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How Long Does it Take to Get Addicted to OxyContin?

OxyContin is the brand name of the prescription opioid painkiller oxycodone. Even when taken as prescribed by a doctor, physical dependence and addiction can form. This can happen in as little as two weeks of daily use, and the longer you take it, the more dependent you become. Dependence happens even more quickly if you snort it or inject it.

There are two red flags that you are developing a physical dependence on OxyContin: First, you need to take more of the drug for it to have an effect. Building a tolerance to the drug means your brain chemistry is shifting to compensate for the drugs effects. Second, you keep taking OxyContin because you get withdrawal symptoms when you stop. Early withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and agitation, insomnia, muscle aches, excessive yawning, and flu-like symptoms. The presence of these withdrawal symptoms signals your body has adapted to OxyContin and can’t function normally without it.

Physical dependence is not the same as addiction, although the two are closely related. Addiction is more about your attitude toward the drug. Even if you have developed a physical dependence, you aren’t really addicted until the drug becomes a priority. While patients suffering from chronic pain may be physically dependent on OxyContin, the drug may allow them to resume some of their normal activities. Addiction is characterized by using the drug to the detriment of other areas of life, such as family, work, or school. In short, physical dependence is often part of addiction, but it is not necessarily the same.

Quitting OxyContin after dependence forms usually takes several weeks of slowly tapering down the dosage. This helps to minimize the severity of withdrawal symptoms. It is best done under a doctor’s supervision.

If your OxyContin use has escalated to the point of abuse and addiction, which may be indicated by your snorting or injecting it, or using stronger opioids, you may need to attend a clinical detox, where they can help you manage the more severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, muscle and bone aches, and severe flu-like symptoms. The intensity of withdrawal typically peaks around three days, but symptoms can persist for up to two weeks.

Unfortunately, OxyContin dependence and addiction has become extremely common. Many people who are ordinarily not at a high risk for developing addictions find themselves addicted to opioids prescribed by their doctors. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to OxyContin or other opioids, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-828-1050 or email us at to learn more.