Synthesized from an organic compound found in opium, oxycodone is a potent opioid drug that is used to treat moderately severe to severe pain. For people who suffer from chronic conditions like cancer or degenerative arthritis, oxycodone can allow optimal functioning and improve quality of life. But when the drug is abused, this controlled narcotic can quickly cause chemical dependence and addiction. Like other opiates, oxycodone can cause a fatal overdose when you ingest too much of the drug. Because of the dangers of abuse and overdose, oxycodone and the drugs that contain it are classified as Schedule II controlled substances.
Oxycodone is found in a number of commonly prescribed pain relievers, including Percocet, Percodan, Roxicet and OxyContin. The drug can be taken in tablet, capsule or liquid form, depending on the nature and extent of your pain. People who abuse oxycodone may grind up the tablets into a fine powder, which can be injected or snorted. Snorting, or insufflating, these drugs speeds up the effects of the narcotic on your central nervous system, producing a high that’s comparable to the intensity of heroin.