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Why Do People Snort Oxycodone?
Oxycodone is a schedule II opioid painkiller. As a schedule II drug, Oxycodone has some medical uses but also carries a high risk of abuse. One of the most common methods of abuse involves taking a tablet, crushing it, and then snorting the Oxycodone. People also chew the pills or mix them into water and inject them intravenously. There are two major reasons why people snort Oxycodone.
Oxycodone prescriptions usually come in pills designed to release the medication over long periods of time. Crushing and snorting a pill containing Oxycodone will result in an immediate and intense high.
Drugs and the Nose
Snorting the drug allows it to pass through the mucosal lining of the inner nose and into the bloodstream directly. This method guarantees a majority of the Oxycodone begins circulating almost immediately. Tests on intranasal (snorting) use versus intravenous (injection) use found that, even if snorting is slower than injecting, the drug can be reliably detected in the blood within 5 minutes of snorting.
Though the two are sometimes used interchangeably, OxyContin is branded and engineered to release over a longer time period for pain management. Many painkilling medications involve Oxycodone:
A survey of people who misuse prescription painkillers found that Oxycodone is extremely popular. Those who used it reported a better high when compared with other painkillers. Researchers analyzed the demographic information of the people who responded and found that people who snorted Oxycodone were more likely young, male drug users who had also reported injection-based drug use. Women and older people who misused prescription painkillers reported favoring Hydrocodone (the Opioid in Vicodin) because it was easier to get from friends and doctors, and it didn’t seem as extreme.
Oxycodone Street Names
- Hillbilly Heroin
Getting Hooked on Snorting Oxycodone
America’s experience with the Opioid epidemic has revealed the troubling relationship between Opioid pain management and Opioid use disorders. The same study of drug users found that around 50% of them started using painkillers for pain management. The proportion of people who abuse Oxycodone is high, in part, because after taking it orally, a tolerance develops. In order to continue feeling the effects, users may increase their dose until they can no longer get more from their prescription. Crushing and snorting a drug may seem extreme, but, in light of the Opioid epidemic, the addictive quality of opioid painkillers should not be underestimated. Heroin is now cheaper than most prescription Opioids, and providers are worried about the amount of people who may transition into illicit drug use to maintain their dependency.
Effects of Snorting Oxycodone
The Opioid Effect
Oxycodone shares a set of similar mental and physical effects with other prescription and illegal Opioids. As a central nervous system depressant, Oxycodone causes:
- Low blood pressure
- Slowed breathing
- Irregular breathing
Crushing and snorting Oxycodone can expose the body to much higher doses than a prescription would intend. This type of misuse can lead to deadly effects:
- Heart failure
- Respiratory depression
Overdosing on any Opioid often leads to death. An overdose is characterized by several symptoms:
- Unusual drowsiness
- Weak pulse
- Gastrointestinal spasms
- Shallow or no breathing
- Blue lips and fingernails
Opioid overdoses can be reversed with the help of the emergency medication Naloxone. It can be bought over the counter at pharmacies in most US states. If there’s no Naloxone present, calling 911 as quickly as possible is vital. As the overdose progresses, the person could stop breathing or circulating blood which would lead to death or severe disability.
Long Term Effects of Snorting Oxycodone
The nose is a sensitive organ, and snorting drugs regularly can result in serious health consequences. Oftentimes the substance being inhaled aggravates the soft tissues and can cause infections throughout the nasal passage. Many people who habitually snort Oxycodone and other substances suffer from lung irritation and infections. Sinus infections and other respiratory diseases are also very common among those who regularly snort Oxycodone.
Even in the drugs are sterile, snorting off a dirty surface, through a dirty straw, or through a rolled-up bill could carry unwanted contaminants and cause further infection. People who’ve snorted Hydrocodone and Oxycodone have been hospitalized for a rare condition known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which means that the lungs are extremely sensitive to dust and other minor irritants.
Prescription Opioid abuse forms the backbone of what is now the Opioid epidemic. Oxycodone is a serious substance not to be taken without a prescription from a Doctor or Pharmacist. If you or a loved one struggles with an Oxycodone use disorder, please know that help is available. Compassionate treatment providers are available to help you take the first step towards recovery.
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