It is estimated about 60% of Oxycodone use is for non-medical use. Oxycodone is potent and can lead to dependence, tolerance, and addiction after several weeks of misuse. Some patients end up injecting intravenously or snorting nasally to get more drug delivery once tolerance becomes a problem. Patients addicted to oxycodone are more likely to abuse heroin as it will become difficult to maintain use of oxycodone due to cost, availability on the street and (hard to obtain legally and illicitly).
Oxycodone, and oxycodone containing products, can be habit-forming, causing not only physical but also psychological dependence. Withdrawals may occur if the dose of the opiates is reduced or discontinued after long-term use. Using opiates for an extended period can lead to tolerance, where the user needs to increase the dosage of their opiates to achieve the desired effect, whether the desired outcome is pain control or euphoria.
Once the patient develops a tolerance, it becomes even more difficult to stop using due to the withdrawals. Symptoms of withdrawals are an indication of physical dependence and addiction to the opiate Oxycodone. Most patients describe withdrawals as the worst, most frightening experience one will ever encounter. One can only imagine the excruciating pain when the opiate user says that they’d rather die than go through the withdrawals. Oxycodone physical dependence symptoms, such as withdrawals, lead to psychological dependence. That is when addiction takes over the mind and life of the oxycodone opiate user.