There are many ways to get off oxycodone. The purpose of this article is to provide you with the different options available while listing the pros and cons of each. For a detailed plan on how to get off oxycodone at home, I highly recommend reading my article How to Wean Off Oxycodone at Home. It’s a step-by-step manual for having a safe and mild oxycodone detox from home.
How Long does is Take to Detox from Oxycodone?
That depends on many things, but the two main criteria determining how long it will take you to detox from oxycodone are:
- The length of time you’ve been using oxycodone for.
- The quantity of oxycodone you’ve been using.
Other criteria that play a role:
- Whether or not you’ve been tapering oxycodone, and if so, for how long.
- Whether or not you’re using opiate withdrawal medications or natural supplements.
For example, imagine a man named Mike and a woman named Laura are getting off oxycodone. Mike has been using an average amount of 100mg per day for 2 years. Laura has been using an average amount of 50mg for 6 months. They are both detoxing from oxycodone at home cold-turkey. So all other things being equal, it should take Mike longer to detox. Detoxing from oxycodone usually takes between 4-12 days, with the worst symptoms occurring between days 3-4.
6 ways of Getting off Oxycodone
It should be mentioned that getting off oxycodone is never easy. Regardless of which method you choose there is always going to be some discomfort involved. Furthermore, detoxing from oxycodone can be very expensive if you choose to go to any kind of treatment center.
Note: The following list of options should help you decide which method for getting off oxycodone will best suit your individual needs and financial capabilities.
1) Detox Facility
This is a very popular method how to get off oxycodone. It is generally viewed as the safest method.
- You receive medications that significantly reduce oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
- The treatment usually only takes 3-7 days.
- You’ll have doctor and nurse supervision while detoxing from oxycodone.
- It can cost several thousands of dollars without insurance.
- It doesn’t help with delayed withdrawal symptoms over the next few weeks.
If you’re going to choose this method for how to get off oxycodone, it’s a good idea to have a plan for after detox. Going straight back to the environment in which you were abusing oxycodone often leads to a quick relapse.
Some alternatives are:
- Inpatient residential treatment
- Sober living
- Moving to another town
Note: Employing these strategies doesn’t guarantee sobriety, but usually they’re a better alternative than repeating the same pattern that landed you in detox.
2) Ultra Rapid Opiate Detox
UROD is the quickest way to detox from oxycodone. Unfortunately, it’s also the most dangerous and the biggest shock to your body. It involves putting you under general anesthesia while simultaneously administering the opioid-antagonist drug naltrexone.
The naltrexone quickly eliminates all opiates out of your system and you don’t feel withdrawal symptoms do to being unconscious. The procedure takes 4 hours with a total hospital stay of 1-2 days for recovery. Some facilities no longer perform this procedure do to a small percentage of patients (about 1/500 or 1/1000) dying afterwards from unknown causes.
- It’s the fastest method for getting off oxycodone.
- You experience minimal withdrawal symptoms do to heavy sedation.
- Naltrexone eliminates oxycodone out of your system rapidly.
- There are no known studies that show it can help people achieve long-term abstinence.
- It’s dangerous due to you being under full sedation.
- It’s extremely expensive.
- Patients often report feeling horrible for a few days after the procedure is over.
- Insurance doesn’t cover treatment.
- A study involving 106 heroin addicts showed that ultra rapid opiate detox has results comparable to regular detox or a single dose of suboxone for withdrawal; the study concluded there is no advantage to this method and the potential health risks make it an undesirable form of detox.
Note: When I first heard of this method I thought I thought it was a bit excessive, though some people have stated it worked well for them. In the end it comes down to individual preferences.
The most popular method how to get off oxycodone is using an opiate replacement medication (ORM). Suboxone, Subutex and methadone are ORMs that have become widely prescribed for getting off oxycodone. They all have the ability to mimic the effects of opiates while reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
They can be used short-term for a few days to a few months to help transition you off oxycodone. The main problem with these medications is they often become a long-term opiate replacement, which can be harder to come off than oxycodone if not done correctly.
When Suboxone was first released in 2002 it was praised as the new revolution in opiate addiction treatment. However, in the last 12 years study after study have shown that somewhere around 90% of patients relapse after stopping Suboxone therapy regardless of time on the medication.
Furthermore, many individuals will plan on using it for a few days or a few weeks then end up using it for years. I have personally seen Suboxone and other medications work very well for some people while I was a counselor at an opiate treatment program, though I found the 90% relapse rate referred to above to be quite accurate.
Suboxone works by mimicking the effects of opiates while simultaneously blocking the effects of any other opiates taken. It achieves this because of the two chemicals in Suboxone: buprenorphine and naloxone.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid-agonist. Naloxone is an opioid-antagonist. Here’s an example to illustrate how Suboxone works:
Oxycodone and other opiates work by filling up the opioid receptors in your brain.
Once this receptor site is filled it “turns on”, which means you start to experience the effects of oxycodone. Imagine that this receptor site is a keyhole. Opiates are the key that turn it on. Suboxone works because it’s a key that fits into the keyhole.
Buprenorphine is the opiate-mimicking agent, while the chemical naloxone will block the effects of any other opiates taken. The naloxone acts as a deterrent to abusing illicit opiates while undergoing Suboxone treatment.
Subutex is much like Suboxone, but there is one difference. Subutex is composed only of buprenorphine, so it doesn’t contain naloxone.
This is the most powerful ORM and has been around the longest. While subutex and suboxone are only partial-opioid agonists, methadone is a full-opioid agonist, meaning it’s a much stronger medication. It’s used for the most severe cases of opiate addiction.
Note: Unless you’re taking several hundred milligrams of oxycodone per day, you shouldn’t need methadone. All of these medications can work well for getting off oxycodone if used correctly, though there still remain pros and cons just like any other option.
- Much less expensive than detox; usually a few hundred to several hundred dollars per month.
- Covered to varying degrees by different insurance plans.
- They allow you to continue going to work and taking care of family responsibilities.
- They can reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- The longer you are on these medications, the harder it is to detox off of them.
- You are still physiologically dependent on a substance; though the substance is legal and prescribed.
- The relapse rate is very high coming off these medications.
- There is a social stigma associated with these medications, particularly methadone.
4) Ibogaine Treatment
Ibogaine is a naturally occurring psychoactive substance found in Tabernanthe Iboga, a root that grows in Africa. It is commonly used by the Bwiti people for medicinal and spiritual practices. In the 1960’s it started to gain popularity as having anti-addictive properties.
Although it has been used to treat addiction to alcohol, nicotine, methamphetamines, crack and other drugs, it’s most well-known for treating opiate addiction.
This powerful hallucinogen can stop even the most severe opiate withdrawal symptoms.
What’s more, in the majority of cases it not only stops withdrawal, but it also eliminates or significantly reduces opioid cravings for several months after treatment. How is ibogaine able to do this? It is theorized that ibogaine binds to a myriad of receptor cites, including the opioid receptors. Ibogaine supposedly resets your biochemistry, restoring your brain to it’s pre-opiate addiction functioning.
Ibogaine has been referred to as an addiction interruptor. This means that it if you really work on improving your life during the months that follow treatment, there is a high chance you can stay clean long-term.
If you squander your time hanging out with old friends and engaging in the same behaviors, you will likely return to active addiction. This is a very important time. Those few months post-ibogaine many people feel physically and mentally healthy and recharged, while simultaneously not craving opiates.
This positive momentum can be the catalyst to get your life back together. The people that waste this time usually relapse.
When I worked at an Opiate Treatment Program (OTP), I met 4 people that all quit heroin using ibogaine therapy, though they all relapsed within 2 years and eventually ended up on methadone. Some people need to do ibogaine 2-3 times before they clean up permanently. Ibogaine is currently illegal in the United States due to it being a Schedule 1 drug, meaning the FDA believes it to have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse.
Ibogaine treatment centers operate legally in the following countries:
- The Carribean
- Central America
- South America
- Many countries in Europe
- Appears to be a very effective way how to get off oxycodone and stay off long-term.
- Resets your brain chemistry to it’s pre-addicted state, thereby eliminating dependence, withdrawal symptoms and even cravings.
- Many report having spiritual experiences that help them stay clean.
- Ibogaine costs several thousands of dollars.
- It’s illegal in many countries so usually travel becomes necessary.
- People have died from it when used incorrectly.
- It’s a powerful psychedelic.
Note: Ibogaine is such a potent psychedelic that it probably won’t ever be legal in the United States. Researchers are currently trying to produce a medication from the Iboga root that will provide the opiate withdrawal benefits without the psychedelic properties. If they accomplish this, then hopefully in the future it can be a legal treatment option in the U.S.
A tropical deciduous and evergreen tree, kratom (or kratum) is indigenous to Southeast Asia, where it’s leaves are chewed to uplift mood and to treat health problems. It was banned from use in Thailand 70 years ago because it was reducing the Thai government’s tax revenue from opium distribution.
Kratom acts as an opioid-agonist, which means it binds to the opioid receptors, thereby easing opiate withdrawal symptoms. There are different strains and they are said to have different effects. Kratom is legal in the United States and every other country except Australia, Burma, Malaysia and Thailand.
What interests me is that in small doses it acts as a stimulant, while larger doses produce tranquilizing effects.
I never knew about kratom while I was addicted to opiates, but had I known I certainly would have tried it. When I worked at an opiate treatment facility patients were often fearful of coming off methadone, suboxone and subutex. At this point I knew about the legality and properties of this plant, so I informed them of what I had learned.
It surprised me that so few of them used it to transition off their tapers, I suspect do to their unfamiliarity with it coupled with fear of the unknown. There was one girl, however, that informed me she used kratom to come off methadone successfully with minimal withdrawal symptoms.
Note: Kratom is usually ingested by making tea, swallowing capsules, or adding the powder to beverages. There are many online stores that sell kratom which have pictures of the different strains, as well as descriptions of their effects – e.g. whether they are mostly to relieve pain, enhance mood, stimulate, or any combination of these effects in different magnitudes.
- A partial opioid-agonist that eases oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
- Kratom is Legal or unregulated in many countries.
- It’s available for purchase online.
- It’s Inexpensive compared to many other oxycodone detox options.
- If you become addicted to kratom it also has significant withdrawal symptoms associated with it.
- It’s still a powerful drug that you’re taking.
- You won’t be medically overseen by any professionals.
6) How to get off Oxycodone at Home
As I mentioned earlier, you can read the detailed article I wrote to learn how to get off oxycodone at home in detail. To have success detoxing from oxycodone at home, there are a few things that should be done.
Tapering oxycodone will give you be the most effective strategy for having a mild oxycodone detox from home. Tapering oxycodone is the process of taking less of the drug over a period of time. For example, let’s suppose a man named Jerry is addicted to oxycodone. He’s been using an average amount of 120 mg of oxycodone daily for the past 2 years.
Rather than stopping abruptly, Jerry could start tapering oxycodone at the rate of 1o mg per week. This means that it would take him about 3 months to taper off oxycodone. Of course it’s also possible to taper oxycodone at a faster rate. Jerry might decide instead to start tapering oxycodone at the rate of 5 mg every day and finish his taper in less than a month.
Note: When devising tapering schedules remember this: tapering oxycodone slower is less of a shock to your body than a fast taper. This usually means you’ll experience less severe oxycodone withdrawal symptoms if you taper slower.
Exercising helps you produce endorphins, your body’s natural pain-killers. Walking, jogging, swimming and other forms of exercise can dramatically decrease oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Formulas
I highly recommend using an opiate withdrawal formula to help decrease oxycodone withdrawal symptoms.
The supplement I endorse is:
This has a combination of herbs, vitamins, minerals and other supplements that dramatically decrease oxycodone withdrawal symptoms. Many people have used opiate withdrawal formulas to lessen the severity of symptoms. If you can afford it, I also highly recommend taking these 3 supplements. These supplements have too many benefits to pass up.
Oxycodone Withdrawal Medications
Having certain medications can make getting off oxycodone a lot easier. Most people are afraid to ask their doctor for these medications because they want to hide their oxycodone addiction.
Here is a list of the best medications for detoxing off oxycodone:
- Gabapentin is used in large doses to stop the opiate withdrawal syndrome.
- Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan are used to reduce anxiety and insomnia.
- Clonidine is a blood pressure medication that can help take the edge off during oxycodone withdrawal.
- Loperamide HCL is used to stop diarrhea and stomach cramps.
- Over-the-counter medications such as Advil and Icy Hot can help relieve pain.
- It’s very inexpensive.
- If done properly it can work extremely well.
- You don’t have to go anywhere.
- You won’t have medical supervision.
- If you haven’t tapered oxycodone the natural supplements probably won’t be strong enough to make a huge difference.
- Since you’re not at a facility it’s easier to cave in and score some oxycodone to stop the withdrawal symptoms.
It’s never easy getting off oxycodone. For you to be successful it’s important to have a plan. After reading about the six methods how to get off oxycodone you should have a better understanding of what your options are. You should also be aware of the pros and cons of each. Click here now to view my best home detox program.
If you have any questions on how to get off oxycodone, please don’t hesitate to post it below in the comment box.