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Can I Quit OxyContin Cold Turkey?

Withdrawal from OxyContin, or oxycodone, is not typically life-threatening, but it can be very unpleasant. If you have a strong physical dependence on OxyContin, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea, bone and joint pain, agitation and irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, shivering, and severe flu-like symptoms. Unless you have a preexisting condition, none of these symptoms should be dangerous, but they are likely to be painful. You may also become dehydrated from vomiting and diarrhea, which can make it worse.

OxyContin is a longer-acting opioid and it can take a week to get out of your system. This is a great feature if you’re dealing with chronic pain, but it’s a terrible feature when you’re trying to detox. It means instead of leaving your system in a matter of hours, it hangs around for days, dragging out withdrawal. This makes it especially difficult to quit cold turkey without relapsing.

It’s much better to taper off OxyContin, preferably under medical supervision. There are several advantages to detoxing in a clinic. First, there’s less possibility of relapse. If you try to taper by yourself, you can always decide just to take more, which will be tempting if you feel bad. Detoxing in a clinic keeps you honest and it’s a real commitment to getting clean.

Second, clinic staff can treat the symptoms, making detox less painful. This is especially important when you can’t sleep or your stomach is a total disaster. A clinic will also give you IV fluids and vitamins when you are admitted. Being properly hydrated and having some of your nutrition restored will make detox less painful and help you recover faster. Having medical supervision will also relieve your concern about your symptoms. Not knowing whether a symptom is something serious or just normal withdrawal can create a lot of extra anxiety. It’s nice to have medical professionals around to tell you not to worry.

Tapering off of OxyContin isn’t exactly fun, but it’s less bad than quitting abruptly. Going to a clinic can help the process go more smoothly and make sure you actually finish detoxing. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to opioids, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.