With all of the new medication brand names coming through the revolving door of pharmacies, it can be hard to keep up with them all, especially if you’re a concerned parent or the spouse of a possible prescription drug abuser such as Opana. Here, we’ll look at exactly what Opana is, the dangers that can come with use and abuse, and how you can empower yourself to seek help in the face of addiction.
What is Opana?
Opana is the brand name for oxymorphone, a derivative of morphine and an opioid pain medication for treating moderate to severe pain. Opioid medications are known as narcotics, and they change the way the body responds to pain.
Opana was initially created in Germany in 1914 and joined the U.S. pharmaceutical companies in 1955. Opana is a Schedule II controlled substance in the U.S., which means it is legally allowed to be prescribed, but has a high propensity for abuse and should be treated with great care.
Opiod medications are invaluable treatments for patients who genuinely experience acute or chronic pain and they also have great value for post-surgical issues. The downfall of opiate interventions is the need to consistently increase the amount consumed for the same pain-relieving effects due to the body’s building tolerance to the substance. Many patients may need multiple different opiate medications to manage their pain, which poses its own concerns for abuse or addiction.
What are the Dangers of Opana?
As with all narcotic medications, Opana carries great risks when used for more than a few doses and specifically during the early stages of use. The most dangerous time for the use of Opana is in the first 72 hours or whenever the use escalates, due to the potential for life-threatening respiration issues.
Signs of a possible overdose of Opana can include:
- Breathing problems or stopped breathing
- Blue-tinted lips, skin or fingernails
- Cool, sticky skin
- Muscular fatigue
- Intense sleepiness
- Loss of consciousness
In May 2017, there were two alerts connected to synthetic opioids, including Opana. The first is for a combination of opiate medications going by the street label “Grey Death.” This drug has been reported to be significantly more potent than heroin and is taken through needle administration, consumption or smoking. Grey Death is typically made up of whichever opiates a drug dealer has on hand at the time and may involve Opana.
The second alert from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was given as a public safety warning pertaining to the illicit synthetic opioids that have resulted in more fatalities in the first five months of 2017 than in the entire year 2016. These drugs can include Opana, but are generally associated with the opioids called fentanyl and U-47700, both Schedule I drugs and injected as well.
What are the Problems Surrounding Opana?
In addition to the high level of addiction associated with Opana, other problems arise with this drug. Health officials have seen a quick-spreading epidemic of new HIV cases connected to the sharing of needles filled with Opana.
If you are concerned about a loved one who may be addicted to Opana, you can watch for these warning signs:
- Recurring “injuries” that require pain killers
- Faking injuries to get more pain killers
- Drinking cough medication at the same time as Opana use
- Seeing several different doctors, presumably to obtain more Opana or related prescriptions
- Crumbling the tablets before consuming them
- Purchasing extra medications from “friends” in conjunction with the original prescription
- Recurrent nausea
- Muscle soreness
- Fluctuation in blood pressure
- Breathing problems
Withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Mood swings
What Makes Opana Addiction Dangerous?
Opana is physically and psychologically addictive. Physically, this drug acts directly on the body’s central nervous system to disrupt the neurotransmitters in the brain, and creates a “high” feeling when abused. Opana is known for creating tolerance and dependence in the healthiest of individuals, but add addiction to the mix and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Opana causes the abuser’s brain to adapt to the higher and higher levels of medication in the body, making it incredibly painful and uncomfortable to end use. The abuser’s body becomes accustom to the presence of Opana and goes haywire when it is removed.
Psychologically, a person abusing Opana will often become dependent upon it to mask feelings of unworthiness or fear. This drug is mentally addictive due to its ability to numb these feelings. A person may learn to cope with difficult situations or relational discomfort by abusing Opana.
What are the best Opana Rehab Options?
Addiction to narcotics like Opana is a complex situation that requires multi-layered and varied interventions, based on the length of abuse and how long the addiction has been allowed to continue. The best treatment options for Opana addiction are initial detoxification in a medically supervised environment, where the patient’s vital signs can be assessed daily, followed by intensive in-patient treatment for 14 to 90 days. In some rare cases, detox and out-patient, rather than in-patient, services to monitor the patient may be sufficient.
Need Help Finding an Opana Rehab Center?
If you are prepared to take that empowering step towards addiction recovery, Adrugrehab.org is here to support you. We provide a free 24/7 national helpline staffed by licensed counselors and other mental health professionals to help you navigate the treatment options to ensure the best treatment available. We offer professional advice, answer questions and concerns, and provide confidential referrals. Let us help you decide on the best treatment option for you!