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What is OxyCodone?Last updated: December 10, 2021
Oxycodone, formally known as oxycodone hydrochloride, is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic. The drug is made from a chemical called Thebaine, which is found in the opium poppy plant. It is prescribed for moderate to severe pain, typically following a surgery or injury. However, oxycodone can also be used long-term to treat chronic pain. Previously classified as a Schedule 8 drug by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), this depressant drug was reclassified as a Schedule II drug in late 2014. Oxycodone is designed to be taken orally, but many who abuse it either snort or inject it in order to feel the effects stronger and faster. It can be used as the active ingredient in either immediate-release tablets or extended-release tablets.
Why is oxycodone so dangerous?
Oxycodone is dangerous because of its highly addictive nature. As with all other opioids, oxycodone works by blocking receptors in the brain and giving the user a feeling of euphoria- utter bliss. The potency of the drug, as well as its opiate status are the reason why it’s so addictive and dangerous. Those who become addicted to oxycodone oftentimes end up chasing after the high in narcotics. In fact, those who use oxycodone are 40% more likely to try heroin.
What is the difference from OxyContin, hydrocodone, or Percocet?
Many people confuse oxycodone, OxyContin, hydrocodone, and Percocet. While similar, none of these drugs are exactly the same.
Oxycodone and hydrocodone are both synthetic opioids used to treat moderate to severe pain. Since 2014, both drugs have been classified as schedule II drugs, meaning that they have the potentially to be highly addictive. Both oxycodone and hydrocodone are oftentimes mixed with other drugs to amplify the effects. Though similar, they are two different drugs. Hydrocodone and oxycodone are oftentimes used for the same reasons, although hydrocodone is more likely to be used for a chronic condition. However, studies have shown that the two drugs are equally as effective when administered individually and for emergency pain relief. However, when each individual drug was combined with acetaminophen, the combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet) was determined to be 1.5 times more effective.
Unlike oxycodone and hydrocodone, OxyContin and Percocet are not generic analgesics. OxyContin is a brand name drug that uses oxycodone as the same ingredient, meaning that they are effectively the same medication. However, the form of oxycodone in OxyContin is extended-release rather than immediate-release. This means that doses can range from 10-80 mg every 12 hours. Extended-release capsules are oftentimes preferred by those who need chronic pain relief, as the medication is released into their bloodstream slowly.
Like OxyContin, Percocet is a brand name drug. However, it is not made purely of oxycodone. Instead, it is a mixture of oxycodone and acetaminophen and is one of the strongest pain medications available for as-needed pain relief. While oxycodone by itself lasts 4-6 hours, Percocet can have pain-relieving effects for 6 full hours. While more effective, Percocet can be more dangerous than oxycodone because long-term use of acetaminophen can lead to liver failure.
Is oxycodone addictive, how do I know if I'm addicted?
Yes, oxycodone is highly addictive. There are several ways to know whether or not you are addicted to the substance. The easiest way to tell is whether you experience withdrawal symptoms when oxycodone is not in your symptom. Some common withdrawal symptoms include: flu-like symptoms, restlessness, vomiting, anxiety, irritability, depression, insomnia, dehydration, and dysphoria. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and can start as soon as 8-12 hours after oxycodone has cleared out of your system.
Oxycodone addiction is both physical and psychological. A tell-tale sign of a physical addiction to oxycodone is the need to continuously use more in order in order to feel the same initial effects. “More” could mean either higher doses of oxycodone or more frequent consumption of the drug. This is proof that your body has adjusted to abnormally high levels of oxycodone being present in your system. In regards to the psychological dependency, you can tell if you’re addicted if you are obsessed about the substance. Are you constantly wondering where your next fix will come from? Do you become anxious when you don’t have oxycodone? If so, then you may be experiencing full-blown oxycodone addiction.
What are the side effects of oxycodone?
When it comes to the side effects of oxycodone, they should be broken into several different categories. There are effects, overdose symptoms, and effects of long-term use. This is because those who try oxycodone for the first time, have an overdose, and abuse the drug for a long period of time all experience different effects.
Effects of oxycodone
Loss of consciousness
Swelling of the limbs
Constant need to consume larger doses of oxycodone more frequently
What is a typical dosage / how much is an overdose?
The proper dosage of oxycodone depends on several factors. Height, weight, genetics, and type of oxycodone consumed all help determine the proper dosage of oxycodone. Adults who are taking oxycodone for the first time are typically prescribed a dosage of 5-15 mg every 4-6 hours for immediate-release tablets and 10 mg every 12 hours for extended-release tablets. However, immediate-release tablets are available at a maximum potency of 30 mg, while extended-release tablets like OxyContin are available at a maximum potency of 80 mg.
An overdose of oxycodone can occur either because too much of the drug was consumed or because it was mixed with other substances like alcohol and other drugs. The amount of oxycodone needed to cause an overdose varies depending on weight, tolerance, and form of the drug taken. However, in general, dosages of over 400 mg in a 24 hour period can prove to be lethal.
How do I know if someone took oxycodone?
Are you concerned that one of your friends or family members is becoming dependent on drugs? If you are unsure of which kind of drug they take, it can be helpful to look at symptoms for the most common drugs on the market. Here are some ways to tell if someone has taken oxycodone in particular:
Feelings of euphoria and relaxation
A decrease in anxiety
Nausea and vomiting
Remember that oxycodone can be found in several different medications including OxyContin, Percodan, and Percocet. It also has a variety of street names including OC, Oxycotton, Kicker and Hillbilly Heroin. Oxycodone is a highly addictive drug, so if someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, chances are it’s not their first time trying the drug. It’s always best to call a medical professional if you find someone experiencing the symptoms listed above, as they may need proper medical treatment.
While it’s always best to contact a profession in this case, it’s important to note that people can only be helped if they allow themselves to be. Those who are addicted to oxycodone need to have a desire to get clean in order for sobriety to stick. With that being said, there are a wide range of resources available today to help addicts detox and rehabilitate in a safe environment.
Will it show up on a drug test?
Oxycodone, as well as nearly every other drug, can be detected on a drug test. For regular forms of oxycodone, the half-life is around 5.5 hours, which means that it should take around 20 hours to be completely out of your system. However, this time can vary depending on several factors including height, weight, tolerance, the amount taken, and the form used. In general, oxycodone can stay in your blood for 24 hours, saliva for 1-4 days, urine for 3-4 days, and hair for up to 90 days. These numbers can differ if you took an extended-release form of oxycodone. With this form of oxycodone tablet, a second release of the drug happens 7 hours after consumption, which means that the half-life is much longer. It can take over 36 hours for oxycodone from an extended-release tablet to be out of your system.
Oxycodone can be prescribed by a doctor, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Due to the highly addictive nature of oxycodone, it should always be used with extreme caution. The side effects of oxycodone use can be quite intense- particularly if too much of the drug is taken. It can also easily show up on a drug test. It can be a mission to try to hide your oxycodone use from friends and family. However, there is nothing to be ashamed about if you have an addition. With that being said, it’s crucial that you reach out for and accept help. While the addiction may not be your fault, it’s your responsibility to both your loved ones and yourself to get better. If you or someone you know is abusing oxycodone, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.