According to statistics, in 2014, more than 460,000 adolescents admitted to abusing prescription pain relieving medications. More than half of these individuals developed an addiction. Of all the types of prescription analgesics, oxycodone or oxycodone containing medications are the most widely abused. The substance has a high rate of addiction and is taken using various techniques.
Capsules, tablets or liquid formulations of the pharmaceutical are commonly orally ingested or swallowed by amateur drug users. Though not without dangers, this route of administration is generally considered safer. Abusers often chew or crush solid forms, take the drug as is or mix the substance in a beverage and consume. Pulverizing solid capsules or tablets circulates the medication through the blood more rapidly, which creates a sudden and intense high. However, depending on the amount of the drug ingested and if the substance has time-release properties, this technique may also lead to accidental overdose.
This method merely requires crushing the substance and inhaling, insufflating or snorting the drug into the nasal passages. By introducing the formula into the vascular nasal passages and bypassing the digestive system, users experience faster results. Nevertheless, when time-release forms of oxycodone are abused using this technique, there is a greater likelihood for accidental overdose and possibly death. Adolescents who snort drugs often suffer from chronic runny noses and bloodshot eyes. Over time, nasal passages deteriorate due to the irritation produced by the substances inhaled.
Experienced drug abusers commonly crush and dissolve oxycodone in a liquid and inject the solution into a muscle or a vein. Intravenous injections produce the fastest results as the substance quickly circulates through the blood and to the brain. However, this method most often leads to addiction while increasing the risks of becoming a victim of an accidental overdose. If not dissolved properly, particles in the solution can clog blood vessels or consequently travel to the heart or lungs with disastrous results. Intravenous drug users also run the risk of developing any number of chronic or life-threatening infections by failing to use sterile techniques. Some telltale signs of adolescents who inject drugs include abscesses, boils or other symptoms of topical infections over injection sites. Repeated use of certain sites also produces visible scarring.
Increasingly, oxycodone users prefer crushing or dissolving the drug and mixing it in a liquid or a semi-solid substance and administering the medication rectally in the form of an enema or as a suppository. The speed at which users experience a high compares to that of taking the drug orally. However, this method alleviates the problem of experiencing abdominal discomfort, nausea and other unpleasant effects.