Snorting Oxycodone: What Are the Risks?

Start Your Addiction Recovery Today

Find Out How

Common Questions About Addiction Treatment

Check Out Our FAQ

Verify Your Insurance

Looking for effective treatment that’s also affordable? We accept most major insurance providers. Get a free insurance benefits check now.

Check Your Coverage​

Questions about treatment?

Get confidential help 24/7.
Reach out for more details about:
  • How we can help

  • Our location & programs

  • Insurance & payment options

Call 866-881-1184

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a prescription opioid analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is derived from thebaine, a naturally occurring substance found in the opium poppy plant. Oxycodone is available in several forms, including immediate-release and extended-release tablets, as well as a component of other medications Percocet. Oxycodone may have numerous street names as well, like oxy, blues, or hillbilly heroin. 

Brand names for oxycodone include:

  • OxyContin
  • Roxybond
  • Roxicodone
  • Oxaydo
  • Endocet
  • Oxaydo
  • Percolone
  • Xtampza ER

The effects of oxycodone work by binding to specific receptors in the brain and spinal cord, inhibiting pain. One of the major side effects is euphoria, which leads to people snorting oxycodone to get high. This may mean that withdrawal and detox are necessary to get sober. Remember, substance abuse treatment can help. 

This euphoria has made oxycodone highly addictive, and, most infamously through its brand name Oxycontin, it has greatly contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States and other countries. As a result, oxycodone is considered a Schedule II substance under the Controlled Substances Act.

Drug and alcohol abuse, particularly opioid abuse, can be treated by inpatient and outpatient rehab. A treatment provider can help you or a loved one’s addiction. 

In this article, we’ll talk about the consequences of snorting oxycodone. If you or someone you love is snorting oxycodone or otherwise abusing opioids, seek professional treatment.

Is Snorting Oxycodone Safe?

Snorting oxycodone involves crushing the pill into a fine powder and inhaling it through the nose. Legally prescribed oxycodone generally comes in extended-release formulas, such as Oxycontin, that are intended to slowly release the drug throughout the day.

This extended-release method is rendered useless by crushing and snorting oxycodone, as the benefits are felt in as little as 15 minutes. This, of course, massively increases the euphoric effects of the drug, making addiction and overdose much more likely.

Snorting oxycodone can also damage the respiratory system, leading to complications such as difficulty breathing and respiratory arrest, which can be fatal. The nasal passage can also be damaged, leading to chronic nosebleeds, loss of sense of smell, and holes in the nasal septum.

Aside from snorting oxycodone, there are other ways to abuse the drug:

  • Injection: Some individuals dissolve oxycodone tablets in water and then inject the solution. This is extremely dangerous and increases the risks of overdose, infections, and transmission of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
  • Oral Misuse: Even when taken orally, oxycodone can be misused by taking higher doses than prescribed or taking it more frequently than directed.
  • Mixing with Other Substances: Combining oxycodone with other substances, such as alcohol or benzodiazepines, is extremely dangerous and significantly increases the risks of overdose and other serious complications.
Looking For Substance Abuse Treatment?

Get confidential help from our addiction treatment specialists in Orange County. Call to join our rehab program today!

Call 866-881-1184

Can You Smoke Oxycodone?

Smoking or vaporizing oxycodone is another method of abuse, which also leads to a rapid onset of effects, with the associated increased risks of overdose and addiction. Smoking oxycodone can also raise one’s risk of chronic bronchitis.

How Does Oxycodone Compare to Other Opioids?

Oxycodone is one of several opioid medications that are commonly prescribed for pain relief. Other opioids include:

  • Hydrocodone — Hydrocodone is generally considered less potent than oxycodone. Its duration of action is comparable to immediate-release oxycodone, with similar side effects, including nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness.
  • Morphine — Morphine is less potent than oxycodone on a milligram per milligram basis, and it comes in both immediate and extended-release formulations like oxycodone. While it shares many side effects with oxycodone, it might cause a higher incidence of histamine release, which can result in itchiness and a rash.
  • Fentanyl — Fentanyl stands out as much more potent than oxycodone, used mainly in severe pain cases and for those who have built up a tolerance to opioids. It has various formulations, with the transdermal patch lasting up to 72 hours, while the intravenous formulation acts much quicker. Due to its potency, it carries a high risk of overdose, with side effects that can be more severe than those of oxycodone.
  • Tramadol — Tramadol is less potent than oxycodone. It comes in both immediate-release and extended-release formulations, with the latter lasting about 24 hours. While it shares common opioid side effects, it can also induce serotonin syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Hydromorphone — Hydromorphone is more potent than oxycodone and is available in immediate and extended-release formulations, the latter of which can last between 12-24 hours. Its side effects profile is similar to that of oxycodone, but it carries a higher risk of overdose due to its potency.
  • Codeine — Codeine is much less potent than oxycodone, generally providing relief for 4-6 hours. While it shares many side effects with oxycodone, it is known to cause more histamine release and the associated side effects like itchiness.

Keep in mind that, whether they are stronger or weaker than oxycodone, abusing opioids is extremely dangerous. If you or a loved one is doing this, seek professional opioid treatment.

How Long Does Oxycodone Stay in Your System?

The time oxycodone stays in your system can vary based on a wide variety of factors. Snorting oxycodone means a faster onset of effects but also means it will clear from your system faster.

Regardless of the method of administration, the general windows of detection in drug tests are as follows:

  • Urine Test — 3-4 days after the last use
  • Blood Test — Up to 24 hours after the last dose
  • Saliva Test — 1-2 days after the last use
  • Hair Test — Up to 90 days or longer after the last use

It is important to note that these are approximate time frames. How long oxycodone stays in your system can vary based on individual metabolic factors, the frequency and amount of use, and other personal health factors.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Oxycodone Addiction?

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction can be a critical step in getting help for yourself or someone you know.

Below are some signs and symptoms of someone may be snorting oxycodone.

Physical Symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Constricted (“pinpoint”) pupils
  • Constipation
  • Breathing issues
  • Physical dependence and tolerance
  • Poor hygiene

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Doctor-shopping — Visiting multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for oxycodone
  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • Neglecting responsibilities at work
  • Engaging in risky behaviors (ex: DUI)
  • Financial issues

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Constantly thinking about oxycodone
  • Denial

Other Symptoms and Signs:

  • Sleep issues
  • Decreased libido
  • Poor hygiene and grooming
  • Legal issues

Habitually snorting oxycodone can have severe consequences for a person’s health, relationships, and overall quality of life. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of oxycodone addiction in yourself or others can be a signal to seek help.

Verify Your Insurance

Looking for quality substance abuse treatment that’s also affordable? South Coast accepts most major insurance providers. Get a free insurance benefits check now.

Check Your Coverage​

Opioid Treatment at South Coast Behavioral Health

Dealing with an addiction to oxycodone or other opioids can be difficult – thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. A treatment center can help. Opioid addiction is no way to live. 

South Coast Behavioral Health offers a fully accredited medical detox program in California for those ready to start their recovery journey. Here, in a safe and welcoming environment, our certified medical detox professionals will provide you with round-the-clock care as you detox from oxycodone.

At South Coast, we take pride in offering care that is closely tailored to specific issues. To that end, we offer gender-specific detox programs, with medical detox for men in Irvine, CA, and medical detox for women in Huntington Beach, CA.

Opioid withdrawal isn’t easy, but you can do it with our help. After you detox, we can then begin treating your oxycodone addiction. There are several different approaches to take here, including:

Residential Treatment in California

After completing medical detox, you’ll move to receive inpatient treatment in Orange County California. There, you’ll receive medically-assisted treatment and dual diagnosis treatment to deal with any cravings or co-occurring mental health issues you may be battling. We also offer residential treatment facilities in Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Huntington Beach for those who desire gender-specific treatment. There, patients get round-the-clock medical attention and monitoring while living at the center full-time.

In addition to individual and group counseling and medication management, you’ll also have access to leisure activities and family therapy support services.

Partial Hospitalization in California

Most clients start substance abuse treatment with South Coast in our residential treatment program. After completing that, many desire something that still provides structure and support, but with extra space and time to oneself. For that, we offer Partial Hospitalization in Newport Beach.

A step down from inpatient care but with more structure than conventional outpatient programs, partial hospitalization offers a good balance for those looking to ease back into normal life. Clients can receive care five to seven days a week for several hours each day, returning to their homes in the evening.

This way, they can recover without putting their daily lives completely on hold, receiving intense therapeutic interventions like group and individual therapy, skill development, and medication management as necessary.

Intensive Outpatient Treatment in California

For those leaving inpatient residential treatment or partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are yet another gradual step forward on the road to recovery.

With a focus on group therapy, individual counseling, and education, clients undergoing Intensive Outpatient Treatment in Newport Beach can meet three to five days a week. Each session lasts three hours.

This level of care requires the least amount of attendance at a facility. From there you can transition to outpatient rehab and sober living. 

Start Today

Drug addiction is a real problem. Opioid dependence can ruin your life. Drug and alcohol rehab can help. If you or a loved one are struggling with oxycodone addiction but wonder how long addiction treatment takes or have other questions, call us at 866-881-1184. Our highly qualified staff will be happy to help give you an idea of what to expect from your addiction recovery timeline, verify your insurance, and assist with any other questions you may have. Addiction affects all aspects of life. An opioid overdose is a real concern. If you are addicted to a prescription painkiller like oxycodone, behavioral therapy can help. Call our recovery center today. 

Read More About addiction Treatment & Recovery
Start Your Recovery Today at South Coast

At South Coast, our experts are dedicated to providing comprehensive information to help you make well-informed decisions for your health and happiness in recovery.

Contact us today if you are ready to begin your journey to recovery. Our team is available around the clock, so feel free to call us at any time.