What is oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid, a white, odorless crystalline powder. It’s synthesized from the opiate alkaloid thebaine, which is derived from the poppy plant. It is available as a medication in immediate release and controlled release pills of 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg, 30 mg, 40 mg, 60 mg, and 80 mg. Oxycodone can be found under the trade names Roxicodone, OxyContin, Oxecta, OxyIR, and Endone.
Why do people use oxycodone?
As a narcotic analgesic, this medication usually prescribed for moderate to severe pain relief. In fact, managing moderate to moderately severe acute or chronic pain is the main medical purpose for using oxycodone. If taken as prescribed by doctors, oxycodone can significantly improve the quality of life for patients suffering a range of types of pain.
However, some individuals abuse oxycodone recreationally because it triggers a “high”, or euphoric effect, triggered by psychoactive effects in the central nervous system. Depressed people and patients who suffer from anxiety find it very appealing since it lifts up mood, has a slight euphoric effect and lessens anxiety. People suffering from insomnia abuse this medication in order to produce drowsiness and fall asleep easily. Regardless, recreational use of this drug is hazardous and harmful.
Individuals who use or abuse oxycodone can administer it in the following ways:
- crushing and snorting
- epidural injection
- intramuscular injection
- subcutaneous injection
- transdermally (delivered across the skin)
If used for a short period in time, the effects of oxycodone are generally positive. The users prescribed with oxycodone feel relaxed and relieved of pain. However, those feelings are also the main reason why some people get “hooked” on oxycodone.
Oxycodone can produce side effects that counterbalance its positive properties. Negative effects range from nausea and constipation, to respiratory difficulties and in some cases severe rashes, allergic reactions, swelling of tongue and throat have been noted. Additionally, long term oxycodone users can face health problems such as:
- liver and kidney damage
- loss of appetite
- physical dependence
- respiratory distress
- seizures (convulsions)
- severe headaches
- tolerance to the drug
Is oxycodone addictive?
Oxycodone has a moderate to high dependence liability. Just like other opioids and opiates, the continuous use of oxycodone can result increased tolerance to its effects. When tolerant, you have to keep increasing dosage amounts or frequency of use in order to achieve the same initial therapeutic effects as first use. Still, dependence to oxycodone can be both physical and psychological. Users can become addicted to oxycodone, when obtaining and using the drug becomes the most important thing in their live. Caught in a cycle of physical need and craving, addicts will use all means possible to keep themselves supplied with oxycodone and to prevent withdrawal. But help is available through structured oxycodone addiction treatment and dedication to recovery.
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