Smoking OxyContin

Smoking OxyContin may get you mildly high, but it also can burn your eyes and throat or damage your lungs. We review how smoking OxyContin affects your body and just how safe smoking OxyContin really is here.

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Are you considering smoking OxyContin, the controlled release version of oxycodone?

Before trying to smoke oxycodone or OxyContin, it’s important to have an idea of the risks involved. Not only is smoking Oxy less effective than taking OxyContin orally, but smoking OxyContin can be bad for your health. We welcome any questions about OxyContin at the end.

Does smoking OxyContin work or get you high?

Slightly. Medically, OxyContin uses center around pain management for pain that is moderate or severe in nature.  How does OxyContin work in the body?  By targeting the brain to change the way we perceive pain.  OxyContin can create feelings of euphoria, or a “high,” when taken. Though it’s normally taken orally, sometimes people will attempt to smoke OxyContin to get high – this is not the most effective method of delivery, however, and will probably have only mild effects.

What does smoking OxyContin do to you?

When you smoke OxyContin, the drug oxycodone is inhaled into the nose, lungs and sinus cavities and penetrates the mucous membranes, allowing oxycodone to quickly enter the bloodstream. But you’re not just inhaling the drug oxycodone when you smoke OxyContin – you’re also inhaling smoke containing fillers and binders from the medication. These chemicals don’t absorb into your body, so they can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and lungs. Not only that, but smoking OxyContin in the long-term can lead to serious respiratory illness.

Smoking OxyContin side effects

You can experience several side effects from smoking OxyContin:

  • burning of eyes or throat
  • coughing
  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • feelings of weakness
  • nausea
  • stomach upset
  • vomiting

Smoking OxyContin on tin foil

If you smoke OxyContin on tin foil, you’ll vaporize some of the oxycodone, which frees the drug to be inhaled. However, much of the drug will also be destroyed by the process, so you’ll get very mild effects, if any at all. You may be tempted to take more OxyContin than you would normally take because of this, but that’s a bad idea because of the fillers and binders in the medication.

Smoking OxyContin with weed

Combining OxyContin with weed is not a good idea. Both OxyContin and marijuana affect the central nervous system, so combining the two can result insignificantly impairing your coordination. That, combined with the effect of CNS depressants on judgment and perception, makes you more susceptible to accident or injury.

Is smoking OxyContin bad for you?

Yes. Smoking OxyContin is bad for you and has some major health ramifications. Because of the fillers and binders in the medication, smoking OxyContin causes physical damage to your lungs, throat, and eyes. Since it’s not a very effective method of delivering OxyContin, it’s a big risk to take when you might not even get any of the desired effects of OxyContin.  Additionally, smoking OxyContin is one of the prescription painkiller addiction symptoms which can lead to psychological dependency on oxycodone.

Can you smoke OxyContin?

Yes. It’s possible to smoke OxyContin. But is smoking OxyContin a good idea? Not really. Between the lack of effects it’s likely to have and the negative health effects of smoking OxyContin, this method of administration should be avoided.

Smoking OxyContin questions

Still have questions about OxyContin? Please leave your questions here. We do our best to respond to your questions with a personal and prompt reply ASAP.

Reference Sources: ToxNet: Oxycodone
PubMed Health: Oxycodone
PubMed: The controversy surrounding OxyContin Abuse: issues and solutions
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. Please, please,please, only take oxycontin as directed! Don’t listen to idiots that tell you to crush or smoke, ect.. The medication! I take it because I have to and they should coat all pain killers like they do long lasting oxycontin now. It would save a lot of lives and the DEA would stop taking away pain medication from legitimate pain patients like they are doing daily now!!

  2. Look, smoking oxy is a real thing. Kids, adults, rich, and poor alike will do it.. I used to only smoke pot. In college, I barely did any cocaine. After college, I began “dabbling” with cocaine and with the help of a “partner in crime” (not literal crime) girlfriend, over several months, the use turned to abuse. As a result of the coke abuse, I found it hard to sleep, and/or maintain the attention and energy to do my job (which by the way was a wall street job, with great pay, incentives and prospects). At times, I used Adderrol to stay awake and remain focused enough to do my job after a night of coke. If I wanted to sleep, I used percocet. Over time, I realize that the oxy’s were great when added to the cocaine. The problem with this was the withdrawal. Cocaine is extremely habit forming but (in my experience) doesn’t cause a severe physical withdrawal. Oxy does… and it does in mean way. It’s literally very painful to come off oxy. You MUST “taper” yourself off the drug. Because this “taper” requires discipline, patience and time, the user is very susceptible to relapse. For instance, if you take 30mg one evening with your cocaine, the next day you may very well feel horrible. You realize that if you take 20mg, you’ll feel fine, the sickness related to the withdrawal will likely go away. Alas, if you make it through the day without needing more, you will mostly likely need to take 15mg the next day in order to not be “sick.” …10mg the next day and so on. So, as you can see, it could be several days before are able to go without the drug without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. During this time, its easy for the user to say, well, “f!ck it, I’ll take 30 today and just take 15mg tmw. But it is a terrible idea. You must stick to your taper plan otherwise you’ll never get off. I dont know my point here but to all those with children who they suspect of abusing drugs, the best approach is to sit them down and explain to them that you will not be mad, you wont judge them and that you are there to help. Explain how dangerous it is to abuse these drugs, explain how hard it is to get off them, explain to them that people who abuse drugs typically end up in one of two places… dead or in jail. This is truth…stats don’t lie. My suggestion is to help them get off. Maybe try to control their intake by doling out there “medicine” to them yourself — each day lowering the dosage by say 5mg. If the person is abusing heroine, I strongly suggest switching to oxy and taper off the oxy. You really can’t control the dosage with heroine. It’s a street drug and you simply dont know how many Milligrams of the drug the person will require in order to not be sick. Going cold turkey is not something I suggest. Look, I’m no doctor, so perhaps seek their advice before listening to me. BUT, I can tell you all of this from first hand experience and getting clean on my own – after abusing oxy for several years. At my worst, I was smoking 10-15 of the 30mg oxy pills per day (side note: I can tell you for sure, that the tin foil with long streaks of equal width is absolutely oxy – not heroine. The user will use a sock or tissues to wipe the soot off the foil in order to continue to effectively use it). I experienced several lung infections at least twice and was weezing, coughing and coughing up significant amounts of mucus/phlegm. I weened myself off by first quitting smoking the drug. The first day of no smoking, I swallowed my medicine. Rehab was not an option or else I’d lose my lucrative wall street job. I also needed to perform, even while on vacation, so detoxing while on “vacation” wasn’t really an option for me either. I found that first day of no smoking, I need 5 of the 30mg pills during the day in order to not be sick. So the next day, I alloted myself 4.5 of those same pills. The next day, 4..and so on. At times, I would take the same dose for a couple days, and at times I reduced the dosage by only .25 of the pill (ie. I would go from 3.5 pills to 3.25 pills per day). I still experienced certain withdrawal symptoms. Stomach pains were commmon. Oxy makes you constipated. So as you take less, you “go more” — and it can be painful at times. Marijuana helped this – but of course, that was only an option after work. I also experienced lethargy. For this, I drank coffee, 5 hour energy and at times, some adderroll (10mg usually was sufficient). Look, adderoll and marijuana are certainly not ideal as you are trying to get drug free. But lets face it, oxy is a killer in so many ways – my opinion is to do whatever is necessary in order to get off that drug as soon as possible. Then deal with what remains. I doubt you’ll develop an adderroll or weed addiction as a result. Parents, this IN MY OPINION, is a chance to help you improve the relationship you have iwth your child. Become involved in his/her life, show them you care, you won’t judge or punish them for developing an addiction. Sending them off to rehab will interrupt their lives considerably, expose their addiction to many outsiders (employers, friends, family, girlfriends, etc..) and its also expensive. The oxy’s needed to ween yourself off will be expensive too – no doubt, but rehab is likely much more expensive. Support begins at home. You child will realize that they can trust you and come to you when they are in trouble. Send them off to rehab and they may very well resent you and your decision, which will likely results in relapse. If you decide to take my advice or some form of, remember, you’ve also got to be sure they are not obtaining the drug without your knowledge and doing more on their own. Tell them that if the dosage is too low and they simply need a bit more to fend off the sickness, then tell them you’ll simply start the taper at a higher dosage. But doing the drug on their own will make all your hard work for naught. Another important aspect is to keep them occupied. Spend time with them, have meals with them, movies with them, start a project (build a model car with your son, take your daughter for a facial, etc…). Anything to avoid idle time — because I know first hand that just sitting around can easily lead to just sitting around on drugs. They are going to have to want to stop but keeping busy makes this so much easier. They need to know the terrible repercussions for continuing to use the drug. You can’t lock them up, but be mindful of their whereabouts and who they are with. If you suspect a friend of theirs to be their supplier, tell your child this and request they simply not hang out until the addiction is conquered. Perferably the relationship should end there, but realize, they may resent this request and again, the child will act out and will be less likely to stick to the planned taper schedule. I’m not a great writer, but as I sit here on my friends computer, pouring my heart out onto the page, I’m hopeful this helps someone out there! It helped me conquer addiction and it helped my friend who I sit next to now. We keep each other honest, and out of trouble… Happy to answer more questions…

  3. I, too, suspect that my now-18 y.o. son is into opiates, shuffling between heroin (he admitted that) and oxycontin. My response is here is only to advise folks that urine tests can be easily manipulated by the user. Syringes filled with someone elses urine (sorry, but its true) are used to “pee in the cup or specimen jar”, masking chemicals are easily purchased on the web, warming pads are used to increase the temperature of the fake urine to seem more “authentic”, and on an on. I’ve seen it. My son fooled both the intensive outpatient therapy counselors AND his probation officer for months. If you are a loved one or parent, strip them down and then insure that they are not hiding the “equipment” in their remaining clothes. Sure it seems degrading, BUT if you want to know the truth, you will likely have to do it. I believe that federal legislation prevents health care professionals from being as intrusive as I have described, hence, the “parent or loved one” connection.

    1. Hello Night. OxyContin can be detected in urine for 1-3 days depending on the drug test itself, your metabolism, general health state, level of hydration, etc.

  4. My 17 yr old son was beat up July 13 for $240.00 with severe head trauma. He suffered much more anxiety, night terrors, panic attacks after that. 5 days after he talked suicide to his dad. 3wks later to me and at least 4 times in between. He was in counseling. His 200.00 10 day old tire was slashed Oct 17th 5 days prior to his suicide. He felt a burden and felt those ppl wld never leave him alone because he was prosecuting them. Mostly he wanted his pain to go away. His dad found a gun in his closet once with only 1 bullet in it about 2 1/2 mos. ago. I found same gun under his mattress 3 wks prior. It was the same gun he said belonged to someone that he borrowed from and supposedly took back that 1st time. The gun he used was a different one that had only 1 bullet in it. He was a very good lier. He promised he wld never commit suicide to hurt us that way. It all took its toll that Oct 22nd day. He lost $40.00 that he said he owed someone. He was very agitated. We told him we would give him the 40.00. He most likely needed it for a heroine fix. He left us heart broken & devastated. He was very intelligent, lit up the room with his humor and wit we and his friends say. He was 1st bullied 5 yrs ago by his black belt cousin. The last 3 years at least 8 times. I found this foil with black lines on it.
    He was such a kind, giving kid who people took advantage of. He was our world and we miss him so much! He has saved 6 people so far as a organ. Given sight to 2. His heart to a 15 yr old boy! Help 50+ with bone marrow and tissue. Our son is with God now in complete peace. R.I.P Cameron we love you so…..

  5. Hi Jbear. Oxycontin causes a pronounced constriction of the pupils of the eyes, which means the black part of the eye becomes much smaller than usual. If the pupil is of normal size, the person has not used opiates recently. Users will often appear as though they are very tired and are struggling to remain awake and “nodding out”. Oxycontin users often display apathy, depression, and act suspicious. So, you might be onto something. The average detection time for Oxycodone in urine is 8 to 24 hours, but opiates ususally stay in the system for about three days and they can will show up on drug tests.

  6. My grandson was born 2 and half weeks ago and had to be held in the nicu due to complications from opiate withdrawal. The mother says she took suboxone to wean herself off of the pain meds she had begun abusing after her prescription ran out following an injury from a car accident. I’m not sure how it is the baby began showing symptoms of opiate withdrawal since she and baby both tested clean at the hospital and she claims she had been off drugs for 2-3 months. At any rate, Ive been assigned to be safety monitor in the home by CPS. She and my son both have to do random drug testing and have tested clean so far. They also have to do parenting classes and a drug abuse assessment, all of which I agree with.
    My concern is that I’m noticing some behaviors which seem suspect. Examples include having to run misc. errands, usually later into the evening, leaving me with the baby for 2-3 hours at a time, returning close to or after midnight; excessive coughing when they are in their room; also my son is very moody, and the mom is withdrawn, very passive and doesn’t seem as engaged with her newborn as I would expect. My son does a majority of the caring for him, and is able to soothe and comfort him more quickly and effectively. If he is not here she will often turn to me for a break. Neither seem to have a normal appetite, and eat very little except candy and granola bars which are mostly sweet. I cook meals for them and they barely eat. Both are thin, but she is underweight, esp. for having just given birth to her first baby. One day I noticed an unused strip of aluminum foil on the shelf of the night stand, which I thought was odd since it wasn’t big enough to use for much of anything.
    Most concerning though is that today when the house was quiet I crept close to their room after initially hearing the sound of a lighter. I had just been in their room a minute or so earlier and my son had quickly closed a drawer on the bedside table (trying to hide something?) Sure enough I heard it again followed by an inhaling noise followed by harsh coughing. I entered the room and asked what was being smoked. There was no odor I could detect (but my olfactory sense is very weak) and no visible smoke. They both denied smoking anything. My son left for work and then called to reassure me that he doesn’t smoke drugs. They want me to think I’m hearing things. I really believe I heard what I heard, but they can be so convincing.
    I apologize if this is too long to post here, but I’m wondering if you can tell me what behaviors to look for in someone who may be abusing opiates. How would they act when “high”? How long would it last? Would they be able to pass a drug test? What else would I need to know to look out for?
    I’m only here for a little while and have considered that CPS may ask to place the baby with me and my husband as an alternative to foster placement if these two aren’t able to work within the guidelines and remain drug free.

  7. Smoking oxycodone is drug abuse and leads to habitual use and addiction. WE DO NOT CONDONE with use of oxycodone outside of prescription use for pain.

  8. Hi Ron,
    The statement that smoking oxycodone (OC) is less effective than ingesting it orally is only partially true. Really, it is a matter of perspective. Yes, it is true that during volatilization of the pill on a piece of aluminum foil, some of the opium is destroyed in the process. It is also true that when the user expels the remaining smoke from the lungs, an additional portion of the drug is lost. Holding the vapor in his or her lungs allows more time for the opium to be absorbed. Depending on how long a user is able to maintain this, the loss can be diminished or perhaps avoided entirely.
    You said it yourself, “the addicts always use the most effective way of getting the high.” Taking oxycodone tabs orally requires an addict to wait patiently while their stomach begins to break down the pills which will eventually pass into the intestines to be slowly absorbed into the bloodstream. This process takes time and the user may not feel the desired effects for typically 30 minutes to an hour but in some cases 2 to 3 hours. For any addict, this delay can be agonizing, but particularly to one who hasn’t had an opiate fix for some time and may be experiencing painful withdrawals and/or severe anxiety.
    From this perspective, you can see why it would not be the most “effective” method. Consequently, the reason that the addict in your family prefers to smoke OC is because inhaling the vaporized drug into the lungs will allow nearly instant absorption into the mucus membranes. It is then transferred to the heart, which pumps it into the bloodstream and then is sent directly into the brain. Most experienced, habitual OC smokers will experience this transfer from lungs to brain within a matter of seconds. Each hit quickly sends a barrage of opiate molecules into opiate receptors in the brain causing a wave of euphoria and pleasure. The speed at which this sensation occurs makes this method of consumption an addiction in and of itself. Because of this, OC smokers typically don’t mind obtaining additional pills in order to replace the opium incinerated due to the volatilization process. Hope this helps.

  9. So I smoked oxycontin for about 4 months on tinfoil, and was wondering the sort of health risks that might arise. And how long do the binders and fillers stay in the throat or lungs. I also did a pulmonary exam and x-ray of my chest, would problems relating to smoking oxy show up in those type of tests?

  10. Hi Ron. You got it. The post is part harm-reduction, part persuasion. But still, the truth is that smoking oxycodone is much less effective than oral or insufflated doses (snorted). Is your family member smoking oxycodone…or a mix of drugs?

  11. I am pretty sure to completely sure you are incorrect regarding the effectiveness of the ingestion results by smoking, we have an epidemic going on and the addicts always use the most effective way of getting the “high” and if oral ingestion provided a better “high” they would use that over smoking.
    Could or will you expand on this idea or where the information was derived from?we are dealing with this in our family and the addict gets an extreme high compared to me when I used this medication post spinal fusions(several)
    So why would any addict smoke it , if it is not effective and only mild effectiveness is possible?
    Or is this more of an attempt at prevention ? to keep people from trying smoking oxy? cause that would make some sense to me.
    Thank you for taking the time and making the effort for our world to be a better place
    Most Sincerely,

  12. My daughter is 10, she lives with her dad and his girlfriend. she has two twin two yr old sisters that also live with them. my daughter told me she saw a piece of tinfoil with an oval burn mark on it in her bathroom. I have a feeling that the stepmom is smoking oxy’s. How much danger is my daughter in to be around a person doing this? Please email me back. Thanks.

  13. thank you zack. i should have mentioned that all the prescriptions were at least 2 years old. don’t know much about these things. i suppose he could have brought some heroin with him though. once again thank you. steve

  14. Hi Steve,

    First off let me say sorry for your loss. Getting to your question I would say from personal experience that oxycontin is not smokable shootable or snortable as of about almost 2 years ago because they put new chemicals in the pills to stop people from abusing them in that way. I would say if they were long black streaks on the tinfoil it was mostlikely Heroin.


    1. Hi Steve,
      Sorry for your loss. I have to clarify something first, Oxycontin is a brand of oxycodone that most people are familiar with. If his prescription is filled with oxycontin brand then I agree with Zack since the new formula of oc has an agent that prevents abuse (distinguished OP instead of the abusable OC ); but if it was filled with a different brand of oxycodone, it was very likely he was smoking that and not heroin. Most foils that have been used to smoke hydrocodone will have primarily consistent width of black lines (trails) since it is a residue of the pill sliding. This method and usage is becoming exponentially more popular. People also crush up the pill and spread it across the foil in a line but it is more likely just slid across the foil whole since its faster and users just want to get high. Heroin smoked on foil will have wider trails that are irregular since the piece of heroin pools and narrows when chased. Smoking oxy also leaves the area covered in black soot which builds up over time while using. Users usually have blackened fingers from the underside of the foil that becomes black from the lighter. Certain lighters leave more or less. Bics leave a lot as compared to torches that leave none. It sounds to me like he was indeed smoking oxy but it needs to be determined by the evidence and hopefully my info helps you decide. I know I kind of excessively provided more than needed because I thoroughly like to explain things. I can say that my statements hold true to my opinion and is derived from firsthand experience with oxycodone abuse along with many other things. I wish you the best and hope my response was helpful and not too long he he he. Aloha from hist8indahist8

  16. Hi Doreece. Some parents will not tolerate drug use in the house so that being drug free is a condition of living at home. That your husband allows drug use and you don’t want it is a sign of some serious communication and control issues at home. So, you may want to seek help from a counselor, social worker, or trusted community member for help in the home.

    To answer your question: those living in close proximity to the primary drug smoker are smoking themselves, but without their consent. Check out this study for more information:

  17. My stepson smokes oxycontin in the house all the time and his father lets him. I have no choice in the matter. What effects does second hand smoke have?

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