Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dr. Alberto Solà

By now, most people in the United States and even around the world are aware of the opioid epidemic in America. Over the past few decades, many thousands of people have developed dependencies on opioids; many thousands have died as a result. Although our country is working hard to get this epidemic under control, many people still tragically die avoidable deaths due to opioid addiction.

If you know someone addicted to opioids, you need to get him or her help immediately. There is hope for people who struggle with addiction, and people can break free with the right motivation and proper support. People do recover every day.

The people that you know that are addicted to opioids or opiates may use and abuse a number of different drugs in this realm. Many different drugs fall under the opioid and opiate umbrella, including Vicodin, Darvocet, morphine, codeine, fentanyl, Demerol, methadone, and hydrocodone. However, two of the most common opioids you’ll hear mentioned, discussed and abused are oxycodone and OxyContin. 

What are oxycodone and OxyContin? Why are these drugs so addictive? What are the risks of these drugs and what are they used for? Is OxyContin and oxycodone the same thing? Read on to learn the difference between oxycodone and OxyContin and other important facts about them. 


What Is the Difference Between OxyContin and Oxycodone?

Some of the first questions that often arise when these drugs are mentioned usually ask about the differences between oxycodone and OxyContin. What is the difference between OxyContin and oxycodone? Is oxycodone the same as OxyContin? 

The answer may or may not surprise you. These two drugs are very similar. In fact, they are actually the exact same thing. Oxycodone is the name of the drug itself; OxyContin is simply a brand name. Percocet is another brand name for oxycodone, too. 

OxyContin is a prescription opioid that is prescribed for chronic pain management. Because chronic pain needs to be managed over a long period of time, OxyContin is a controlled-release, or, time-released medication. Its producers aim to help doctors and patients meet their chronic pain management needs. They can work as ATC medication (around the clock) to help patients avoid constant pain.

Oxycodone, on the other hand, can also be prescribed as a short-acting drug for intense pain as well. And, it’s also available as a time-released medication by some pharmaceutical providers; in that case, when it comes to oxycodone extended release vs OxyContin, again, the two are even more similar. 

These are only minor differences when considering the similarities and differences between Oxycontin vs oxycodone. The fact of the matter is, they are identical molecularly.

What are Oxycodone and OxyContin?

Where do these drugs come from? How are they made? What are Oxycontin and oxycodone anyway?

Thousands of years ago, in the area that was once known as Mesopotamia but today is Iraq and Kuwait, people began harvesting the Persian poppy for recreational and medicinal purposes. It’s one of the oldest drugs in the world, and all true opiates come from poppies. All opiates – including opium, heroin, codeine, and morphine – are single-ingredient medicine. They all come from the poppy plant and in their purest form, nothing is added to them. 

Opioids, on the other hand, are a nearly exact synthetic copy of this medicine. Opioids are made in a laboratory. Some opioids – including oxycodone and OxyContin – may be partially synthesized from opium from poppies combined with added ingredients. Others are fully synthesized.

These prescription painkillers are very helpful to many people who suffer. Both opiates and opioids can be used to treat moderate to severe pain, but on the negative side of things, both are very, very addictive. 

What Are Oxycodone and OxyContin Used For?

Conscientious doctors will only prescribe oxycodone when it is really needed and will do their best to keep the prescription and use short term for this reason. In some cases, however, OxyContin is prescribed for longer periods for people who really need relief from chronic pain, and the good and bad need to be weighed by both the doctor and the patient. For example, Oxycontin is often prescribed to people with terminal cancer. In that case, potential addiction is not a big concern – the bigger concern is making the patient comfortable during his or her final stages of life.

Risks and Side Effects of Oxycodone and OxyContin

As mentioned above, oxycodone and OxyContin are both very addictive. Addiction is a huge risk when using oxycodone in any form, even if it is prescribed by a doctor. 

People who are prescribed opioids but are not suffering terminal illnesses must be very careful to avoid addiction. Individuals who became addicted to opiates or opioids like oxycodone risk overdose and death. The likelihood of these things happening only increases over time.

If you suspect that someone you know is developing an opioid dependency, there are a number of common symptoms that may indicate your suspicions are true. People who struggle with an addiction to opioids may complain of headaches, dry mouth, or blurred vision. They may sweat a lot and they may demonstrate sudden mood changes. They also may lose their appetites and feel nauseous and even vomit. 

As time goes by, they may also experience constipation, insomnia, depression, and limb swelling. Seizures, comas, and other problems – even death – may follow, if the addiction is not addressed.

Oxycodone and OxyContin Abuse and Addiction

Oxycodone and OxyContin abuse and addiction is a real problem in our country. These days, more than 75,000 people die annually in the United States from opioids.

In many cases, these drugs are consumed accidentally, but in many other cases, they are intentionally ingested. Some people develop an addiction to opioids because they were prescribed by their doctors and then their use got out of hand. Others use opioids recreationally and end up addicted to them. Some people who begin using opioids find that they can no longer get them or can no longer afford them so they turn to dangerous street drugs like heroin instead. 

No matter what path someone takes to opioid or opiate addiction, these drugs can be deadly. It’s crucial that anyone with an opioid dependency seeks help to break free from his or her addiction.


Oxycodone and OxyContin Abuse Treatment

Fortunately, there is help available for oxycodone or OxyContin abuse and addiction. There are addiction recovery professionals all over the United States and the world that want to help others in their first steps to recovery. Everyone’s path to recovery is different, but recovery from addiction is possible. People get clean and sober every day, and you or your loved one can too.

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. The Clear Sky ibogaine therapy has had much success in helping people get to the root of their addictions through medically supervised ibogaine experiences. We would love to host and help you at our beautiful facility in Cancun, Mexico. Our staff members are standing by to answer your questions; please give us a call today. You can recover.