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Oxycodone Statistics

Since the start of the opioid crisis in the 1990s, oxycodone has been one of the most abused prescription opioids. Oxycodone, or “oxy,” has unfortunately been involved in thousands of overdose-related deaths over the past 30 years. Studying how oxycodone abuse affects people of different races, genders, and ages can better help researchers and everyday people understand the broad and personal risks of opioid addiction.

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Overview of Prevalence of Hydrocodone Use, Abuse, and Addiction

Oxycodone, also known as brand name Oxycontin®, is a widely used semi-synthetic prescription opioid painkiller used for moderate to severe pain relief.

Oxycodone treats pain because it’s a central nervous system (CNS) depressant, meaning it reduces activity in the part of the brain and spinal cord related to pain.

While oxycodone can be a life-changing prescription drug for many who use it safely, it also carries a high potential of forming physical dependence or oxycodone addiction.

The effects of oxycodone use include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Euphoria
  • Dilated pupils
  • Excessive yawning
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Impaired judgment
  • Worsened depression and anxiety

Oxycodone Use Statistics

Despite how habit-forming oxycodone can be, many people rely on the drug and use it only as directed by their healthcare provider.

The following statistics reflect the normal, intended use of oxycodone:

  • According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 7,793,000 Americans have used oxycodone in the past year.
  • The University of Cincinnati reports that Oxycodone prescriptions reached a peak of approximately 10.4 million prescriptions in 2016 and decreased dramatically to approximately 5.9 million in 2019.
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Oxycodone Abuse and Addiction Statistics

Oxycodone abuse is quite common. In fact, oxycodone is one of the most notorious among prescription opioids that are frequently abused. In addition, oxycodone addicts often experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit taking oxycodone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), oxycodone, methadone, and hydrocodone are the most common opioid pain relievers involved in opioid overdose deaths. 

  • According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 984,000 Americans reported misusing oxycodone in the past year.
  • The CDC reports that, in 2021, 45 people died each day from a prescription opioid overdose, totaling nearly 17,000 deaths. Prescription opioids were involved in nearly 21% of all opioid overdose deaths in 2021.

Oxycodone VS Other Opioids (2022 Data)

Based on results of the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), misuse of other opioids compared to the 30.7% of Americans who misused oxycodone products include:

  • 45.1% of people misused hydrocodone in the past year
  • 22.2% of people misused codeine in the past year
  • 16.6% of people misused tramadol in the past year
  • 18.2% of people misused buprenorphine in the past year
  • 6% of people misused prescription fentanyl in the past year
  • 4.5% of people misused morphine in the past year
  • 2.5% of people misused methadone in the past year
  • 1.4% of people misused oxymorphone in the past year
  • 1.2% of people misused hydromorphone in the past year

Oxycodone Addiction Statistics by Demographic

Research on opioid addiction by demographic has been growing as the opioid epidemic continues to affect public health. However, data for specific types of opioids is more difficult to find.

Fortunately, many opioids are quite similar to one another, so general opioid statistics still apply to oxycodone specifically. Where research on oxycodone may be hard to come by, general data about opioids may be used instead.

Oxycodone Addiction Statistics by Race

There is little data on rates of addiction by race to oxycodone in particular. However, there is data regarding general opioid use and misuse by race.

Based on the results of the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the percentage of people aged 12 or older in 2022 who misused opioids in the past year includes:

  • 4.5% Multiracial people
  • 4.1% Black people
  • 3.4% Hispanic people
  • 3.0% White people
  • 1.5% Asian people

In addition, Black people also were more likely than White people to have misused opioids in the past year.

Oxycodone Addiction Statistics by Gender

In general, the patterns of opioid use disorder are different between men and women.

Men are more likely to use illicit drugs, but some research indicates that women are more likely to self-medicate their chronic pain, anxiety, and depression with opioids.

  • According to the CDC, fatal drug overdoses among women ages 30 to 64 increased by 260% from 1999 to 2017, with many of these deaths being caused by opioids.
  • Research from the University of Florida indicates that women are approximately twice as likely to be prescribed prescription opioids compared to men.
  • UF also reported that, while men are more likely to die from a prescription overdose than women, overdoses related to opioids have greatly increased in women compared to men.

Oxycodone Addiction Statistics by Age

For many years, opioid abuse was more common among young adults than any other age group. While that is still true, many of the addicts who first began their abuse in the 1990s have only grown in age.

Now, middle-aged people and the baby boomer generation make up a large portion of oxycodone addicts.

  • Data from NSDUH indicated that around 54,000 people aged 12 to 17 engaged in oxycontin abuse in the past year, and around 984,000 people aged 12 or older abused oxycontin in the past year.
  • The National Safety Council reports that 71% of preventable opioid deaths occur among those ages 25 to 54, and the number of deaths among individuals 55 and older is growing rapidly.

According to research from the CDC, opioid use by age group between 2007–2021 in the past 30 days includes:

  • 4.7% of opioid users are ages 20–39
  • 8.1% of opioid users are 40–59
  • 7.9% of opioid users are 60 and over

Oxycodone Addiction Recovery Statistics

Treatment for opioid use disorder with oxycodone will depend on your unique situation and opioid abuse.

Inpatient treatment is not always necessary; many oxycodone addicts may find success with intensive outpatient programs, standalone addiction therapy, or support groups.

Oxycodone addiction treatment may also address any mental health issues that commonly co-occur with substance use disorders.

There is little data about oxycodone addiction recovery specifically, but there is research around the recovery of opioid addiction recovery in general.

  • Opioid patients who complete an opiate addiction treatment program of at least 30 days have a higher chance of achieving sobriety and remaining sober long-term.
  • According to a study from the Recovery Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, just over 2% of study participants (population estimate: 489,465) resolved their opioid use disorder in the last 1–5 years.
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Get Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction

If you or a loved one is battling an addiction to oxycodone, don’t wait until the situation gets worse to seek help. There are healthcare providers and addiction specialists ready to help you seek treatment and realize a life free of opioid addiction.

Talk to your doctor or therapist about your symptoms and see what treatment options might best suit you or your loved one’s needs. You can also try SAMHSA’s online treatment locator or call 1-800-662-4357 (HELP) to learn what addiction treatment centers accept patients in your area.

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FAQs About Oxycodone Statistics

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic prescription opioid used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Unfortunately, while the drug can truly help many who need it, oxycodone use carries a high risk of developing dependence or addiction.

How common is oxycodone abuse?

Oxycodone abuse is quite common. According to the 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 984,000 Americans reported misusing oxycodone in the past year. In addition, oxycodone was the second most commonly abused prescription opioid, only being beaten by hydrocodone.

What are the current trends of oxycodone addiction in the United States?

As of the 2022 NSDUH, oxycodone is the second most abused prescription opioid in the US. According to the University of Cincinnati, oxycodone prescriptions reached a peak of approximately 10.4 million prescriptions in 2016 and decreased dramatically to approximately 5.9 million in 2019.

What are the most prescribed opioids in the US?

The most prescribed opioids in the US include:

  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone

These three opioids are semi-synthetic opioids. They are usually prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain by binding with mu-opioid receptors in the brain and acting as CNS suppressants, similar to sedatives like benzodiazepines.

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. is a founder of Addiction HelpReviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer & Co-Founder

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AddictionHelp.com and ensures the website’s medical content and messaging quality.

Jessica Miller is the Content Manager of Addiction HelpWritten by:

Editorial Director

Jessica Miller is the Editorial Director of Addiction Help. Jessica graduated from the University of South Florida (USF) with an English degree and combines her writing expertise and passion for helping others to deliver reliable information to those impacted by addiction. Informed by her personal journey to recovery and support of loved ones in sobriety, Jessica's empathetic and authentic approach resonates deeply with the Addiction Help community.

  1. 2022 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2022). https://www.samhsa.gov/data/release/2022-national-survey-drug-use-and-health-nsduh-releases
  2. Alsultan, M. M., & Guo, J. J. (2022, March). Utilization, Spending, and Price of Opioid Medications in the US Medicaid Programs Between 1991 and 2019. American Health & Drug Benefits. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9038001/
  3. Carise, D., Dugosh, K. L., McLellan, A. T., Camilleri, A., Woody, G. E., & Lynch, K. G. (2007, November). Prescription Oxycontin Abuse Among Patients Entering Addiction Treatment. The American Journal of Psychiatry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2785002/
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, August 8). The Drug Overdose Epidemic: Behind the Numbers. National Center for Health Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/opioids/data/index.html
  5. Drug Fact Sheet: Oxycodone. U.S. Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration. (2022, October). https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Oxycodone-2020_0.pdf
  6. Drug Overdoses. National Safety Council. (2023, September 27). https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/home-and-community/safety-topics/drugoverdoses/
  7. How People Obtain the Prescription Pain Relievers They Misuse. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2017, January 12). https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_2686/ShortReport-2686.html
  8. Kelly, J. F., Bergman, B. G., Hoeppner, B. B., Vilsaint, C., & White, W. L. (2017, October 18). Prevalence and Pathways of Recovery From Drug and Alcohol Problems in the United States Population: Implications for Practice, Research, and Policy. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0376871617305203
  9. Opioid Facts and Statistics. US Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, May 30). https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/statistics/index.html
  10. Peirce, J. M. (2022, October 13). Opioid Use Disorder: Risks for Women. Johns Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/substance-abuse-chemical-dependency/opioid-use-disorder-risks-for-women
  11. Smyth, B. P., Barry, J., Keenan, E., & Ducray, K. (2010). Lapse and Relapse Following Inpatient Treatment of Opiate Dependence. Irish Medical Journal. https://www.lenus.ie/bitstream/handle/10147/110022/Article5260.pdf
  12. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2023, May 25). Prescription Opioids DrugFacts. National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-opioids

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