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Oxycodone is a prescription drug that you may have heard of before, either as a doctor-recommended painkiller or as a part of the opioid epidemic. It’s surprising that a drug can be equal parts helpful and deadly at the same time. It all depends on the way you use it.
And the way people take their medications depends on their understanding of what it is, what it does, and why it should be used properly.
Many people simply don’t know enough about the dangers of drugs to know that they shouldn’t take it recreationally. Today we will be answering one of the most common questions regarding oxycodone: is it an opiate? Let’s take a closer look.
What are Opiates?
Opiates, opioids, and narcotics—these are terms that have gotten a bit of notoriety over time, and it’s all because of drug abuse. In law enforcement, the word narcotic is used to refer to any illegal drug.
But the truth is that not all illegal drugs can technically be considered narcotics. In medical terms, narcotics are substances that are classified as opiates or opioids. Generally speaking, these drugs are effective painkillers that have the ability to slow down and limit brain activity. These drugs block pain, relax the user, and make them feel euphoric.
Unfortunately, that is the same reason why people abuse these drugs. Narcotics can make you feel good, especially if they are taken in high doses.
Opiates are drugs that are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant. Opioids, on the other hand, consist of semi-synthetic and synthetic derivatives. Both classifications are considered narcotics.
Some legal opiates are controlled substances that are only available via prescription. Examples are codeine and morphine. However, there are illegal drugs like heroin that are also opiates.
If your doctor prescribes a narcotic for pain relief, be sure to use it properly and take it exactly as prescribed. You may find that a lot of narcotics are habit-forming, even if you are taking the right amount. Contact your doctor if you encounter any side effects while taking your medication.
Is Oxycodone an Opiate?
Oxycodone is not an opiate, as it is a semi-synthetic substance derived from the Persian poppy. This means oxycodone is an opioid. It has been in use for the treatment of pain for a long time. It comes as both a single-ingredient prescription medication, as well as in combination medications.
Oxycodone works best for the treatment of severe pain. It is mostly given to injured patients or those who recently went through a surgery. Opiates and opioids work by blocking pain signals from entering the brain. In the process, it also slows down the central nervous system, which is what causes people to feel drowsy or sleepy.
Potential side effects of oxycodone include nausea, vomiting, sudden mood shifts, and headaches.
Recreational users abuse the drug by snorting or injecting it. This puts them at risk of severe side effects like a stroke. It is also possible to overdose on this drug, especially if it is injected directly into the bloodstream because the body absorbs too much of it too soon.
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Addiction is a serious problem and it is not purely the medication’s fault, especially if it is something that is designed for a specific medical purpose. Narcotics like opiates and opioids are not necessarily lethal, but those who abuse it can struggle with the consequences.
Addiction is also a medical condition that needs to be treated properly. A combination of medical detox and behavioral therapy can address all the problems presented by this overwhelming condition. Look for an addiction treatment facility near you today and find out how you can help your loved one get back to living a sober life.