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Oxycodone Abuse Signs, Symptoms and Addiction Treatment

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Signs and Symptoms
  3. Effects of Oxycodone Abuse
  4. Oxycodone Abuse Treatment
  5. Oxycodone Statistics
  6. Teen Oxycodone Abuse
  7. Resources, Articles and More Information

Oxycodone is a powerful painkiller belonging to the opiate family. As such, those taking the drug are at an increased risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the drug. Doctors typically prescribe this medication for those with moderate to severe pain and to patients who have continuous pain. Since oxycodone is an extended-relief medication, it slowly releases into the bloodstream, providing relief for hours. The relief from pain and pleasurable feelings that occur because of the medication can cause addiction in some patients.

Videos on oxycodone

What is oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opioid painkiller used in prescription medications like OxyContin, Roxicodone, and Percocet. It is synthesized from the opiate thebaine, found in the opium poppy. Oxycodone is available both in a pure form, and combined with additional painkillers such as acetaminophen or aspirin. As a powerful opioid drug, it can be highly addictive when used frequently.

Other names for oxycodone

  • OxyContin
  • Roxicodone
  • Oxecta (source)
  • Percocet
  • Endocet
  • Percodan (source)
  • Hillbilly heroin
  • OC
  • Oxy
  • Perc
  • Roxy (source)

Oxycodone Abuse Quiz question 1

Signs and Symptoms

Before you start searching for rehab centers for a loved one, you should ensure that the person has an oxycodone problem. The easiest way to do this is by looking for symptoms and signs of oxycodone abuse. While not all patients suffer the same symptoms, you should notice one or more of the following if the person abuses the drug:

  • Constantly thinking about the drug
  • Obtaining multiple prescriptions for oxycodone
  • Feeling phantom pains when the drug is not available
  • Restless thoughts or behaviors
  • Lying or stealing to obtain more of the drug
  • Using the drug in secret
  • Hiding the drug around the house

Oxycodone Abuse Quiz question 2

Potential for oxycodone addiction

  • 5-10% of the population is predisposed to addiction to opioids such as oxycodone (source)
  • Previous drug and alcohol abuse is a risk factor for addiction, as well as young age and smoking (source)
  • Mental health conditions increase the likelihood of drug abuse (source)

Effects of Oxycodone Abuse

The effects of oxycodone use can include nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite and dry mouth. Those taking oxycodone might also experience mood swings, trouble breathing and headaches. These symptoms can worsen in those taking oxycodone for long-term relief. Long-term use of the drug may lead to developing tolerance to the medication.

Anytime you depend on a drug, you can develop a tolerance. The reason is that your body requires more of the drug before the desired effects appear. The increased tolerance can lead to a dependence on oxycodone, which in turn creates an addiction. Because oxycodone also contains acetaminophen, taking higher doses of the drug can also result in damage to the liver.

How many people have used OxyContin non-medically in their lifetime?

United States, aged 12+

Lifetime abuse of oxycodone is frequent: in 2013, almost 7 million people in the US said they had used oxycodone nonmedically.

How many people used OxyContin non-medically in the last year?

United States, aged 12+

In 2013, nearly 1.5 million people in the US said that in the past year, they had abused oxycodone.

How many people used OxyContin non-medically in the last month?

United States, aged 12+

Almost 500,000 people in the US said in 2013 that they had abused oxycodone over the past month.

Oxycodone Abuse Quiz question 3

Treatment facility admissions for oxycodone vs. all opiates

United States, admissions for treatment, age 12+

Opiate addiction is a major reason for admission to substance abuse treatment facilities, and of the more than 300,000 opiate-related admissions in the US in 2012, oxycodone addiction was responsible for over 50,000.

Oxycodone Abuse Treatment

Enrolling yourself in an oxycodone rehab center can be the first step on your road to recovery. You should consider a variety of factors before you choose a rehab program, including your budget and the type of center that provides the type of support that you need. One of the biggest choices that you must make is between an inpatient facility and an outpatient facility. Outpatient facilities are often less expensive because you spend less time on-site. If you want to spend time with your loved ones or you need to continue working at your job while attending rehab, an outpatient center is your best bet.

Some people find that they cannot handle living in the same home or neighborhood where they used oxycodone in the past. If you feel the same way, you might prefer an inpatient facility. Staff at the center will monitor you every step of the way, from the moment you arrive to long after you leave. You can even continue treatment on an outpatient basis after you leave the facility.

Oxycodone Abuse Quiz question 4

Oxycodone-related emergency room visits by people seeking detox services

United States

The need for addiction treatment can be urgent: in 2009, over 45,000 people went to the emergency room in connection with oxycodone use, and sought detox services.

Prescriptions of oxycodone/acetaminophen by year

United States

Oxycodone/acetaminophen, also known as Percocet, is one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the US, with nearly 32 million prescriptions issued in 2010.

Side effects of oxycodone


Oxycodone Statistics

According to Medline Plus, more than 9 percent of all Americans abused or will abuse opiates, which include oxycodone. This statistic includes patients who started using the drug under a doctor's care and those who purchase the drug on the street. The United States Department of Justice found that more than 13 million people in the United States abused oxycodone or used the drug for recreational purposes. The facts about oxycodone might be surprising to those who do not realize the serious nature of the oxycodone problem in America.

Google Trends: Searches for oxycodone

As you can see, searches for "oxycodone" are common in almost every corner of the United States, from Florida to Arizona to Washington.

Spending on OxyContin

United States

In the US, consumers spent more than $3 billion on prescription OxyContin in 2010.

Average cost of oxycodone

  • Oxycodone, 60 tablets, 5mg: $28-41 (source)
  • OxyContin, 60 tablets, 20mg: $329-361 (source)
  • Roxicodone, 60 tablets, 5mg: $28-41 (source)
  • Percocet, 30 tablets, oxycodone/acetaminophen 5mg/325mg: $18-51 (source)
  • Percodan, 120 tablets, oxycodone/aspirin 4.8mg/325mg: $105-180 (source)

Street prices of oxycodone-containing medications

  • Oxycodone: $12-40 per pill
  • OxyContin: $50-80 per pill
  • OPercocet: $10-15 per pill

United States DEA annual production quotas for oxycodone (for sale)

From 2005 to 2014, the DEA's annual production quota of oxycodone for sale increased almost threefold.

Legal penalties involving oxycodone

  • Oxycodone is federally classified as a Schedule II drug. (source)
  • Trafficking in a Schedule II drug such as oxycodone can carry a federal sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment and a $1 million fine. (source)
    State penalties for possession of Schedule II drugs can include prison sentences of up to 15 years. (source) (source 2)
  • The effects of oxycodone medications can be a factor in impaired driving, leading to DUI charges. (source)

Legislation and policymaking involving oxycodone

  • Florida has reduced the availability of illicit oxycodone by implementing a prescription drug monitoring program. The state previously had 98 of the top 100 oxycodone prescribers in the country, and now has zero. (source) (source2)
  • Ohio and Kentucky have passed stricter regulations on pain clinics, causing many illicit ???pill mills??? to close. (source)

Oxycodone Abuse Quiz question 5

Teen Oxycodone Abuse

Oxycodone is a problem that affects teens as well as adults. The oxycodone facts and statistics from the United States Department of Justice indicate that children as young as 12 experimented with the drug. In 2011, a middle school student in Newtown, Pennsylvania, found himself in trouble with the law after illegally distributing the drug to friends and other students at his school. When the police investigated, it is found that several teens aided in the operation. If you notice any signs of drug abuse in your teenager or child, you should talk to your teen about the dangers of using and abusing the drug.

How many youth use OxyContin non-medically?

United States

OxyContin abuse among youth is surprisingly frequent: tens of thousands of children aged 12 or 13 abused OxyContin in 2013.

Oxycodone Abuse Quiz question 6

Resources, Articles and More Information

You can search the Internet for information on oxycodone as long as you like, but to simplify things, you may call our confidential helpline at 1-800-943-0566 for the needed support. We are ready to help you find the information you need any time of the day. Once you read a few articles online and find oxycodone abuse facts, you can get in touch with us and find the best treatment facility on helping an Oxycodone addict. Getting oxycodone facts is a good starting point, but we can help you with the steps that come later, including getting you or a loved one into rehab.

Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.