Oxycodone abuse effects on the body

Substances of Abuse

01:54 | Hannah Hoggarth
Oxycodone abuse effects on the body
Substances of Abuse

How does OxyContin affect the body? When pain pills are taken by a person who does not have chronic pain, the results are nausea, extreme drowsiness.

After inhaling the product for a short time, inhalants may create a feeling of excitation followed by drowsiness, headache, dizziness or respiratory irritation. Long-term abuse causes brain/kidney/liver damage. In some cases, instant death occurs because the heart begins beating erratically (ventricular fibrillation), resulting in “sudden sniffing death.”

Why is it so dangerous? When alcohol or other depressants are mixed with GHB, extreme sedation and death have occurred. Non-commercial GHB is manufactured on the street and can contain dangerous additives. The toxic dose is very close to the “party” dose, so even amounts as small as 1/4 teaspoon can be dangerous.

What are some signs of Ecstasy use? Users chew gum or suck on pacifiers to relieve tension in jaw muscles. High body temperatures cause users to remove layers of clothing and consume lots of water. Irritability and agitation may lead to the taking of alcohol or downers for a calming effect.

How is it abused? People seeking an alternative to heroin often try OxyContin. They chew the time-release tablets for a quicker high. Some crush the tablet to snort or inject it. Classified as a Schedule II drug, prescriptions are often obtained fraudulently, then sold for up to $180 per tablet. In many robberies of pharmacies and residences, only the Oxycontin is stolen.

With regular use, people become addicted. Discontinuing GHB after regular use can result in withdrawal, causing anxiety, shaking, paranoia, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate and abnormal eye movements for weeks.

Is it illegal to buy or possess? In the USA as of March 2011, most of the most common ingredients are illegal to buy, sell or posses. It is scheduled as a Class I drug with penalties similar to marijuana possession. When one ingredient becomes illegal, sellers import another synthetic product s with different chemical ingredient to get around the law. It’s sold online and in some convenience stores, but just because it’s sold over-the –counter does NOT make it safe.

How is it treated in the hospital? Support of breathing may involve use of a breathing machine (ventilator). Medications may be needed to control blood pressure, fast heart rates, agitation or convulsions. IV fluids and cooling measures help treat high fevers.

For advice after contact with a poison, call 24 hours a day, 7 days week, 365 days a year.

Products children as young as 10 years old have abused:

Signs of regular use include:

Who abuses Coricidin and why? The latest substance abuse trend involves taking over-the-counter cold remedies containing dextromethorphan. These are abused by teens and pre-teens because they can be purchased without a prescription in drugstores. This practice is often mistaken for a suicidal overdose because many pills are swallowed to achieve the desired effects. Teens hope to feel excitement and euphoria, but often encounter drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, hallucinations, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, convulsions, coma or death.

What are the dangers? The normal dose is close to the toxic dose. When a person gets a strong tablet, they can experience fever, hallucinations, agitation, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, stroke, upset stomach, jaw clenching, muscle spasms, seizures (convulsions), sweating and dilated pupils. Deaths are usually due to complications from fevers up to 108° or seizures. For more information, visit www.dea.gov.

These plants are the size of a bush or tree and produce large pas-colored flowers that point down. The strength, or the amount of poison in each plant, varies according to its growing conditions. For instance well-cared-for plants may be more toxic than neglected ones or vice versa. Teens eat the flowers or boil the seeds to make tea.

An awareness guide for parents, teachers and health professionals.

How widespread is Oxycontin abuse? In only 4 years since it hit the market, Emergency Room visits due to OxyContin abuse have doubled and deaths have quadrupled. The majority of abusers are age 35 and older. For more information, visit www.dea.gov.

Why do people smoke synthetic marijuana? Instead of burning the incense as a fragrance, some people smoke it as a drug for a marijuana-like high. Its popularity was due to its former legal status and the fact that the chemicals do not test positive on a THC drug test.

What are the dangers? Added ingredients add potential problems, including high fevers or liver failure. The Coricidin can cause heart or nervous system damage. Long-term abuse can cause mental illness (psychosis), erectile dysfunction, frequent urination, chronic high blood pressure, muscle contortions and rapid back-and-forth eye movements (nystagmus).

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What is Ecstasy? A hallucinogenic amphetamine made in street labs. It comes in pill form in many colors & designs.

What is OxyContin? OxyContin refers to the continuous-release version of Oxycodone, a prescription narcotic for relief of severe pain. When the pills are taken by mouth, they provide pain relief for up to 12 hours.

Scenarios: A 16-year-old boy is found dead after inhaling fumes from an aerosol air freshener. A teen dies from sniffing nitrous oxide. A group of Central Florida pre-teens recently became ill after obtaining freon from a school air conditioning unit.

What are some signs of Coricidin use? The person may have signs similar to alcohol intoxication: difficulty walking, vomiting, confusion and drowsiness. They may be out of touch with reality, exhibiting unnatural postures and feel extremely frightened. Depending on which added ingredients are in the product, the abuser may also have dilated pupils and feel hot, dry and flushed.

What problems does it cause? The use of GHB as a legitimate drug and nutritional supplement was discontinued due to unsafe side effects such as convulsions and heavy sedation. Its sale and use was banned in Florida and California in 1990. The effects of this drug are unpredictable. Within 15 minutes after swallowing GHB, users may experience:

Who uses Ecstasy and why? As a mind-altering hallucinogen with a speed effect, it’s taken to provide energy in dance clubs or to combat the effects of drugs such as downers or depressants.

How is it treated in the hospital? Treatment may include many medications (to calm agitation, lower the blood pressure, slow the heartbeat, counteract coma, reduce muscle contortions, control convulsions), IV fluids, cooling measures or breathing machines. Call Florida Poison Information Center at for emergency advice or questions.

What is it? GHB has been used in medical investigations, as a nutritional supplement and a street drug. It has been marketed as an over-the-counter sleep or weight-control aid. Bodybuilders claim that it stimulates release of a natural growth hormone and enhances muscle growth. It has been marketed illegally under various names: Gamma Hydroxybutric Acid, Sodium Oxybate, Oxybutyrate, Gamma-Oh, 4-Hydroxybutyrate, Gamma Hydrate, Somsanit, Blue Nitro and Somatomax PM. An investigational form, Xyrem, is prescribed for treatment of sleep disorders.

How does OxyContin affect the body? When pain pills are taken by a person who does not have chronic pain, the results are nausea, extreme drowsiness, constipation, dizziness, sweating and weakness. When a strong dose is taken, a person can have cold & clammy skin, slow heartbeat, constricted pupils, muscle weakness, lethargy, coma and shallow breathing. Long-term use of OxyContin is addictive.

How is it treated in the hospital? Patients exposed to GHB require symptomatic supportive care in a health care facility for monitoring of breathing, lethargy and possible seizures. There is no specific antidote for GHB, but screening for other types of sedatives can be helpful. Call the Florida Poison Information Center at for treatment details.