Snorting oxycodone

Can snorting oxycodone get you high? What dangers or risks are present and can they be avoided? More on snorting Oxycodone effects here.

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If you’re thinking about snorting oxycodone, you should think it through and be informed about possible risks and dangers.

Oxycodone harm reduction includes informing users of risk. Here, we review what happens in the body while snorting oxycodone, as well as the dangers and safety concerns when you snort oxycodone (addictive liability increases, as does risk of overdose). We welcome questions about snorting oxycodone at the end of this article, and will try to answer all legitimate questions with a personal reply ASAP.

Oxycodone: What are you really snorting?

Oxycodone is a prescription drug used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is an opiate agonist, which works by chemically binding to receptors in the central nervous system to change the way that we PERCEIVE pain. Oxycodone hydrochloride is the main active ingredient of oxycodone, but oxycodone tablets may include inactive ingredients such as butylatedhydroxytoluene (BHT), hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400, polyethylene oxide, magnesium stearate, titanium dioxide, and coloring agents. Oxycodone can also be combined with other medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen, which you also consume when you snort the combination drugs.

How does snorting Oxycodone affect the body?

Oxycodone affects the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Oxycodone binds to opioid receptors in the brain, altering the body’s perception of pain and can also cause feelings of euphoria. This is the main reason why anyone would snort oxycodone. Physically, snorting oxycodone can also cause feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, and even cause mood changes.  But snorting oxycodone brings on effects quicker and more intensely and is not medically recommended (just like mixing oxycodone and alcohol is not recommended).

Snorting Oxycodone side effects

Taking oxycodone orally as prescribed can cause drowsiness, dizziness, and even nausea and vomiting. Severe side effects are rarer, but can occur more frequently when the medication is not taken as prescribed, like when you snort it. These effects include:

  • abnormal heart rate
  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing
  • fainting/loss of consciousness
  • hallucinations
  • seizures

Snorting Oxycodone vs oral

Oxycodone is not medically indicated for insufflation (inhaling via the nose). And although narcotic pain medications can be taken orally, nasally, and even intravenously, oral preparations of oxycodone are safer, because the dose is more controlled. Snorting Oxycodone causes a quicker onset of effects, causing almost immediate pain relief and euphoric effects. But you’re also running the risk of poisoning, toxicity and overdose. Additionally, oral controlled release versions of oxycodone have a longer duration of action when taken orally vs snorted. Controlled release (CR) oxycodone is actually designed to work for over 12 hours, and when you crush an oxycodone CR tablet, you actually break this mechanism.

Snorting Oxycodone to get high

Snorting oxycodone causes large amounts of oxycodone hydrochloride to instantly enter the bloodstream through the nose cavity and tissues of the nose. This kind of immediate action is dangerous (especially with controlled release versions of oxycodone), because snorting oxycodone causes the drug to be absorbed in higher amounts than normal. If you snort oxycodone, you can abruptly stop breathing and can die. This is especially risky with extended release formulations. Plus, high doses of oxycodone might be tolerated by someone who’s taken opioids in large doses before, but they do raise the risk of adverse effects significantly.

Snorting Oxycodone dangers

Snorting Oxycodone has some serious side effects. Snorting Oxycodone puts you at increased risk of accidents due to your impaired abilities. Like other drugs, snorting can also harm your nasal passages over time, and even spread disease if you share snorting instruments. Snorting Oxycodone definitely increases the risk that you will become addicted to the medication. The most serious risk, of course, is that of potential overdose and death.  Although oxycodone overdose amount varies by your personal tolerance to opiates,  you SHOULD NOT TAKE single doses > 40 mg of controlled release oxycodone or total daily doses of of controlled release oxycodone greater than 80 mg.  These oxycodone doses are too much for someone just starting the medicine.

Snorting Oxycodone safely

Oxycodone is not safe to take by snorting. The FDA warns that single doses of controlled release oxycodone higher than 40 mg, and daily doses of controlled release oxycodone 80 mg can cause overdose in those who are not opioid tolerant. In fact, the agency is so concerned about oxycodone being abused by snorting, that they’ve required drug manufacturers to reformulate the OxyContin brand, so that crushing the drug no longer provides access to the full dose of the drug. While this doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of snorting oxycodone to get high or experience immediate pain relief, it makes it harder for people to overdose using this method.

Snorting oxycodone questions

Do you still have questions about snorting oxycodone? If so, please let us know. We respond to all oxycodone questions with a personal and prompt reply.

Reference Sources: FDA: OxyContin – Questions and Answers
FDA: Medication Guide: Oxycodone
National Drug Intelligence Center: OxyContin Fast Facts
PubMed Health: Oxycodone
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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