Need Help Overcoming Addiction?
Call Us Today! 1-888-747-7155
Need Help Understanding Your Addiction Treatment Options? Call 1-888-747-7155.

The Effects of Oxycodone Use

  1. Article Quick LinksPrint
  2. Short Term Effects of Oxycodone
  3. Side Effects
  4. Long Term Effects of Oxycodone
  5. Oxycodone Dependency
  6. Oxycodone Withdrawal Treatment

Oxycodone is a prescription-strength painkiller that is often prescribed for moderate to severe pain. Since this drug is a narcotic, some people may be at risk of becoming both physically and psychologically addicted to it after taking it as prescribed. Oxycodone addiction can cause you to neglect important relationships, spend money you can't afford to spend and put yourself or your family at risk in order to obtain more oxycodone. If you or someone you love is addicted to Oxycodone, help is available. Please call 1-800-943-0566 to get help with oxycodone addiction.

Oxycodone Effects Quiz question 1

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

United States, aged 12+

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

United States, aged 12+

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

United States, aged 12+

Physical and mental effects of oxycodone

  • Oxycodone is used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain.
  • Oxycodone can be habit-forming, leading to mental or physical dependence. It should not be used for mild or occasional pain.

Short Term Effects of Oxycodone

Oxycodone has both positive and negative short-term side effects. Positive effects include:

  • Slightly euphoric state of mind. Even if you are taking the drug as prescribed, it's possible to get high on Oxycodone. This drug lifts your mood slightly and lessens anxiety, which can make it attractive to people who suffer from depression or anxiety.
  • Blocking of pain messages to the brain. Oxycodone works by blocking pain messages from the nerves to the brain. As a result, the drug temporarily stops you from feeling physical pain.
  • Drowsiness. Oxycodone slows down the respiratory system and central nervous system, which makes users feel drowsy. Some users find it easier to sleep after taking Oxycodone.

Oxycodone Effects Quiz question 2

The short term effect of Oxycodone is to relax the user and block pain, which is the primary reason many people get addicted to it. If you are struggling with Oxycodone addiction, help is available at 1-800-943-0566.

Oxycodone Effects Quiz question 3
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Side Effects

These positive effects are counterbalanced by some negative side effects. Negative side effects include things like nausea and constipation. In some cases, people may have trouble breathing if they take a large dose of Oxycodone, because the drug slows down the respiratory system.

In addition to these side effects, some people are allergic to Oxycodone. Signs of an allergic reaction include a rash around the mouth, tightening of the throat or swelling of the throat and mouth. If these side effects occur, users should discontinue use of the drug and get medical assistance immediately.

Oxycodone Effects Quiz question 4

Lasting health effects of oxycodone

Chronic use or abuse of opioids such as oxycodone is associated with:

  • Immunosuppression
  • Sleep apnea
  • Mood disorders
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Withdrawal symptoms in infants born to mothers using oxycodone
(source) (source2)

Long Term Effects of Oxycodone

The positive side effects of Oxycodone have caused many people to become addicted to it over the last 20 years. Oxycodone is only meant to be used for a few weeks at a time; using it for longer periods of time can cause serious health problems such as:

  • High levels of drug tolerance. Oxycodone is physically addicting, which means that your body needs higher amounts of the drug over time in order to experience the same effects. Thus, if you use Oxycodone for a long period of time, you'll need higher doses of it, which puts you at greater risk for respiratory failure.
  • Respiratory distress. Since Oxycodone works by slowing down the respiratory and central nervous systems, you may experience respiratory distress if you take it for a long period of time or take higher doses of the drug. Symptoms of respiratory distress include difficulty breathing, lightheadedness and dizziness from lack of oxygen.
  • Physical dependence. After taking Oxycodone for a long period of time, users develop a physical need for the drug in order to function appropriately. Long-term Oxycodone users may feel physically ill if they don't take the drug.

The long-term effects of Oxycodone use are increased physical illness and risk of death. Don't let this happen to you. Call 1-800-943-0566 to get help with your Oxycodone addiction.

Yearly deaths linked to oxycodone and other opioid use

United States

Deaths involving oxycodone and other opioids (CDC WONDER query, ICD-10 code T40.2, ???Poisoning by, adverse effect of and underdosing of other opioids???)

Oxycodone-related emergency room visits due to nonmedical use

United States

Oxycodone-related emergency room visits by people seeking detox services

United States

Emergency room visits due to adverse reactions to Oxycodone

United States

Emergency room visits due to suicide attempts involving oxycodone

United States

Oxycodone Effects Quiz question 5

Oxycodone Dependency

Oxycodone users may become both physically and psychologically dependent on the drug. As discussed above, physical dependence occurs because Oxycodone interferes with normal brain and nerve functioning; the brain and body adapt to the presence of this drug in your system and don't function appropriately without it. As a result, the body develops tolerance to the drug and users need higher doses in order to function normally.

Oxycodone is also psychologically addictive because it creates a mild euphoric state. While high on Oxycodone, users feel relaxed and happy. They have less anxiety and depression while on this drug. Thus, users who have high levels of anxiety and depression are at particular risk for developing Oxycodone dependency, although anyone can develop an addiction because of these effects.

Oxycodone Effects Quiz question 6

Many people believe that it is impossible to get addicted to Oxycodone if you are not abusing the drug in order to get high. In other words, they think that if they are taking the drug as prescribed, they won't develop an addiction. However, this is not necessarily true. Some people begin by taking the drug as prescribed, but then take a larger dose without their doctor's consent because their prescribed dose no longer works to block pain. In addition, it's possible to get addicted to the Oxycodone's psychological effects even if you never intended to abuse the drug.

If you believe you are addicted to Oxycodone, help is available. Call 1-800-943-0566 to get help today.

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)

Treatment facility admissions for oxycodone vs. all opiates

United States, admissions for treatment, age 12+

Oxycodone Withdrawal Treatment

Since Oxycodone is physically addictive, you must withdraw from using it gradually in order to minimize the physical effects of withdrawal. Most people who want to stop using Oxycodone withdraw under the supervision of a doctor in a detox center.

Withdrawal lasts two to three weeks, depending on how long you have been abusing the drug. During the withdrawal period, you may experience flu-like symptoms and signs, such as nausea and vomiting, and psychological symptoms, such as increased anxiety and agitation. Your doctor may prescribe substitute medications on a temporary basis to help keep you comfortable as the Oxycodone leaves your system.

After detoxification is complete, most patients spend time in rehab centers or other addiction treatment centers. This allows them to learn the skills they need to cope with life without returning to drug use. Patients usually get individual therapy, group therapy and attend support groups for recovering addicts at these treatment facilities. Treatment can be inpatient, meaning the patient lives at the treatment facility, or outpatient, meaning the patient continues to live at home while attending treatment sessions at the center. You and your drug counselor or doctor can determine which type of treatment is best for you. If you need someone to help you get started, please call 1-800-943-0566 for assistance.

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