The United States is inescapably caught in the grips of one of the deadliest epidemics that has ever swept our country, and the fires of this epidemic have been fueled and fanned by a recent surge in prescription abuse. The misuse, abuse, and subsequent dependency and addiction that results in just about every small town and big city in the US have cost countless lives of individuals using the substances and of those close to those with addictions. 

The most commonly abused type of prescription medications are those in the opioid family and are either derived directly or synthesized from the opium poppy. While some of these drugs are the most effective pain control medications that modern science has been able to create, they sometimes come at a very high cost to those that they are prescribed. One of the opioids prescribed most frequently is Oxycodone.

Oxycodone is an opioid that is manufactured in pill form, and it is designed and prescribed to help reduce severe levels of pain, or pain that cannot otherwise be effectively managed. It is also frequently used only for very short periods due to its incredibly high potential for dependency and addiction. The potential for dependency is so great due primarily to how Oxycodone acts upon the central nervous system.

Just like all known opioids, Oxycodone is only prescribed for limited durations due to the intense chemical dependence that develops with long-term use, whether prescribed or illicit. Along with the potential for addiction, Oxycodone also presents a significant risk of serious and potentially deadly physical side effects, as well as mental side effects that advance along with habitual or other long-term use. The result of abuse in any form is a challenging, uncomfortable, and even painful withdrawal stage that may require professional medical supervision.

What Is Oxycodone High?

Oxycodone creates very significant and intense changes in how the individual feels in the context of pain and sensation, as well as in the neurotransmitter levels and other brain chemistry. For those suffering from intense pain, taking Oxycodone as directed will not result in a “high” feeling or any sensations of euphoria, it will result in a dramatic reduction in the sensation of pain felt by the individual.

Oxycodone does this by interacting with receptors in the brain that also deal with pain, and it binds to them, helping to block them out. Simultaneously, it causes depression in the central nervous system, slowing down communication between the brain and body as well as many other physical processes like respiration. Attaching to these receptors also triggers the brain to release dopamine, which is a very powerful “feel good” chemical, that begins the foundation of the chemical dependency that Oxycodone is known for.

When someone who is not living with severe or chronic pain takes Oxycodone recreationally, or to “get high”, they will often feel a rush of euphoria that will last for quite a while. In some cases, the Oxycodone will be active in the individual’s system for up to 12 hours from the time of ingestion. The duration and intensity of the Oxycodone can also be altered to an extent by the method of administration that the individual uses. 

Oxycodone comes in a pill, and when taken by mouth as per the directions the needs to enter the digestive system, and be broken down enough to enter the bloodstream. When people use Oxycodone for its high, however, they will frequently crush the pills before taking them, or they may even inject the substance.

When users crush the pill and insufflate it, or snort it, which allows for a much faster absorption through the blood-brain barrier. Since this allows the full effects of the drug to hit the system at once, this can bypass or circumvent any time-release or extended-release effects, subsequently making an overdose situation far more likely for some users. Those who dissolve the Oxycodone into a solution and inject it intravenously experience not only the most intense effects but also the longest duration of effects.

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Signs You May Be Addicted To An Oxycodone High

Since Oxycodone is a legitimate prescription medication that is used daily by millions of Americans, it may be hard to believe that you or someone close to you may become addicted. Nevertheless, it is a distinct possibility once the prescription is issued, and so it is always a good idea to know what the signs are that may indicate an addiction to an Oxycodone high.

One of the most commonly reported signs of Oxycodone addiction is near-constant constipation, due to the reduction in intestinal movement that results from use. This is also sometimes accompanied by stomach aches or cramps that may become painful since opioids increase the occurrence and strength of non-propulsive contractions in the digestive system. Additional signs that you may be addicted to an Oxycodone high include an itching sensation, dry mouth, altered or abnormal thought patterns.

Behavioral changes you may notice in yourself or others with an Oxycodone addiction often include a reduction in the effort put towards personal hygiene and grooming. The individual will often become secretive or defensive about their activities or whereabouts when they deviate from their normal routine or life activities. 

If the addiction was the result of a legitimate prescription that eventually ran out with no authorized refill, the individual may find themselves doctor shopping for another prescription or attempting to convince friends or family to get a prescription for them. This may advance to asking or begging for money from friends and family, then eventually into the theft of money or other valuables from those close to them. 

Those with an addiction to an Oxycodone high will also find that there are changes that occur to their relationships in not just their personal life, but their professional or educational life as well. Eventually, the addiction will cause damage to interpersonal relationships, along with the neglect of the individual’s school, job, and even domestic responsibilities.

Sometimes, there may be drastic changes to how the individual conducts themselves in public also. This can include appearing intoxicated in public, as well as participating in activities that would be deemed risky. Examples of this are driving while under the influence of Oxycodone, or engaging in other dangerous behaviors.

Oxycodone High Side-Effects

Many side effects result from Oxycodone dependence or addiction. Among some of the first side effects noticed as well as the most commonly reported, are the immediate reduction of hunger and overall appetite. While this effect is extremely common, the intensity of it will vary greatly with some users failing to eat adequately for several months at a time. 

The severity of the side effects that are experienced will frequently depend on the dosage that the individual consumes as well. Many times users that have a dose that is even slightly too high can begin to experience serious stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting. With the strong feelings of personal detachment that accompany Oxycodone use, the individual may not display any visible concern at their behavior or appearance.

Many of the symptoms that users feel, as well as the relative intensity, will depend on the method of administration. The three most popular ways are oral administration, insufflation, and injection.

Oral Administration

When the pills are taken as prescribed, new users or those who accidentally misuse their Oxycodone prescription are at a significantly increased risk of overdose. This can be exacerbated by the relatively large delay of onset for the drug when taken by mouth, which may lead some users to take more before it has begun taking effect. 


When the pills are crushed and snorted, they can produce a more immediate and intense effect. However, the risk of infection and tissue damage with snorting is far greater, since the fragments of the pill may appear small, but can be rather large and jagged. The damage they subsequently cause to the nasal tissue and the sinus cavity can lead to chronic infection and even tissue necrosis.

IV Usage

Injection of a prepared Oxycodone solution is one of the most dangerous ways to administer Oxycodone. Not only is there an incredibly high risk of overdose, since the substance is almost instantly introduced at full strength to the brain, but there are also the additional risks that come with intravenous drug use in general. While the onset is immediate and the effects last the longest of all administration methods, drug injection can also carry the constant risk of exposure to hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

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How To Get Help If Addicted To An Oxycodone High

If you or someone that you love may be addicted to an Oxycodone high, the most powerful step you can take is to speak to an experienced addiction professional about recovery. Reach out today for a confidential conversation about leveraging qualified help in a safe and clean healthcare environment, where you can complete the detox and withdrawal stage with comfort and dignity.

Amanda Stevens

Amanda Stevens

Amanda is a prolific content writer, and is in recovery from disordered eating. She has a passion for health, nutrition, meditation, spiritual practices, and being a mother of a beautiful daughter.

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