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After surgery, many patients go home from hospital on strong pain medication, for example, OxyContin or morphine extended release. You can experience narcotic withdrawal after having only been on strong pain medications for a few days to weeks. Having narcotic withdrawal does not imply that you are an "addict" but it is simply a normal physiological reaction to decreasing the medication too quickly. When you are in less pain, space out the interval of medication administration. For example, take the pain medication every eight to twelve hours instead of every four to six hours. Reduce the dose by no more than 50% per day. If you notice some withdrawal symptoms, you may take an extra dose of pain medication and reduce the dose even more slowly. Never run out of pills; plan ahead.