Definition: Roxy is the street name for the drug oxycodone. It is derived from the brand name of the medication, Roxicodone. Roxy pills generally come in 15 or 30 mg pills. It is an immediate release form of oxycodone, unlike the time-release form of the drug: OxyContin. Roxies are pure form of oxycodone; they do not contain ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin, like other oxycodone-containing products (i.e. Percodan, Percocet, and Tylox).
Roxy, or oxycodone, is a powerful, narcotic analgesic (painkiller). It is a semi-synthetic opioid. Roxy is generally prescribed for moderate to severe pain. In sufficient doses, oxycodone produces a feeling of euphoria.
Roxies work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain. They bind to the same receptors that our bodies’ natural painkillers bind to. After prolonged roxy use, the body stops producing natural painkillers, resulting in opiate dependency.
Oxycodone dependency and addiction have existed since the release of the drug in the fifties. However, the other ingredients in the pill limited the dosage and routes of administration of oxycodone. It wasn’t until pharmaceutical companies released pure, high dosage versions of the medication (OxyContin and Roxicodone) in the 90’s that dependence and abuse began to skyrocket.
Side Effects: Oxycodone may cause side effects. Common side effects of oxycodone include:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Decrease in pupil (dark circle in eye) size
- Red eyes
Withdrawal Symptoms: Roxies have a high incidence of abuse and dependence. Over time, prolonged Roxy use causes the nerve cells in the brain to function abnormally. They stop producing natural painkilling chemicals. Even people who are taking roxies as directed run the risk of experiencing withdrawal if they discontinue use abruptly. Patients prescribed roxy should always be weaned off the drug when possible.
The severity of roxy withdrawal depends on the dose of roxy taken and the duration of use. Some common withdrawal symptoms include: shivering, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, muscle aches, hot and cold flashes, and diarrhea. It is important to note that withdrawal from roxies is not life threatening, but it is extremely uncomfortable.
Though you can’t die from roxy withdrawal alone, you will feel like you are dying. Acute withdrawal symptoms can last anywhere from 72 hours to ten days. Post-acute withdrawal, which is less severe than acute withdrawal can last a year or more. Symptoms of post-acute withdrawal are observed in 90% of people recovering from a long-term opiate addiction. Symptoms include mood swings, insomnia, extreme drug craving and obsession, anxiety and panic attacks, depression, suicidal thoughts, and general cognitive impairment.
The two most frequently administered drugs to treat roxy withdrawal are methadone and buprenorphine (brand name Suboxone and Subutex). These medications both work on the same receptors as roxy, but because they have a longer duration of action, they are less likely to be abused. Also, the formulations restrict their administration to oral for the most part. For example, methadone does not result in a “rush” when it is injected, like other opiates including roxy. Suboxone includes both the opiate buprenorphine and the opiate blocker naloxone. When the drug is ingested as directed, the naloxone is not activated, but when the drug is snorted or injected, the naloxone will block the effect of the buprenorphine, rendering it useless. Buprenorphine and methadone are used in both treating withdrawal during the detox process and as a maintenance anti-addictive for those who cannot quit using roxies and other opioids.