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What Are Roxies? Addiction, Side Effects & Treatment Options

Peter Manza, PhD profile image
Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD • Updated Jan 11, 2024 • 9 cited sources

Roxies is a street name for Roxicodone, the brand name for oxycodone—an opioid painkiller. While this drug has legitimate medical uses, it is also an opioid and has significant potential for misuse, dependence, and opioid use disorder (OUD)

What is Roxicodone?

What Are Roxies Used For?

Roxicodone is a brand-name version of the drug oxycodone hydrochloride, an opioid painkiller.[1] 

Doctors use this medication to treat moderate-to-severe pain that hasn’t responded to other therapies or for short-term pain management such as after a surgery or procedure. The effects of a single dose of Roxicodone typically last three to four hours.

Doctors and patients must be very careful when considering the drug’s potential benefits for treating pain. Roxis like oxycodone have significant misuse potential.

Roxicodone Misuse

Misusing roxies involves taking the opioid in any way other than prescribed, such as by:

  • Taking higher or more frequent doses than directed
  • Injecting or snorting roxies
  • Mixing roxies with other drugs like alcohol or benzodiazepines
  • Taking roxies without a prescription

Compulsive Roxicodone misuse can lead to physiological dependence and addiction and cause a myriad of mental and physical health problems.

When discussing oxycodone misuse, many people talk about OxyContin, but an equal dose of Roxicodone can be just as dangerous. 

Semisynthetic opioids like oxycodone are one of the leading causes of opioid deaths in the United States and a major contributor to the ongoing opioid epidemic.[2] 

Signs and Symptoms of Roxicodone Addiction

Roxies addiction, also known as opioid use disorder, is a chronic and complex condition characterized by problematic Roxicodone misuse despite negative consequences. 

There are 11 tell-tale signs and symptoms of an addiction to roxies, including:[3]

  • Taking higher doses of roxies than intended
  • Failing to cut down or control Roxicodone use
  • Spending a lot of time obtaining and using roxies
  • Experiencing strong cravings for roxies
  • Failing to fulfill obligations at home, school or work due to Roxicodone use
  • Continuing to use roxies despite interpersonal issues caused by use
  • Neglecting previously enjoyed hobbies in favor of Roxicodone use
  • Using roxies in dangerous situations
  • Continuing to use roxies despite medical or psychological issues caused by use
  • Developing tolerance (needing higher doses to feel high)
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you abruptly stop or reduce use

Withdrawal From Roxies

In time, people with OUD can become physically dependent on drugs. Your body may become accustomed to when the medication is present and struggle when it’s not. If you quit using Roxies abruptly, you can develop withdrawal symptoms. 

Opioid withdrawal is often described as “flu-like,” but discomfort is real and can be significant. If left untreated, distress could prompt you to return to drug use. 

The following symptoms are common during Roxicodone withdrawal:[3],[4]

  • Anxiety
  • Chills and fever
  • Sweating
  • Cramps
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Insomnia 
  • Irritability
  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Yawning

If you have become dependent on or addicted to roxies, medical detox is the safest setting to go through withdrawal. You receive 24/7 care and supervision, including opioid withdrawal medications like methadone or buprenorphine.

Can You Overdose on Roxies?

Yes, it’s possible to overdose on roxies, especially if you misuse roxies or regularly mix them with other depressants like alcohol, benzodiazepines and barbiturates.

An opioid overdose becomes more likely if Roxicodone is combined with other drugs that can affect breathing.[5] 

Signs of a Roxicodone Overdose

The following symptoms characterize a Roxies overdose:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Slowed or outright stopped breathing
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Significant narrowing or widening of the pupils
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • A lack of responsiveness or an inability to wake up

These symptoms should be considered a medical emergency, as they can be life-threatening and may result in death or permanent brain damage. Call 911 immediately if you suspect an overdose.

If available, administer naloxone (Narcan) to the overdosing person. This medication can rapidly reverse the life-threatening effects of a Roxicodone overdose. However, you should still call 911 even if you administer Narcan since the medication may only last for a few minutes.

Short-Term & Long-Term Effects of Roxicodone Misuse

In the short term, misusing roxies can cause serious issues such as these:[4],[6]

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation 
  • Slowed breathing and pulse
  • Mood changes
  • Stomach pain
  • Headache
  • Unawareness of surroundings
  • Stupor

More serious side effects that may signal a medical emergency include the following:[5]

  • Changes to heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Hives
  • Hoarseness
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Itching
  • Nausea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite
  • Rash
  • Seizures
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, hands, feet, ankles or lower legs
  • Weakness

Some people develop episodes of such extremely slow breathing that they damage brain cells. This damage can be permanent. 

Long-Term Risks

People who keep misusing opioids can develop long-term problems, including opioid dependence and opioid use disorder (OUD). 

Over time, many people who develop opioid use disorders experience a notable deterioration in their ability to care for themselves and those around them. They may experience financial difficulties, have trouble maintaining social and work relationships, and see other declines in their mental and physical health. 

Additional health risks include:[3],[5]

  • Increased suicidality
  • Depression
  • Increased risk for HIV and hepatitis
  • Bacterial infection of the heart lining
  • Nasal damage and nosebleeds (if snorted)
  • Chronic constipation
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Increased sensitivity to pain
  • Tuberculosis
  • Abscesses, track marks, and skin lesions
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Irregular menses
  • Infertility
  • Weakened immune system
  • Herat attack
  • Tooth decay
  • Increased accidents and fractures
  • Osteoporosis

MAT for Roxicodone Addiction

If a person has an addiction to roxies, Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) is considered the gold standard for treatment. MAT consists of one of three U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone)
  • Buprenorphine, extended release (Sublocade)
  • Naltrexone

At Bicycle Health, we use Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) therapy for MAT. Suboxone can prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, allowing the individual to focus on recovery.[7]

The buprenorphine component of Suboxone occupies opioid receptors, thereby preventing withdrawal. If the medication is misused, such as crushed and injected, the naloxone component is activated, preventing overdose and serving as an additional safety mechanism and misuse-deterrent. Suboxone is widely viewed as an effective and safe method to support recovery from opioid use disorder.[9]

Suboxone and other forms of MAT are available via prescription. As part of a MAT program, the patient will receive counseling and other forms of support.

If you are concerned about using Roxicodone and interested in MAT, reach out to Bicycle Health to get started.

Reviewed By Peter Manza, PhD

Peter Manza, PhD received his BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Rochester and his PhD in Integrative Neuroscience at Stony Brook University. He is currently working as a research scientist in Washington, DC. His research focuses on the role ... Read More

Sources
  1. Roxicodone. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2009/021011s002lbl.pdf. Accessed February 2023.
  2. Overdose Death Rates. National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/research-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates. January 2020. Accessed February 2023.
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
  4. Oxycodone. National Library of Medicine. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682132.html. February 2021. Accessed February 2023.
  5. Von Korff M, Kolodny A, Deyo RA, Chou R. Long-term opioid therapy reconsidered. Ann Intern Med. 2011;155(5):325-328. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-155-5-201109060-00011
  6. Oxycodone. Drug Enforcement Administration. https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/oxycodone. October 2022. Accessed April 2023.
  7. Prescription Opioids DrugFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids. June 2021. Accessed February 2023.
  8. Buprenorphine Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. CNS Drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6585403/. June 2020. Accessed February 2023.
  9. Suboxone: Rationale, Science, Misconceptions. The Ochsner Journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855417/. Spring 2018. Accessed February 2023.

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