What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic narcotic analgesic used to treat moderate to severe pain.  It is a semi-synthetic opioid being  that it is synthesized from thebaine, a naturally occurring alkaloid found in the opium poppy. It has a high potential for abuse due to its’ euphoric pain relieving effects and high risk of addiction and dependency.  Oxycodone has become increasingly popular in recreational users in recent years and has contributed to what is now being called the “Opioid Crisis” of America. 


Cut- Off Levels  Window of Detection 
200, 300 ng/mL (Urine) 2hr. - 3 Days (Urine)
50, 300 ng/mL (Saliva)  1 - 2 Days (Saliva)


Common Nicknames
  • Oxy’s

  • Roxy’s

  • Blues

  • Greens

  • Percs

  • Vics

  • Hillbilly Heroin

How is it Used?

Oxycodone can only be obtained (legally) by having a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner.  It is manufactured and distributed in extended-released (ER) tablets ranging from 5mg – 80mg and 5mg – 30mg immediate-release tablets (IR).  Common name brands of oxycodone are OxyContin, Roxicodone, Roxicet, Endocet, Percocet, and Percodan. When taken properly in a medical setting or under medical supervision, oxycodone is approved for oral use only in the U.S. It is available in liquid form for intravenous and intramuscular injection in other countries such as the U.K. 

What Does It Look Like?

Small round or oval tablets ranging in colors, such as, but not limited to, white, pink, blue, yellow, or green.  OxyContin is one of the most known and widely abused brands of oxycodone and will have the letters “OP” printed on one side and the dosage in milligrams printed on the other, i.e., a 40mg ER OxyContin tablet will appear yellow in color with the letters “OP” on one side and “40” on the other.  Another popular choice among oxycodone users are, Roxicodone 30mg IR tablets, which are typically blue in color. In recreational use, it is common for a user to crush the tablet into a powder to than either insufflate nasally or heat the powder to a liquid to then be injected intravenously.  The tablets can also be smoked, or “free-based”, off of aluminum foil and be used as an inhalant. 

What Are the Effects?

When taken properly an extended-release tablet will usually produce onset effects within 30 minutes to 1 hour and can last anywhere from 4 – 12 hours gradually “releasing” the dose over an “extended” period of time. The immediate-release tablets will have shorter acting effects last from 2 – 4 hours but “release” the entire dose all at once or “immediate(ly)”. Oxycodone has been said to produce euphoric pain relieving effects that have helped many improve quality of life, but has a high risk of dependency and can also be fatal at high doses. Users are often encouraged to be weened off oxycodone, due to the withdrawal symptoms that can follow abrupt stopage  

Common Symptoms
  • Miosis or pin pointed pupils
  • Shallow Breathing
  • Decreased Respiratory Function
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Coma 
  • Death
Legal Status

Schedule II substance under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act.




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