The national opioid crisis prompted the medical sector to reevaluate prescribing a wide range of medications to help individuals manage pain and discomfort. What appeared to be a reasonable trade-off to provide people with care negatively impacted community members. Opioids were more powerfully addictive than many realized until too many friends and family members were stricken.
Although Florida and federal government agencies continue to take determined measures to combat opioid abuse, not everyone understands which medications come with a heightened risk of addiction. At Harmony Hills, we firmly believe it’s our responsibility to help Floridians make informed decisions about potentially addictive drugs. That’s why we want you to know more about the commonly most abused opioids and their risks.
What Are Opioids?
Most opioids trace their roots to the opium poppy plant. The class of drugs is produced from this natural source to affect the brain in a fashion that delivers pain relief. Prescription medications in this class work by blocking pain signals between parts of the body and the brain.
They are also employed to reduce stress and anxiety because some make people feel more relaxed. Increased dosages tend to make people feel “high.” That feeling and the noticeable absence of pain too often leads otherwise good people down a path of increased dosages and opioid abuse. Agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) group the most abused opioids in three categories — prescription drugs, fentanyl, and heroin. If you are struggling with addiction, seek help from an opioid addiction treatment program.
Most Abused Opioids Prescribed Today
The fact that doctors were prescribing pain killers may have led people to commit opioid abuse inadvertently. Many people operate under the assumption that when a medication is purchased from a pharmacy after filling a legal prescription, it should be safe. That was not the case for many years when people struggling with chronic pain fell into drug addiction. These are prevalent prescription drugs that turned out to rank among the most abused opioids.
- Oxycodone: This opium-based pain reliever is marketed under a wide range of brand names. These include OxyContin, Percocet, and Roxicodone, among others. Side effects may include nausea, constipation, dry mouth, sweating, and dizziness, among others.
- Hydrocodone: The common side effects include constipation, nausea, fatigue, headaches, and flu symptoms such as a stuffy nose. But the heightened dangers of this medication include life-threatening withdrawal symptoms in pregnant women. When taken with alcohol, it can slow your ability to breathe.
- Methadone: This medication was widely prescribed to help wean people off heroin. It turned out to be addictive. Many consider methadone opioid abuse among the most dangerous because people can overdose easily. People who are overdosing from methadone typically show signs such as shallow breathing, clammy or bluish skin, extreme fatigue, and convulsions, among others.
According to a CDC report, prescription opioids were reportedly abused by 11.5 million Americans in 2016, and approximately 191 prescriptions were dispensed the following year. The hard data highlights why these are among the most abused opioids and why you may need a drug detox program.
Fentanyl & Heroin Rank Among The Most Abused Opioids
Unlike others in this class, fentanyl is considered a synthetic pain reliever. It is reportedly 50-100 times more potent than morphine and is a readily available street drug. Unlike prescription opioid abuse, fentanyl overdoses are routinely linked to illegal, underground production. The potency varies from ineffective to lethal. Florida ranks among the hardest hits states in terms of fentanyl abuse and trafficking.
Heroin, like many prescription drugs, emerged as a common street drug due to its low cost and highly addictive nature. Because heroin can be smoked, snorted through the nose, or injected, it makes users more susceptible to HIV, Hepatitis B & C, and bacterial infections. According to the CDC, another risk associated with heroin is that it is often used with other drugs such as cocaine and prescription opioids. Harmony Hills offers a fentanyl addiction treatment program and a cocaine addiction treatment program.
Contact Harmony Hills To Learn About Our Opioid Treatment Program
There’s a reason the most abused opioids continue to damage the lives of our valued community members. They are powerfully addictive drugs regardless of whether they come from a pharmacy or street dealer. At Harmony Hills, we provide compassionate treatment and care to everyday people struggling with addiction. Contact Harmony Hills today by calling 855.494.0357 and get the treatment you deserve.