Common Types of Opioids

can marijuana help with opiate addiction?Drug overdoses have tripled since 1990 and approximately 100 people die each day in the U.S. due to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC).  This is dreadful news, as addiction is very much treatable these days with a variety of treatments available.  Unknown to many, the most common drug used in the overdoses are prescribed opiates or painkillers. What may begin as a harmless prescription to dull pain associated with surgery recovery or major aches can become a terrible addiction that wreaks havoc in one’s life.

Painkillers come from the opium plant and are quite popular.  When taken, painkillers work their magic in the brain, causing the perception of pain to decrease and giving the person a feeling of deep relaxation and oftentimes euphoria.  The most common painkillers are OxyContin, Vicodin (hydrocodone), Fentanyl, Percocet, Oxycodone, and codeine.

The pain pills may take care of some pain, but they also are quite addictive. Those you might think would never become addicted to such in fact do become addicted.  It doesn’t matter what your age, career, social status, or gender is: anyone can become addicted.  Once the brain gets a taste of the opiates, it automatically begins craving more, resulting in withdrawal symptoms when a user stops taking them.

Common opioids

The most common opioids are heroin, painkillers, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Over 64,000 people died in the USA from drug overdoses in 2016. These were directly associated with opioids like heroin, synthetic opioids, and opioid painkillers.

Most common types of opioid painkillers

There are many different kinds of opioid painkillers, but some are more common than others.  Here is a list of the most common types of opioids:

  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Vicodin
  • Demerol
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Dilaudid
  • OxyCodone (OxyContin)
  • Percocet

Of course, there are street names for many opiates as well. Some common street names are White Stuff, Demmies, Monkey, China girl, Goodfella, and China White.

Granted, opiate addiction has been on the increase for years. In fact, it’s become an epidemic largely due to the pharmaceutical companies pushing doctors to prescribe away. Though efforts are moving forward to curb this epidemic, it’s fallen short thus far.

Another reason for the opioids epidemic is that doctors are just too lenient with their prescriptions with pain medication. Oftentimes doctors just don’t know how to deal with the chronic pain that patients come in talking about. Others may prescribe pain pills for weeks or months, when only when they may have only needed a couple days prescription. The reality is the longer someone takes pain pills, the more likely it is that they become addicted to them.

It’s also not uncommon for dentists to prescribe pain pills for their patients when over the counter pain reliever medications would suffice. Prescribing someone a bottle of hydrocodone, when they may only need one or two pills after a tooth extraction, would be the better treatment, but most dentists won’t do this. They’ll simply hand off the script and let the people go, hoping for the best.

In addition, there are always doctors who create what is called a “pill mill”, which is essentially handing out pain pills like candy for cash.

Heroin and Fentanyl

It didn’t take long for opioid users to begin using heroin and Fentanyl to add to their addiction. While some people who are addicted simply couldn’t get their pain pills from their doctors anymore, so they started obtaining them illegally. Other simply wanted to experience a different kind of high so they tried heroin or another synthetic opiate.

Signs of opiate addiction

  • Very tired much of the time and may “nod off” during the day
  • Pupils do not respond to light
  • Activities become limited. No longer interested in much.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight changes
  • Lack of desire to go to work/school
  • More frequent doctor visits or finding new doctors often
  • Constant complaining of pain that needs pain medication

For those who can admit that they’re addicted, the good news is that there is hope for overcoming the addiction, but the first thing that will occur is you’ll have to undergo a period of detox and withdrawal symptoms.

What are opioids withdrawal symptoms?

When you stop taking opiates, you will go through some withdrawal symptoms due to detoxification.  Your body gets used to the toxins associated with opiates and when you stop giving your body the drugs, it is not very happy. It craves those drugs immensely and this is known as the opiate detox period.

The dosage and the length of time using the opioids determine the severity of the withdrawal symptoms once usage has stopped. These withdrawal symptoms will last anywhere from 5 to 7 days and will depend on how long and how many opiates you were taking.

Here are the common withdrawal symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Sweating, chills
  • Body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramping
  • A runny nose and tears in the eyes
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sleeping difficulties

The length of withdrawal time can vary from user to user, but usually, they last between a week to a month. It is recommended that you are under the care of a professional or rehab during the withdrawal phase, as well as receive some addictions counseling.  Combining detox, inpatient, and outpatient therapy has proven to be the best treatment option. There are also 12 Step groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, that are quite helpful with supporting recovering addicts.

If you’re addicted to opiates, you’re among millions. In fact, pain pill addiction accounts for more drug addiction than most people imagine. Yes, everyone encounters pain every now and then, but opiates are so easy to get addicted to and also easy to obtain.  In fact, most opiate addicts do not intentionally get addicted to pain pills. They begin taking them as prescribed but once their body and minds get used to the drugs, they just crave more and more even when the pain has subsided.

So, what do you do if you’re addicted to pain pills?  I assure you that adequate help is available for you to stop using pain pills and create a drug-free life.  The first thing necessary is to admit that you are struggling when it comes to quitting and perhaps need some help.  Taking this first step is your first step toward freedom.

Opiate detox

You can come off opiates on your own and face the withdrawal symptoms on your own, but it is advised by substance abuse professionals that you enter a drug detox center to be monitored while going through the opiate detox process.  There you will be surrounded by staff members who can encourage and monitor you as your body gets rid of the toxins associated with opiates. They may also be able to give you medication to help decrease symptoms.

Perhaps you’ve tried getting free from opiate addiction for a while now, but you keep falling short. In such cases, consider attending an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment facility. You do not have to keep struggling with addiction, as there are professionals that are more than willing to assist you in getting free. There is treatment for the disease of addiction, and you simply need to reach out for help. Taking 30 to 60 days to really treat this disease can change the rest of your life. It’s certainly worth the time and the effort.

If finances are holding you back, give your insurance company a call and see if treatment is covered. You may even be able to find a substance abuse counselor who accepts your insurance and take your first step there. Some rehabs offer financial aid or they will reduce prices based on your income. You’ll have to do your homework, but it’ll be well worth it. And if you really need the help, we are simply a phone call away and would love to assist you with your treatment. We have professional staff who can direct you to the best treatment facilities or experts in the field who can help you get your life back on track – addiction free.

Suboxone, Methadone help

Many times, those going through opiate detox are given other drugs such as suboxone or methadone in order to get free from the opiates.  Yes, these are also drugs, but they are less dangerous than the opiates and the idea is to eventually wean the recovering addict off of these as well. Both Suboxone and methadone have helped many opiate addicts get free.  You can get addicted to suboxone and methadone, so be sure that you stay connected with your doctor and only take them as prescribed and wean off of them when the time is right.

Are you ready to get free?

Addiction is a serious disease that can cause a lot of inner turmoil, family and work issues, and even death.  With the ease of pain pill availability on the streets, more and more people are reaching for opiates as their drug of choice.  If you or a loved one is struggling with such, it’s time to reach out for help via a substance abuse professional or rehab.  There is freedom from drug addiction and the first step is to simply recognize and admit that there is a problem.

If you’re struggling with an addiction to pain pills, heroin, suboxone, or any other opiates, please reach out for help. You do not have to live in the bondage of addiction any longer.  Contact us for more information on how you can get help.