Recreational Oxycodone Use among 18-25 Year-Olds

Recreational Oxycodone Use among 18-25 Year-Olds Derived from the opium poppy plant, oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opiate classified as a narcotic painkiller. Oxycodone, similar to heroin, morphine, and codeine, has similar effects, side-effects, use patterns, and withdrawal symptoms.

Tolerance and Dependence

While oxycodone is effective in treating pain, it also provides a sense of numbness, relaxed muscles, elation, and euphoria. It is the latter effects that are one of the reasons that oxycodone is used recreationally. However, these effects only last about 4 to 5 hours which leads us to the primary reason that oxycodone is abused: tolerance. As a person continues to use oxycodone, the body becomes tolerant to a particular level. To achieve the desired effects, the person either increases the dosage of the drug or starts taking the drug more frequently.

As tolerance increases, people start becoming dependent. Physical dependence on oxycodone is demonstrated when a person attempts to withdrawal from it without medical supervision. These withdrawal symptoms may include the following:

  • Abnormal skin sensations
  • Aches and pains
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Body tremors
  • Cold- or flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Goose bumps
  • Headaches
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rigid muscles
  • Runny nose
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Shivering or tremors
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting

These symptoms become the catalyst for the person to continue taking the drug.

Unfortunately, when tolerance and dependence occur, people often become psychologically or emotionally dependent as well. They come to believe that they must use the drug in order to feel normal. At this point, these people have moved past abuse and are heading towards addiction.

Severe Effects of Oxycodone

For young adults, the effects of oxycodone become more dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other drugs. According to SAMHSA’s emergency room report, among emergency visits involving opiates, two-thirds involved at least one other drug.

These severe effects can include delayed heartbeat, convulsions, intense dizziness, confusion, and fainting. These symptoms are also an indication of possible overdose.

With OxyContin, which is a time-released formula of oxycodone, abusers will crush the pill and either ingest it orally or though the nose, which increases the risk of tolerance and overdose.

Why Young Adults Abuse Oxycodone

The initial reason that people first take oxycodone recreationally is to experience the euphoria and numbness associated with the drug. However, the primary reason that oxycodone is abused is because of the tolerance and dependence that occurs.

Another reason that oxycodone is frequently abused is because of its availability. Millions of prescriptions are generated each year for several of the popular brands of oxycodone including Percocet, which is oxycodone and acetaminophen; Percodan, which is oxycodone and aspirin; and OxyContin, which is just oxycodone.

Get Help for Oxycodone Addiction

Oxycodone is frequently abused by young adults. Tolerance and dependence can sneak up on people without them even realizing it. If you have become dependent on oxycodone, you are spiraling towards addiction. If you are addicted to oxycodone, you need help. In both situations, we can help. Please call our toll free number today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about oxycodone addiction treatment.