Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

Oxycodone (also referred to as OxyContin and Roxicodone) is a high-risk prescription opioid that can cause physical or psychological dependence in a very short amount of time. Typically, oxycodone is prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain for short periods. However, even short durations of oxycodone can lead to addiction, even when prescribed for a legitimate purpose. Therefore, the decision to end oxycodone use is serious and may require involvement from a healthcare professional at the minimum and, often, assistance from a detoxication program to ensure safety.

Oxycodone is an opioid agonist, meaning the medication causes certain receptors in the brain to become more active, which provides pain relief. The actual effect of oxycodone lasts roughly 3-12 hours, depending on its formulation; however, the half-life (the amount of time it takes the body to process half of the drug) is only 3-5 hours.

This can result in a vicious cycle where a person is in a state of constant need for oxycodone to prevent them from feeling pain. Unfortunately, this cycle quickly develops into a physical and psychological dependence, which often results in its overuse and, subsequently, the experience of withdrawal symptoms when they stop using oxycodone.

Common symptoms of oxycodone (opioid) withdrawal include:

  • Mood disturbances
  • Heart palpitations
  • Body aches and cramps
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety/restlessness
  • Increased sweating
  • Increased pain sensitivity

Treatment For Oxycodone Addiction

Determining the best treatment options for oxycodone addiction will be different for everyone, as many factors contribute to a successful recovery. These factors include how long oxycodone has been used, how much is being used, how it’s been taken (e.g., snorting or orally), and if any potential medical conditions could be of concern. Additionally, treatment professionals will consider things like age, sex, ethnicity, and other important information to help provide patients with the most appropriate programs.

Treatment options range from minimal restriction, such as an outpatient facility, to complete comprehensive care, including hospital detoxification at a residential facility. The best option will often be decided by current medical needs and what ensures the safest results.


Detox is the first step in the treatment process for oxycodone addiction. Over time, the body can form a physical and psychological dependence on oxycodone, which can lead to uncomfortable, and potentially painful, withdrawal symptoms once a person stops using it.

Many people relapse during oxycodone withdrawal, as the symptoms can be too intense to manage on their own. Others may simply continue using oxycodone to feel normal and avoid withdrawal altogether. Whatever the case, it is always recommended that detox from oxycodone be done under medical supervision, as it not only provides the highest level of comfort, but the best chances for success as well.

There are several different options when choosing where to detox from oxycodone, including outpatient or inpatient detox.

Featured Centers Offering Detox for Oxycodone Addiction

Outpatient Detox

An ambulatory detox program can commonly be found in outpatient methadone clinics, Suboxone treatment programs, and intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Outpatient detox programs are run by specialized medical professionals that assist in detoxification services or medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and provide behavioral health services such as individual or group therapy simultaneously to assist in behavioral health symptom management.

During outpatient detox programs, treatment professionals often ease patients into detox due to the lack of 24/7 medical care. This not only makes the detox process more comfortable but will also reduce the risk of life-threatening conditions occurring. In addition, this option can be useful for working individuals who have difficulty finding time for traditional treatment program hours of operation and for those who continue to experience some form of pain and may require other medication options that are incorporated within MAT.

Programs like these can be helpful for some; however, they generally work best for individuals with mild to potentially moderate substance use conditions. However, it is not a viable option for individuals who struggle with severe opioid use, as little accountability is available.

Inpatient Hospital Detox

For those who have moderate to severe oxycodone use disorders, it’s highly recommended they seek care at a medically supervised detox program due to the potential for medical complications during the withdrawal stage.

These programs include 24/7 monitored care by physicians, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and technicians. They also include behavioral health professionals such as psychologists and therapists to assist with symptom management. Together, these multidisciplinary teams will provide care that includes medical and psychiatric assessments and the proper medical plan to treat each aspect of an individual’s medical needs.

Inpatient detox programs can either be attached to a larger hospital in the local area as a separate wing or be their own freestanding hospital specifically designed to treat substance use conditions. Many of these programs are available locally and take many forms of insurance, just like any other hospital. Medical treatments are all approved by standard medical guidelines and offer excellent care to ensure the safest detox possible. These hospitals are designed for the detox phase of treatment, so stays within the facility can range between 5-10 days on average, depending on symptom management and the presence of additional medical concerns.

Though these programs are shorter, they will frequently refer individuals to continued levels of care, typically at an inpatient or outpatient facility, depending on what is best for that patient. Detox is the first phase in treating an oxycodone addiction; however, it does not treat the underlying factors that often result in continued oxycodone use.

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Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehab involves admission to a treatment facility full-time, where patients receive 24/7 medical supervision during their stay. In these programs, this level of care helps to address substance use disorders, co-occurring mental health conditions, and other behavioral health issues that may be present alongside substance abuse.

Residential Treatment Centers

Residential treatment programs that include detox programming combine the professional medical care of inpatient hospitals with the therapeutic care of residential treatment programs.

Typically, these programs last 30 to 90 days. The longer someone stays at a residential treatment program, the higher their chances of long-lasting sobriety, so it is often recommended that people stay at least 90 days and sometimes longer.

This level of treatment is also an excellent option for those who struggle with co-occurring oxycodone use and mood disorders that can develop when pain is experienced frequently. For those with a co-occurring disorder, such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or depression, healthcare professionals can treat both the addiction and the mental health disorder at the same time.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab is generally considered to be a less restrictive type of substance use treatment. In outpatient programs, patients are not admitted to a facility, and often complete a few hours of treatment each day, returning home after each visit. These environments are ideal for working individuals, those who may find it difficult to find childcare, or those with more mild cases of substance use disorders. Many people choose to attend outpatient rehab after completing 30 to 90 days of inpatient treatment.

Doctors Office

The healthcare provider that initially prescribed oxycodone should have a plan to discontinue the use of the drug. This plan includes lowering the dosage until there is no longer a risk of withdrawal symptoms developing. This is done while ensuring the conditions that induced pain have been appropriately treated. Chronic pain conditions can be more difficult to treat; however, the medical field has moved away from using opioids like oxycodone to treat long-term chronic pain conditions.

It is possible to safely end oxycodone use after a short-term prescription if it’s done so under medical supervision. However, because the main complaint for most who receive oxycodone is pain, the pain will likely still be an issue unless it is properly treated. This process leads to people trying to continue using oxycodone for much longer than is medically recommended or seeking the medication elsewhere outside their medical provider’s office, leading to more significant concerns.

Outpatient Therapy

Psychotherapy provides an opportunity for an experienced professional to assist in the early stages of recovery. They should be able to answer questions, provide support, and assist in getting to the root cause of substance abuse. There are a variety of methods available, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and specific therapies, like EMDR, that have pain management strategies that may be beneficial for individuals struggling with oxycodone withdrawal.

Create An Aftercare Plan

After completing treatment at an inpatient or outpatient treatment center, it is essential to have an aftercare plan. Rehabs will assist in creating this plan that may include continued therapy, medication assisted therapy, support groups, and potentially time in a sober-living home. There are many programs available to provide support.

Leaning on trusted friends and family for support and accountability can help you be successful in your recovery. Support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can add a special level of support, as you’ll be able to build relationships and connect with others who have had similar experiences to you and can provide insight on strategies to stay on the path of recovery.

Break Free From Oxycodone Addiction Today

Deciding that you are ready to live a life free of oxycodone addiction is the first step in a brave journey towards sobriety. There are so many resources available to you. Depending on withdrawal symptoms, severity, and lifestyle, your local hospital, detox center, or residential treatment center can offer different levels of support.

Contact a treatment provider today to discuss your options.