OxyContin High: Does OxyContin Make You Feel High?


OxyContin is one of the most widely prescribed and abused drugs in the U.S., and with that comes many questions. The following is a brief overview of OxyContin and answers to questions like, “Does OxyContin make you feel high?”

  • OxyContin is an opioid painkiller available only by prescription
  • OxyContin is the brand name of oxycodone, and it’s an extended-release version of the drug
  • As with other prescription opioids, OxyContin works by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system
OxyContin High: Does OxyContin Make You Feel High?
OxyContin is at the center of the opioid epidemic in America. As a Schedule II controlled substance, OxyContin has a high potential for abuse and addiction, but it also has therapeutic value in terms of providing 24-hour pain relief.

OxyContin is different from a lot of other opioids because of the extended-release element of this drug. What this means is that someone can take one dose, and the pain-relieving effects will last for up to 12 hours. The medication is released slowly in the body, and that’s why OxyContin is used for around-the-clock pain treatment, rather than for as-needed pain relief.

Most other opioids will only relieve pain for a few hours, so with OxyContin, a person doesn’t have to think about when they’ll take the next dose as frequently.

If someone takes this prescription drug as directed for pain, there usually isn’t an OxyContin high that comes with it, particularly since it is extended-release. In general, people who have severe pain don’t tend to feel high when they take opioids, and this is especially true with OxyContin because it is an extended-release drug.

Unfortunately, an OxyContin high does occur when people abuse the drug. OxyContin changes the way the brain and central nervous system respond to pain, and if someone takes it in high doses, or outside of the parameters of a prescription, they may experience a high that includes euphoria, a feeling of well-being or deep relaxation.

The OxyContin high is frequently compared to what people feel like when they take heroin. Heroin is also an opioid, so it impacts the brain and body in similar ways. In order to get more of an OxyContin high, people will abuse the drug. OxyContin abuse usually includes chewing it, crushing it or breaking and then snorting it, or dissolving and injecting it. By abusing OxyContin in this way, people get the full effects, or a very potent high, of the extended-release opioid all at one time.

The reason people can get high from OxyContin is that it binds to opioid receptors and when that happens, a rush of dopamine floods into the person’s brain. This dopamine is a feel-good brain chemical, thus the euphoria. Following the OxyContin euphoric high, people will often become very relaxed, drowsy or even sedated.

Another way people will try to amplify an OxyContin high is by mixing it with other substances. One of the substances most commonly mixed with OxyContin is alcohol. When someone takes these substances together, it can increase the pleasurable high, but it’s also incredibly dangerous. It’s much more likely someone will overdose on OxyContin when it’s taken with alcohol or other substances such as other opioids, or benzodiazepines like Xanax.

OxyContin is more potent and dangerous when it’s combined with anything else that also acts as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. When multiple CNS depressants are taken together, the respiratory system may slow down to the point of coma or death.

In theory, if you’re taking OxyContin as instructed, you wouldn’t get high from it since it is a time-release opioid. You can get high from OxyContin if you abuse it in any way, however. Abuse can include taking more than you’re supposed to, taking it more often than prescribed, crushing it and taking it any way other than orally, or combining it with other substances.
OxyContin High: Does OxyContin Make You Feel High?
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