Oxycodone is a strong, semi-synthetic opiate painkiller sold in the US, Europe and Australia. It was a godsend for people in severe, debilitating pain such as those with bone or neurological degeneration, or those who suffered from end-stage cancer or similar illnesses. Oxycodone provided pain relief for the first time to some people who had suffered for years.
Signs of Oxycodone Abuse
Other than a drug test, one can use the following symptoms to detect oxycodone or OxyContin abuse:
- Drowsiness, sometimes to the point of nodding off
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Respiratory suppression
- Dry mouth
- Constricted pupils, although overdose may bring about dilated pupils.
Other Signs of Oxycodone Abuse
Oxycodone, in formulation as OxyContin or other pills, is a highly addictive drug. One of the signs that a person is using this drug will include addiction and addictive behavior.
In many cases, the person who is addicted didn’t start out abusing the drug but took it exactly according to the doctor’s instruction. But opiates result in a person building up a tolerance. That means that after a 20 milligram dose is taken for while, it no longer handles the person’s pain and they must increase the dose to 40 milligrams, and so on. A person who has been using opiates for a long time can take a dose that would kill a person who was new to the drug. This person can end up with a problem when the dosage the doctor prescribes is not enough. He may begin seeking more drugs through illegal means like doctor-shopping.
The most popular and well-known formulation by far has been OxyContin, manufactured by Purdue Pharma. Purdue’s formulation was time-release, meaning that it would last longer than some other formulations. At first, it was thought that this formulation would prevent abuse, but it turned out to be very easy to get around this mechanism and get the full effect of the drug immediately, which is said to be very similar to using heroin.
While heroin and oxycodone or OxyContin are usually sold on very different channels, the physical and emotional signs and symptoms of using these drugs are fairly similar. Abusers of oxycodone may also abuse oxymorphone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone or fentanyl, all with similar symptoms.