Plugging Oxycodone | Effects & Dangers Of Rectal Use

Those who participate in the act of plugging oxycodone, or inserting the drug into the rectum, can experience serious side effects, including rectal tissue damage and opioid overdose.

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Oxycodone (OxyContin or sometimes referred to as “oxy”) is a prescription drug used for pain relief. It’s available in both immediate-release and extended-release tablets.

As a Schedule II controlled substance, oxycodone has a high potential for abuse which may lead to psychological or physical dependence. Unfortunately, some participate in substance abuse by plugging, snorting, or smoking oxycodone.

Plugging Oxycodone

Plugging oxycodone is a process in which a person crushes an oxycodone tablet into powder form. As a powder, the drug can then be combined with a liquid. Once the mixture is ready, a person may insert a syringe or needle into the rectum.

This serious form of drug abuse leads to a wide range of effects and dangers. In fact, the euphoria and sedative effects a person experiences once the drug is plugged happens quickly, allowing the drug to enter your body instantly.

Side Effects Of Plugging Oxycodone

The side effects of oxycodone can range in severity. When the drug is taken, it depresses the central nervous system (CNS) by binding to the opioid receptors in the brain.

Plugging oxycodone as the desired route of administration creates instant effects. In addition to the extreme sedation one may experience, this form of drug use can lead to more pronounced effects which are common when the drug is taken as prescribed.

Common Side Effects

The use of oxycodone can create various side effects. According to MedlinePlus, these may consist of:

  • nausea
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • lightheadedness
  • tiredness
  • drowsiness
  • vomiting
  • dry mouth
  • constipation

Serious Side Effects

More serious side effects associated with plugging oxycodone can include include:

  • damage to the rectum
  • sexual health issues in men and women such as erectile dysfunction and irregular menstruation
  • shallow breathing
  • increased risk of overdose
  • fluctuations in heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • withdrawal symptoms
  • bacterial infections

Dangers Of Plugging Oxycodone

Those who participate in plugging oxycodone can expect negative effects to their overall health as well as an increased risk of substance use disorder.

Damage To Rectum Tissue

Plugging oxycodone irritates the mucous membranes of the anal walls. Inflammation and bleeding of the anus can take place.

Tissue decay in the anal cavity can also occur, leading to blisters and scabs. You may also experience bleeding during bowel movements and potential infections.


Those who insert oxycodone via needles or syringes into the rectum and share the paraphernalia may unknowingly swap bodily fluids due to the inflamed and blistering walls of the anus. This can lead to HIV or hepatitis.

Withdrawal Symptoms

As advised by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is not recommended to stop oxycodone abruptly, also known as “quitting cold turkey.” If this takes place, opioid withdrawal symptoms may occur.

Symptoms associated with oxycodone withdrawal may include:

  • severe cravings for the drug
  • mood changes
  • tremors
  • anxiety or depression
  • seizures
  • sleeping problems

Oxycodone Overdose

If you plug oxycodone, you have an increased risk of overdose.

Symptoms of an oxycodone overdose may include:

  • severe sleepiness
  • low blood pressure
  • respiratory depression
  • cold or clammy skin
  • coma
  • death

If an oxycodone overdose is suspected, contact 911 right away. Seek medical attention immediately. At the hospital, doctors may administer naloxone (Narcan), a medication used to help reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Options

If you or a loved one lived with prescription drug addiction, reach out to Bedrock Recovery Center. At our treatment center, our healthcare professionals can assist you in developing a specialized treatment plan which focuses on the care you require.

We provide inpatient care, detox options, and evidence-based care practices. Speak with one of our representatives to learn more about our treatment program.

  1. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
  2. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  3. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  4. Frontiers in Pharmacology
  5. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  6. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus
  7. National Library of Medicine: StatPearls

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

Published on: August 25, 2023

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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