Oxycodone Rectal Use Dangers And Its Effects

People who struggle with oxycodone abuse may experiment with using the drug rectally (“plugging”). This method of use causes an intensified high, but increases a person’s risk of infection, dependence, and overdose.

Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic with a high potential for abuse. This means that prescription painkillers like oxycodone can result in physical dependence or addiction. When a person is addicted to oxycodone, they may experiment with rectal use to increase the drug’s effects.

Rectal use of oxycodone increases the pleasurable and relaxing effects of the drug. However, this method of use puts people at risk for addiction, rectal infection, and overdose.

Why Do People Plug Oxycodone (Rectal Use)?

When people are addicted to oxycodone, they may crush and dissolve the tablets in water, and inject the mixture into the rectum. Plugging oxycodone decreases a person’s pain, and causes feelings of drowsiness and relaxation.

A person may use oxycodone rectally, in order to avoid the telltale symptoms of snorting (such as a persistent runny nose). People who plug oxycodone may also experiment with this taboo method to amplify the drug’s effects.

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Unfortunately, plugging oxycodone can have serious effects on a person’s mental and physical well-being. Using oxycodone other than how it’s prescribed is a red flag indicating that a person may be struggling with opioid addiction.

Mental Effects Of Plugging Oxycodone

Oxycodone activates the opioid receptors on the brain’s nerve cells. When taken in large amounts, oxycodone causes feelings of intense euphoria, or feeling “high.” However, using this drug rectally can have negative effects on a person’s mental state.

Plugging oxycodone causes a strong but fleeting high. Because the euphoria is short-lived, a person may crave another dose soon after. This can cause a person to repeat large doses of the drug, which could lead to overdose.

Many medications that contain oxycodone come in extended-release form, which means the drug is intended to be released over a period of several hours. Plugging these stronger doses of oxycodone can quickly cause a physical dependence. While it does provide a pleasurable rush, it is dangerous to experience the full extended-release dose at one time.

Plugging oxycodone can have additional impacts on the brain, including:

  • change in mood
  • trouble sleeping
  • decreased sex drive
  • extreme drowsiness
  • hallucinations
  • lightheadedness
  • changes in behavior
  • poor decision-making

Physical Dangers Of Plugging Oxycodone

Oxycodone causes people to feel extremely drowsy. Some people may feel a strong itching sensation and feeling of well-being. While plugging oxycodone may initially feel good, this method of use can cause serious damage to a person’s body.

People suffering from opioid addiction may plug oxycodone in an unsterile environment. This can result in infection and painful abdominal complications. Those who engage in anal sex are also at an increased risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.

Plugging oxycodone can lead to additional effects in the body, including:

  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • agitation
  • vomiting
  • irregular menstruation
  • shivering
  • stiff muscles
  • changes in heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • weakness
  • dizziness

Anytime a person uses oxycodone rectally, they risk damage to internal tissue. This can complicate any pre-existing health conditions, including anorectal or colorectal diseases.

Oxycodone Overdose Symptoms

It’s difficult to know the exact dose when plugging oxycodone. While some people think plugging oxycodone is safer than snorting, this method of use greatly increases a person’s risk of overdose. If a person uses oxycodone rectally, they may ingest an unsafe amount of the drug.

In 2016, about 42,000 opioid-related deaths occurred in the United States. Opioid overdose is considered a nationwide crisis. Many of the climbing rates of fatal overdose are due to abuse of these powerful medications.

Plugging oxycodone also causes the full dose to hit a person’s bloodstream at once. This can lead to a powerful high, but it heightens the risk of unintentional overdose.

Signs of an oxycodone overdose can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • unconsciousness
  • slowed or stopped breathing
  • extreme drowsiness or sleepiness
  • narrowed or widened pupils
  • inability to be woken up
  • limp muscles
  • bluish tint to lips, skin, or fingernails
  • cold and clammy skin
  • coma

Many opioid overdoses include the use of other drugs, especially benzodiazepines. More than 30 percent of opioid overdoses involve these drugs, which are typically prescribed for anxiety or insomnia.

It’s extremely dangerous to take oxycodone with a benzodiazepine like diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), or clonazepam (Klonopin). When oxycodone is taken with one of these substances, the risk of overdose spikes.

Oxycodone Withdrawal And Detox

Opioids like oxycodone are known to have a severe impact on a person’s physical and mental state. This drug is highly addictive, and can quickly lead a person to dependence. When a person is dependent on oxycodone, their body requires the drug to feel normal.

Dependence is also linked to tolerance, where a person requires large amounts of the drug to get the same effects. If a person stops taking oxycodone suddenly, their body will likely enter experience acute withdrawal.

Symptoms of oxycodone withdrawal include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • runny nose
  • diarrhea
  • muscle aches
  • sweating
  • teary eyes
  • insomnia
  • shakiness
  • flu-like symptoms

Oxycodone withdrawal can be a painful experience. While some choose to endure withdrawal at home, but this can be extremely difficult. Instead, people suffering from withdrawal could consider a drug detoxification program that provides emotional support and medical supervision.

In a medical detox program, patients experiencing oxycodone withdrawal may be given medications like Suboxone or Subutex. This medication-assisted treatment (MAT) approach provides relief from withdrawal symptoms and helps to curb physical cravings.

Treatment For Oxycodone Addiction

Every day, more than 115 Americans die from abusing opioids, including oxycodone. Fortunately, effective detox and inpatient treatment options are available throughout the U.S.

For more information on the dangers of plugging oxycodone, or to explore rehab center options near you, contact one of our treatment specialists today.

National Institute on Drug Abuse - Benzodiazepines and Opioids

U.S National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus - Oxycodone

U.S Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health - How opioid drugs activate receptors

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