Oxycodone is a central nervous system depressant. Oxycodone's action appears to work through stimulating the opioid receptors found in the central nervous system that activate responses ranging from analgesia to respiratory depression to euphoria. People who take the drug repeatedly can develop a tolerance or resistance to the drug's effects. Thus, a cancer patient can take a dose of oxycodone on a regular basis that would be fatal in a person never exposed to oxycodone or another opioid. Most individuals who abuse oxycodone seek to gain the euphoric effects, mitigate pain, and avoid withdrawal symptoms associated with oxycodone or heroin abstinence.
Oxycodone has a high abuse potential and is prescribed for moderate to high pain relief associated with injuries, bursitis, dislocation, fractures, neuralgia, arthritis, and lower back and cancer pain. It is also used postoperatively and for pain relief after childbirth. OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and Tylox are trade name oxycodone products.
OxyContin is designed to be swallowed whole; however, abusers ingest the drug in a variety of ways. OxyContin abusers often chew the tablets or crush the tablets and snort the powder. Because oxycodone is water soluble, crushed tablets can be dissolved in water and the solution injected. The latter two methods lead to the rapid release and absorption of oxycodone.
Source: National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC), "OxyContin Diversion and Abuse.
SIDE EFFECTS: (when taken as directed): Constipation, dryness of the mouth, confusion, sedation, light-headedness, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating.
SYMPTOMS OF OVERDOSE: Slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, loss of consciousness, coma, confusion, cold or clammy skin, small pupils.