How Do People Abuse Oxycodone?
There are several ways people misuse oxycodone. The most common way in which oxycodone is misused is oral, using the original pill form that oxycodone comes as. While taking the pills is the most common method of oxycodone abuse, some people with severe addictions may try to use oxycodone in other ways to obtain a faster high.
Those with severe addiction may try smoking oxycodone by grinding it into a powder and including it in a cigarette. The oxycodone that is inhaled into the lungs crosses into the bloodstream from the lungs, making a stronger, but shorter, high. This method of oxycodone use can be risky because it can cause permanent lung damage.
One of the most popular ways people misuse oxycodone, besides taking it in its pill form, is by snorting oxycodone. This method involves crushing the oxycodone and inhaling it through the nose. The thin walls of the nose absorb the drug into the bloodstream faster than ingesting it would. Snorting oxycodone can lead to an increased risk of overdose and damage to the lining of the nose, along with a higher risk of serious infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C.
Injecting oxycodone is a less common way of misusing oxycodone compared to oral consumption. Injecting the drug is dangerous and likely to result in serious side effects, including death. Because oxycodone comes in pill form, people must liquefy it to be able to inject the drug.
Liquifying oxycodone is challenging. Without completely liquifying the drug it allows small particles to continue to exist in the injection solution. These particles can easily lodge in arteries, causing heart attacks, strokes or pulmonary embolisms. Liquifying oxycodone is almost impossible without introducing bacteria to the mixture to aid the liquefaction process, which then makes it probable that someone injecting oxycodone is also injecting potentially infectious bacteria directly into their bloodstream.
While these risks are all serious, the most dangerous aspect of injecting oxycodone into the bloodstream is that the dose needed to create a high will be much smaller. At least half of the oxycodone taken as a pill will be removed by the liver and never actually reach the bloodstream. If someone injects the amount of oxycodone that they take in a pill form, it can result in a fatal overdose because the liver isn’t involved in filtering part of it out.