Women Battling Addiction

Inpatient Detoxification

Many individuals participate in inpatient detoxification therapy before engaging in rehabilitation. During inpatient detoxification, doctors administer naloxone and other medications to lower Roxicodone levels, plus more drugs to combat the ensuing symptoms of withdrawal. Nurses monitor the patient for complications. While this approach lessens the severity and duration considerably, the patient must still withstand several days of uncomfortable physical symptoms and disheartening psychological distress. Once detoxified, the individual may participate in rehabilitation.

Rapid Detox

Rapid Detox is considered to be the most humane, efficient way to detoxify the body from Roxicodone abuse. During rapid detox, board certified anesthesiologists administer the standard medications to lower opioid levels alongside sedatives and anesthesia. The patient rests in a comfortable "twilight sleep" during detoxification, and awakens with no memory of the withdrawal process. Rapid detox is quick and comfortable, putting the patient in a better position for successful rehabilitation.


Rehabilitation for Roxicodone abuse and withdrawal may take place as an outpatient, inpatient or in a long-term residential setting. Individual counseling, group counseling and other behavioral therapies are commonly used rehabilitation techniques. Rehabilitation is not one-size-fits-all; no single treatment is appropriate for everyone and effective treatment addresses the multiple needs of the individual, not just her drug abuse. Many people with drug abuse problems also have other mental illnesses, such as depression.

Rehabilitation specialists continually assess the patient's condition and modify treatment plans to fit the individual's changing needs. Monitoring is necessary to prevent relapses. The patient should also be screened and treated for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases common in drug abusers.

Treatment should be readily available, enabling the individual to remain in treatment for an adequate amount of time. Treatment does not have to be voluntary to be effective; legal coercion tends to keep individuals in treatment longer than those free to choose rehabilitation.

Proper treatment helps many individuals overcome Roxicodone withdrawal and reduces the risk for relapse.