A genuine gateway drug, oxycodone is a synthetic opioid painkiller intended to treat pain. It’s also one of the most commonly abused drugs in the US.
Marketed heavily to physicians in the 1990s under the brand names Roxicodone and OxyContin, the drug was often overprescribed. This led to tolerance and addiction even in patients who weren’t engaged in oxycodone abuse.
Oxycodone’s addictive nature led patients to continue prescriptions past the point when they were needed. Many turned to behaviors like doctor shopping to obtain the drug. When they couldn’t obtain oxycodone, many users switched to illicit drugs such as heroin.
Oxycodone, like all opioid drugs, can produce intense feelings of euphoria when abused. It also features many of the same painful withdrawal effects as other opioid drugs. Oxycodone abuse is treatable, but professional, medical detox must be the first step. A patient in detox receives the valuable help they need to manage withdrawal symptoms.