What Are The Possible Side Effects & Dangers of Snorting OxyContin?

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Know the Risks!

Misusing or abusing your (or someone else’s) OxyContin® prescription is never good. Doing it will cause an immediate, uncontrolled opioid high, which leads to a higher risk of addiction and could even result in a fatal overdose. Because of these risks, medical professionals always advocate against misusing your dose, whether by injecting, chewing, crushing, or snorting. 

In addition to increasing the risk of addiction and overdose, misusing your prescription can lead to other medical issues, including: 

  • Hypotension or a sudden drop in blood pressure (low blood pressure) 
  • Respiratory distress, including respiratory depression, slowed breathing, irregular breathing, or shallow breathing
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Seizures 
  • Trouble swallowing 
  • Addiction 
  • Cardiac arrest 
  • Overdose
  • Death 
  • Itchiness 

What Is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is an opiate prescribed by medical professionals as a prescription pain reliever. Though the medication requires a medical prescription, this drug is often abused and purchased outside of a prescription. Buying “Oxys” on the street can be especially dangerous – not every Oxycodone or OxyContin pill someone sells is actually Oxycodone or OxyContin. Some of these counterfeit pills actually contain sleeping medication or fentanyl. 

What Are The Brand Names That Contain Oxycodone?

  • OxyContin
  • Percodan
  • Percocet
  • Roxicodone 
  • Oxydose
  • Xtampza ER
  • Dazidox 


OxyContin is a long-acting medication with a delayed release. It’s used to help pain that is moderate to severe. 

Who Gets Prescribed Oxycodone? 

Because Oxycodone is a very powerful drug, derived from the opium poppy, it’s usually only prescribed for those that have a high, unbearable level of pain or a chronic condition that causes terrible pain. Here are some of the medical situations that may require this type of pain relief:

  • Suffering from chronic pain 
  • The pain is interfering with the person’s quality of life 
  • In an around-the-clock program that utilizes long-term opioid therapy 
  • Terminal cancer 
  • Cancer that causes pain in the joints and bones 
  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Disease of the muscle and/or bones  
  • Patients must be opioid tolerant in order to receive this medication 
  • The benefits must outweigh the risks in order to be prescribed Oxycodone 

Know the Risks Of Abuse 

One of the most important things to know about Oxycodone is that there’s an extremely high potential for abuse, misuse, and addiction. A person with chronic pain may start out on a good foot, only taking the medication as prescribed, but soon regular use of the substance may lead to abuse, dependence, and addiction. This doesn’t happen to everyone that takes Oxycodone, but when it happens it can be crushing. Like with other opioids, taking this medication can cause medical issues, like respiratory depression or a sudden drop in blood pressure. Because of the risks of this substance, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) labeled oxycodone and any of the brand name drugs that contain oxycodone as Schedule II controlled substances. That means this classification of drugs is highly addictive – not as addictive as a Schedule I substance, but much more addictive than any of the Schedule III, IV, or V substances. 

Why Is Snorting Oxycodone Dangerous? 

There are many dangers to snorting Oxycodone, also called insufflating – and the dangers go beyond an increased risk of addiction or overdose. First, you need to understand how these drugs are snorted. A person abusing the drug will begin by grinding the tablets up to a fine powder. Coarse powder is never preferred as it’s bothersome when going up the nose. Next, they’ll assort the powder into a line and use an instrument to ingest the medication through their nose. Ingesting the medication in this way leads to quicker absorption – the medication goes directly into the bloodstream, causing an accelerated high. Snorting this medication affects the central nervous system – because of this, the “high” many users get can be compared to the intensity of heroin. 

Medical Issues Caused by Snorting 

  • Erosion of the nasal passages 
  • Nosebleeds 
  • Trouble smelling 
  • A change in your facial profile – a different look from the side or head-on 
  • A different sounding voice 

Look Out For The Signs

If you think that you or someone you love is addicted to oxycodone, there are certain signs and symptoms you can look out for. Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you think you may be addicted: 

  • Do you need to take more and more Oxycodone to feel the original effect?
  • Are you taking the medication outside of your prescription?
  • Do you take your medication secretly? Do you hide when you dose? 
  • Are you participating in illegal or unethical activities in order to get more Oxycodone? Are you stealing money? Forging prescriptions? Stealing pills? 
  • Are you irrationally afraid of running out of pills? 
  • If someone tells you that you may have a problem, do you get super angry? Do you get defensive when people talk to you about Oxycodone? 
  • Do you get the following symptoms when you try to quit: headaches, sweats, chills, nausea, tremors, agitation, anger, cravings?