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  • Snorting & Smoking OxyContin | Effects & Health Risks

    Oxycontin crushed white pills dangers of snorting and smoking oxycontin

    OxyContin is a prescription opioid whose primary ingredient is oxycodone. It is sold as an extended-release tablet, and normal drug use guidelines call for the medication to be swallowed.

    It’s possible to snort or smoke this drug in order to feel stronger, more immediate pain relief. Snorting and smoking are both forms of Oxycontin abuse, and each can lead to severe side effects.

    Why Is OxyContin Abused?

    Oxycontin is a painkiller. After a person takes these pills or tablets, it creates feelings of sedation, euphoria, and numbness. 

    The strong pain relief effects of OxyContin can be habit-forming. The drug’s strength is well-known to the point that it is a target for illicit substance abuse. Some street names include “oxy,” “ox,” and “OC.”

    Snorting or smoking OxyContin can also bypass its time-release properties, allowing one to feel its effects sooner. In order to smoke or snort it, the drug must be broken down. It is broken down in different ways, depending on the method of drug abuse.

    Methods Of Snorting OxyContin

    OxyContin can easily be crushed into a fine powder. It is a single-ingredient prescription drug, which means it does not need to be separated into distinct ingredients. 

    Methods of crushing and snorting OxyContin are well-known and easily shared, according to respondents and participants in various studies.

    OxyContin pills or tablets are often rinsed before being crushed, to remove the sealant on the outer layer. The crushed powder will likely be divided into lines with a razorblade, before being snorted with a straw.

    Methods Of Smoking OxyContin

    Smoking OxyContin usually starts with placing the tablet on tinfoil. The tablet is then heated over a stovetop or other source of heat, which melts the tablet and creates vapors. These vapors are then inhaled through a straw.

    These forms of abuse can be done with simple household items. It’s important to look out for your loved ones if you believe they are snorting or smoking OxyContin using these methods.

    The Dangers Of Smoking & Snorting OxyContin

    It’s relatively easy to crush or melt OxyContin, which is likely a factor in its high abuse potential. Its ease of access and potentially harmful side effects make OxyContin abuse both dangerous and widespread. 

    Compared to OxyContin use under directed substance use guidelines, smoking or snorting this drug could be more dangerous to your health. 

    Smoking Risks

    Smoking OxyContin puts pressure on your respiratory system. It can lead to lung inflammation, reduced breathing capacity, long-term lung damage, and an increased risk of lung cancer.

    Learn more about the risks of smoking OxyContin and other oxycodone products (such as Vicodin or Percocet).

    Snorting Risks

    Snorting OxyContin also puts pressure on your respiratory system, especially your nose. It can make holes in your septum, the wall that divides your nostrils (known as nasal septum perforation). It can also damage your lungs.

    General Risks

    Smoking or snorting OxyContin can make tracking doses difficult. The drug is already abused by being crushed or melted, and a person is at risk for taking high doses on top of this.

    Oxycodone is potentially habit-forming, which may lead to OxyContin addiction. This can lead to long-term health effects, including painful withdrawal symptoms. 

    Your risk of overdose when smoking or snorting OxyContin may also increase. Oxycodone overdose can potentially be fatal.

    Oxycodone Addiction Treatment

    Snorting or smoking a drug (both forms of abuse) can be a sign of addiction.

    A person abusing OxyContin will probably be taking it in high doses. Prolonged abuse can lead to addiction. A detox program may be needed to manage eventual withdrawal symptoms. 

    Further intensive care may also be needed, depending on how severe your addiction is. Contact us today to learn more about your potential treatment options.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - Drug Fact Sheet: Oxycodone
    National Center for Biotechnology Information - Pharmacokinetics of intranasal Crushed OxyContin and Intravenous Oxycodone in Nondependent Prescription Opioid Abusers
    National Institutes of Health - Oxycodone | C18H21NO4 - Pubchem
    U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Oxycodone

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on March 27, 2022
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