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What is it?

Oxycodone is a prescription narcotic in the opiate class of drugs that is used medically for pain relief.

Slang Terms:

Hillbilly heroin, oxycotton, oxy, OC, killers

How is it used?

The drug can be ingested, snorted, injected, or smoked.

Sign of usage:

The user displays droopy eyelids, constricted pupils and sluggish, delayed speech and mannerisms. The opiate user will appear very drowsy and have difficulty with mental functioning and attention span. If the user administers the drug with an injection, there will be needle marks and possible signs of infection at injection sites.

Effects of usage:

Oxycodone produces an initial euphoric effect. It can also produce drowsiness, lowered blood pressure, lowered body temperature, nausea, slowed breathing, decreased pulse rate, and constipation.

How long do the effects last?

Length of effects varies depending on dosage. OxyContin (continuous release form) has an eight to twelve hour duration of action.

Effects of withdrawal:

Withdrawal, which in regular abusers may occur as early as a few hours after the last dose, produces drug craving, restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, hot/cold flushing with goose bumps, and muscle cramps. Major withdrawal symptoms peak between 48 and 72 hours after the last dose and subside after about a week.

Adverse reactions:

Overdose of oxycodone can result in respiratory arrest and death. For those users with already compromised physical health, respiratory complications can result due to the drug’s depressing effects on respiration.

Effects of prolonged usage:

Long-term use of oxycodone can lead to physical dependence and addiction.

Usage by youth:

Youths were more likely than older adults to have misused oxycodone (1 percent among youths aged 12 to 17 versus 0.7 percent among adults aged 26 or older). 15.4 percent of high school seniors reported non-medical use of at least one prescription medication within the past year.

Recent Developments:

High levels of availability (because oxycodone can be found in medicine cabinets, on the internet, and through physicians) contribute to a steady increase in abuse. Combining oxycodone with other drugs (including alcohol) as well as crushing the slow release formula of oxycodone and injecting or snorting the powder create high risks for addiction and overdose.

Information provided by Dr. Barbara A. Krantz, Chief Medical Officer at the Hanley Center

First Check Diagnostics, LLC is offering these resources for informational purposes only, and the Hanley Center is no way affiliated with any of the entities that provide the resources.