Painkillers are abused when they are used in other ways than prescribed. Unless an addict is buying them illegally and not receiving them as a prescription. The intent is to create that euphoric high and effect. Painkiller drugs can be swallowed, snorted, or used intravenously. Some painkiller drugs are slow-release or fast release. The potency varies with the type of drug and some are far more potent than others. Most addicts will take the drug in a way that delivers the effects of the quickest. This is dangerous and life-threatening for the user.
When painkillers are snorted, the drug is absorbed quickly through the membranes of the nose. It then passes directly into the bloodstream creating the effects quite rapidly. Slow-release pain killers are often crushed and snorted to get immediate effects. The frequent use of crushing and snorting these drugs will result in sinus problems and infections. The nasal tissue can begin to break down and lead to permanent damage. Snorting painkillers is a common method used by addicts and by those who are prescribed the drug.
Painkillers can also be injected into the vein. This happens when the drug is crushed up and mixed with water. The drug is directly injected into the vein or could be injected directly into the muscle or skin. There are serious risks with intravenous drug use such as contracting HIV, hepatitis, and bloodborne diseases. This occurs from sharing needles or using dirty needles. The potential for an overdose with injecting the drug increases rapidly.