OWS is not your fault

Anyone who takes opioids for more than a few days—even with a prescription—can feel the physical symptoms of withdrawal when they suddenly stop taking opioids or reduce their opioid dosage.4 That’s why it’s important to remember that opioid withdrawal is not your fault. And you’re certainly not alone.

The severity and length of withdrawal symptoms depend on the type of opioid and how long it is active in your system6

  • For shorter-acting opioids, such as Percocet®, OxyContin®, or Vicodin®, withdrawal symptoms peak within 2 to 3 days and last for 7 to 10 days
  • For longer-acting opioids, such as methadone, withdrawal symptoms peak at 3 to 4 days, but may last for 14 days or more

All product names are registered trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

The likelihood of TAKING OPIOIDS LONG TERM increases most between 5 days to 1 month of use9

Tolerance leads to physical dependence

Physical opioid dependence is a condition that often occurs after a person repeatedly takes opioids.10

  • People with physical dependence will experience the physical symptoms of withdrawal when they stop taking opioids
  • Stopping opioids resolves physical dependence after a person gets through withdrawal

People with physical opioid dependence may not crave opioids, but they still experience symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal upon discontinuation.7 This is a key difference between physical opioid dependence and Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).


LUCEMYRA® is not a treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), which is also called opioid addiction. If you have been diagnosed with OUD, your healthcare provider may prescribe LUCEMYRA as part of a complete treatment program for your OUD. This program continues after LUCEMYRA treatment is completed and may also include maintenance medications combined with behavioral counseling.

People who are physically dependent on opioids may be at risk of
developing Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a combination of symptoms and behaviors related to substance use that can occur in people with or without a legitimate need for pain relief. This includes11:

  • People with a long-term, uncontrollable urge/craving to continue taking opioids despite not having a legitimate medical need
  • People with a medical condition that requires opioid pain relief, who then take far more opioid medication than is needed for pain relief

Addiction is now part of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).10


  1. Kleber HD. Opioids: detoxification. In: Galanter M, Kleber HD, eds. The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press, 1999:251-69.
  2. Rosenblum A, Marsch LA, Joseph H, Portenoy RK. Opioids and the treatment of chronic pain: controversies, current status, and future directions. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2008;16(5):405-416.
  3. Shigakova F. Clinical manifestations of the opiate withdrawal syndrome. Int J Biomed. 2015;5(3):151-154.
  4. Polston GR, Wallace MS. Analgesic agents in rheumatic disease. In: Firestein GS, Budd RC, Gabriel SE, McInnes IB, O’Dell JR, eds. Kelley and Firestein’s Textbook of Rheumatology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. 2017.
  5. Vernon MK, Reinders S, Mannix S, et al. Psychometric evaluation of the 10-item Short Opiate Withdrawal Scale-Gossop (SOWS-Gossop) in patients undergoing opioid detoxification. Addict Behav. 2016;60:109-116.
  6. Kosten TR, O’Connor PG. Management of Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal. N Engl J Med. 2003;348:1786-1795.
  7. Kosten TR, George TP. The neurobiology of opioid dependence: implications for treatment. Sci Pract Perspect. 2002;13-20.
  8. US Department of Health and Human Services. Facing Addiction in America. The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. November 2016.
  9. Shah A, Hayes CJ, Martin BC. Characteristics of initial prescription episodes and likelihood of long-term opioid use — United States, 2006–2015. MMWR. 2017;66(10):266-269.
  10. Volkow ND, McLellan AT. Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain–Misconceptions and Mitigation Strategies. N Engl J Med. 2016;374(13):1253-1263.
  11. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5™). Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
  12. Weiss RD, Potter JS, Griffith ML, et al. Reasons for opioid use among patients with dependence on prescription opioids: the role of chronic pain. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014;47(2):140-145.