In 2019, almost everyone in the United States has heard about the opioid crisis. We can't go a day it seems without hearing something about the current opioid epidemic. Most people have an idea what they are, but let's dive in a little deeper. We will clear up any misconceptions about this dangerous class of drugs. What are opioids? Let's find out.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a type of drugs found in a plant called opium poppy. They work in one's brain to create various effects, which include pain relief in many cases. With all of the people in pain, it is easy to see why these drugs are so popular.

what are opioids

Opioids are often medications prescribed by doctors to help relieve pain. Examples include strong prescription medicines like OxyContin and Vicodin. However, they can also be illicit drugs such as heroin. They are often referred to as narcotics. Even though opioids relieve pain, they aren't grouped in the same class as over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol or aspirin.

What are Opiates and How Are They Used

How Do Opioids Work?

Opioids that are medically prescribed are intended to relieve pain by blocking pain signals in the body and brain. Moreover, most prescriptions are written for at least moderate and often severe pain cases. Not only do these drugs relieve pain but they also produce a relaxed feeling. In addition, some people claim they feel happy and high. The worse part of these drugs is that they can be addictive. As with all drugs, there are also probable side effects. Such effects include nausea, constipation, and slow breathing.

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Risks of Using Opioids

Using opioids can be risky. After continued usage, dependence and tolerance increases which causes a need for more doses and potentially addiction. Even worse, they have the potential to limit one's ability to breathe when larger doses are taken. If misused, opioids can cause bodily harm or even death if overdosed. Additionally, there is the concern of adverse interactions with other drugs or diseases. Therefore, opioids should only be taken as needed and as directed by a doctor.

Drugs on the Opioid List

what are opioids
  • Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Roxicet and Percocet)
  • Codeine (available in generic)
  • Methadone (Methadose and Dolophine)
  • Fentanyl (Fentora, Actiq, Onsolis, Duragesic, and Abstral)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
  • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxaydo)
  • Morphine (Kadian, MS Contin, Morphabond)

What are Some Warning Signs of Opioid Abuse?

Opioid abuse signs don't always appear right away. However, over time, here are some indications that there may be a problem.

  • Sleep habit changes
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Weight loss
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Not bathing
  • Changes in behavior
  • Cutting off relationships with friends and family
  • Over spending
  • Stealing

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Professional Help is Only a Phone Call Away

Now that we answered the question of what are opioids, if you know someone who needs help, call us. Opioid abuse is one of the biggest drug problems in the USA. Professional help is often needed. That's where Rehab Info comes in. Whatever your questions are regarding opioids or other substance abuse issues, call us at 1-800-492-QUIT.