I want to take a moment to prove that turning OxyContin® pills into injectable oxycodone is a waste of time. There are two issues that relate to this. First, oxycodone is meant to be taken orally. Second, if you are going to extract oxycodone from a pill, OxyContin® is the absolute worst choice.
Oxycodone is Absorbed Well Orally
Between 60% - 87% of oxycodone is absorbed orally compared to IM injection. So unlike heroin (or morphine, but less so), oxycodone is not wasted when taken orally. The only reason a recreational user would want to IV it is to get a rush. There is not likely to be too much of one, however; at least not for the experienced (tolerant) user. Only about 100 mg of oxycodone can be dissolved in 1 cc of water. Under most circumstances, filling a syringe over half-full is difficult. Thus one might get 70 mg of oxycodone into a syringe. Since oxycodone and heroin are fairly equal in strength, the best oxycodone injection would be equal to a 70 mg heroin injection That isn't that large a heroin dose. It shouldn't cost even $20.
Injecting Oxycodone is Dangerous
Then there is the question of safety. Oxycodone, like morphine, can produce a histamine response that is potentially lethal. What's more, I remember a rumor from back in the 1960s that it was dangerous to inject oxycodone, because in muscle tissue it tends to cause abscesses. (Few IV injections are perfect, so some will normally get into muscle tissue--sometimes quite a lot more than some.) I haven't confirmed this, but it hardly matters. It is no accident that there are no commercial injection oxycodone preparations. Here is what Purdue says about OxyContin®:
OxyContin consists of a dual-polymer matrix, intended for oral use only. Parenteral venous injection [IV injection] of the tablet constituents, especially talc, can be expected to result in local tissue necrosis and pulmonary granulomas.
OxyContin® Is Filled With Junk
Removing the oxycodone from OxyContin® is going to be difficult because of all the garbage in these pills. Let me quote from the 55th Edition PDR (2001) in describing OxyContin®:
The tablets contain the following inactive ingredients: ammonio methacrylate copolymer, hydrooxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, povidone, red iron oxide (20 mg strength tablet only), stearyl alcohol, talc, titanium dioxide, triacetin, yellow iron oxide (40 mg strength tablet only), yellow iron oxide with FD&C blue No. 2 (160 mg strength tablet only) and other ingredients.
Compare this to the same PDR's description of Roxicodone™ a 5 mg immediate-release oxycodone tablet:
The tablets contain microcrystalline cellulose and stearic acid.
The difference is not only because OxyContin® is time-released. OxyContin® is made by Purdue Pharma L.P. Their immediate-release oxycodone has a lot of junk in it that Roxane Laboratories, Inc. doesn't have in Roxicodone™. But it doesn't matter because Roxane doesn't make OxyContin®.
I believe the reason people are so excited about removing oxycodone from OxyContin® pills is that OxyContin® pills have a large amount of oxycodone in them. They come in 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg, 80 mg, and 160 mg tablets. Roxicodone™ has just 5 mg of oxycodone. This does not matter, however, if only a small fraction of the oxycodone can be removed from the OxyContin® tablets.
Wouldn't it make more sense to extract oxycodone from Roxicodone--a much easier process, I'm sure (don't write and ask)--and then transform the oxycodone into oxymorphone? The oxymorphone is ten times as potent as oxycodone, and it doesn't have all the uncertainties as to whether it should be IVed under any circumstance.
Pills are made to be swallowed.