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Oxycodone Abuse

Oxycodone Abuse

Oxycodone is one of the commonly abused prescription drugs. This write-up provides information on the side effects of the misuse and abuse of this narcotic painkiller.
Smita Pandit
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic that is synthesized from an alkaloid called thebaine, which in turn is derived from opium. The chemical structure of thebaine is quite similar to codeine and morphine. When it is ingested, it stimulates the opioid receptors in the brain and the body. It is a potent analgesic that not only relieves the unpleasant pain sensations, but also acts as a sedative. However, the prolonged use of this painkiller can cause one to develop a tolerance for this drug.
Unfortunately, some people start taking it in higher doses, or continue to take it when they are not required to. This drug is often misused due to its mood-altering properties. While one might be tempted to use the drug for the euphoric effect it creates, increasing the dosage or altering the method of administration of this drug can have serious repercussions on the health. It must be strictly taken under medical supervision.
Signs of the Addiction
Taking this drug in doses that are higher than what has been prescribed for euphoric effects certainly amounts to drug abuse. Though the mood-altering effects that follow after ingestion of this drug are not as intense as that of morphine or heroin, the abuse or misuse of this opioid analgesic has become quite rampant due to its easy availability. Some people snort it, while some melt it in water before injecting it in the body. When it is administered normally, it is released slowly and gradually. When the drug is snorted, injected, or mixed with alcohol, the sudden release of this drug causes one to experience euphoric effects.
Over time, the brain starts producing lower levels of dopamine. As a result, the user starts developing dependence on this drug. Since this is a habit-forming drug, one might be tempted to continue using it, despite experiencing symptoms such as:
  • Shallow breathing
  • Small pupils
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Constipation
  • Disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold and clammy skin
An overdose could also give rise to serious side effects. If one tries to suddenly discontinue its use, one is most likely to experience withdrawal symptoms such as:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Sweating
  • Cramps
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
Treatment
When a drug that is prescribed for legitimate pain relief is used as recreational drug, it is likely to cause an adverse impact on one's health. The treatment involves the removal of toxins. In order to reduce the patient's dependence on the drug, the dosage is gradually lowered. During this phase, other opiate replacements are used for preventing the distressing withdrawal symptoms. Waismann method of accelerated neuro-regulation is often opted for detoxification.
This involves the removal of toxins while the patient is under the influence of anesthesia. Thus, the patient is not aware of the withdrawal symptoms. The addict can also join self-help groups or get enrolled in a drug rehabilitation center to recover. It's very important to understand the physical as well as psychological effects of drug abuse and make consistent efforts to prevent yourself from falling into such dangerous habits.
Oxycodone is one of the commonly abused narcotic pain relievers. Although snorting this drug will give you a high, think about the serious harm it is capable of causing. Thus, one needs to ensure that the drug is taken as per the advice of the doctor.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.