A Complete List Of Opioids [Infographic]
- Opioids are drugs that include naturally derived drugs from the opium poppy plant, synthetic drugs, and semi-synthetic drugs.
- Opiates are different from opioids because they are not synthetically made drugs, they are only natural and pure forms derived from the poppy plant.
- Opioids are commonly abused and misused drugs due to their highly addictive nature.
- Some opioids include other drugs such as acetaminophen or aspirin.
- Illicit forms of opioids are not drugs that are prescribed for medical use.
- There is a high chance of opioid misuse and addiction.
- Street names for opioids allow people to find the drug on the street from drug dealers.
There are many kinds of opioid medications. This includes semi-synthetic, natural, and synthetic forms of drugs. It is essential to know what types of drugs are considered opioids. This can help someone recognize the drug prior to taking it.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are synthetic, semisynthetic, or natural drugs. In order for a drug to be considered an opioid it would need to be produced in a lab using man-made materials. They are often confused with opiates. Opiates include drugs that naturally come from the opium poppy plant and are not synthetic whatsoever. Not all opioids are opiates but all opiates are opioids. Opioids are often strong, pain-relieving prescription medications and are highly addictive substances that have the ability to be misused or abused.
Opioids are responsible for many overdoses and deaths. In fact, in 2020 opioid overdoses were one of the leading causes of death in the United States. This is because opioids are easy to come by whether illegally or through a prescription from a health care professional. Many opioids are illicitly manufactured and can be found illegally.
Medical Uses For Opioids
Opioids are commonly prescribed medications to treat moderate to severe pain. It is often used for those with chronic back pain and nerve pain. One opioid that is often prescribed for people with advanced-stage cancer is Fentanyl. Some opioids are also used to treat diarrhea and coughing.
Effects Of Opioids
Opioids have many effects on the body and mind. They typically will produce a “high” feeling, which is why they are so commonly abused. When someone is abusing prescription opioids, they will often do anything that they can to obtain the drug and chase after the same feelings that they produce.
What Are The Effects Opioids Have On The Brain?
Opioids make an impact on the brain by binding to and activating the opioid receptors located in the brain and spinal cord. They especially impact the areas that control pleasure and pain. Opioids cause a large amount of dopamine to release throughout the body when they attach to these receptors. This is due to them attaching to the ones that block pain signals from being sent from the brain to the body.
How Do Opioids Affect The Body?
Opioids will cause the body to feel pain-free. They can also cause many adverse side effects. Serious digestive problems may occur, such as constipation and nausea. Slow breathing is another effect that opioids can have on the body. When too much of the drug is taken, it can cause the brain to stop receiving oxygen or stop breathing altogether. Opioids may also cause a loss of coordination or cause someone to lose control of their physical movements.
What’s The Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?
Opioids and opiates are often incorrectly used interchangeably. However, opioids and opiates are not the same thing. Opioids are a class of drugs that includes synthetic, semi-synthetic, and natural forms of a drug. Opiates are drugs that are naturally derived from the opium poppy plant. While all opiates are opioids, not all opioids are opiates.
A Complete List Of Opioids
There are a large number of opioids available on the market. There are some forms of the drug that are even stronger than morphine. There are also some forms of the drug that are illegal.
Fentanyl: Actiq®, Sublimaze®, Duragesic®
Fentanyl is one of the most common opioids. It is also 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. This drug is often prescribed by a medical professional and can be taken in a variety of ways. It can be used as an injection, lozenge, patch, pill, in eye droppers and nasal sprays, and as a powder.
Fentanyl is most commonly associated with the number of overdoses that have happened in recent years. This is because it is being mixed into other drugs such as cocaine, MDMA, methamphetamine, and heroin.
Fentanyl has many street names. These street names include:
- Dance Fever
- China Girl
- Tango and Cash
- China White
Oxycodone / OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®
Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid that is often used for pain relief. This drug can be taken orally, snorted, dissolved in water, and injected or smoked.
Street names for the drug include:
- Hillbilly heroin
Oxymorphone / Opana ER®, Opana®
Oxymorphone is intended for use for severe pain. It was first marketed as an injectable and rectal suppository. However, in 2006 an immediate-release and extended-release oral tablet form came on the market.
Street names for oxymorphone include:
- The O bomb
- Pink O
- Stop signs
- Blue Heaven
- Pink lady
- Orgasna IR
- Pink heaven
- Mrs. O
- New Blues
Levorphanol / Levo-Dromoran®
Levorphanol is a synthetic opioid that is intended for use in moderate to severe pain and as a preoperative medication. It is typically used as an oral tablet but can also be used intravenously when administered in a hospital setting. This drug is 8 times more potent than morphine.
Hydromorphone / Dilaudid®, Exalgo®
Hydromorphone is intended for use for moderate-to-severe pain and has been marketed as a tablet, injectable, suppository, and multiple-dose vial. Before hydrocodone and oxycodone gained popularity for drug abuse, hydromorphone was the leading opioid used for abuse.
Street names for Hydromorphone include:
- Smack D
Methadone / Methadose®
Methadone is a potent pain reliever that is often used for chronic pain relief. It is also used for opioid dependence. Those who take methadone for opioid dependence must be used to taking large amounts of opioids or else it may be deadly. Methadone comes in droppers, tablets, and oral solutions.
Street names for methadone include:
- Chocolate chip cookies
Morphine and Equivalent Opioids
Tapentadol / Nucynta®, Nucynta ER®
Tapentadol is used to treat moderate-to-severe acute pain. Extended-release forms of the drug are commonly used for people with diabetes to treat pain caused by nerve damage. It comes in the form of tablets and oral solutions.
Morphine / Arymo ER®, MorphaBond ER®, MS Contin®
Morphine is a non-synthetic opioid, which makes it considered an opiate. Its primary use is for pain relief. Morphine comes in various forms, including injectables, oral solutions, capsules, and immediate and extended-release tablets. Typically, when morphine is abused, the preferred form is an injectable since it will enter the bloodstream quickly.
Street names for morphine include:
- Miss Emma
- White stuff
Hydrocodone / Vicodin®, Vicoprofen®, Lortab®, Hycodan®, Lorcet-HD®
Hydrocodone is used as a pain reliever for moderate to moderately severe pain and as a cough suppressant. It is just as effective a codeine for cough suppression, if not more effective. It is equivalent to morphine for pain relief. It comes in the form of capsules, tablets, and liquid.
Street names for hydrocodone include:
Opioids Weaker Than Morphine
These drugs are more commonly prescribed and are used to treat moderate pain.
Oxycodone and Acetaminophen / Percocet®
Percocet® is an opioid that contains a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen and is used for pain relief for moderate to severe pain and for acute pain. It comes in the form of tablets, including an extended-release tablet or oral solution.
The street names for Percocet® include:
- Blue Dynamite
- No Buffers
- Ercs. M-30s
Meperidine Hydrochloride / Demerol®
Meperidine is an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain. It is most commonly known by its trade name Demerol. Meperidine is also known as pethidine and is commonly used for pain relief during childbirth. It comes in the form of an oral tablet, intravenous solution, oral syrup, and injectable solution.
The street names for meperidine hydrochloride include:
- Pain killer
Hydrocodone with Acetaminophen / Norco®, Lartab Elixir®, Vicodin®
Hydrocodone with acetaminophen is a combination drug that is used to treat pain and may also help lower a fever. This medication is commonly known as Norco or Vicodin. Norco and Vicodin can be found in tablet and oral solution forms.
The street names for Norco and Vicodin include the same street names used for hydrocodone:
Oxycodone and Aspirin / Percodan®
The combination of oxycodone and aspirin make up the commonly known drug Percodan. This drug comes in the form of immediate-release oral tablets.
Street names for Percodan include:
Codeine / Codeine Contin®
Codeine is typically used to provide pain relief for mild to moderate pain and as a cough suppressant. It is usually taken orally in the form of a tablet or as a syrup. Oftentimes, those who abuse codeine will mix it with soda and drink it to get a “high” feeling.
The street names for codeine include:
- Purple Drank
- Texas Tea
- Little C
Tramadol / Qdolo®, Ultram®
Tramadol is commonly used to treat pain after surgery and moderate to moderately severe pain. Chronic ongoing pain may be treated by extended-release tablets or capsules. It can be found in the form of a capsule, tablet, oral solution, or suspension.
The street names for tramadol include:
- Chill Pills
There are some opioids that are not medically prescribed. These are always sold and obtained illegally.
One of the most popular and illegal opioids is heroin. Heroin comes in forms such as powders or a sticky, tar-like substance. It can be injected, snorted, or smoked. Heroin causes various side effects and is a highly addictive substance.
The street names for heroin include:
- Big H
- White Horse
- China White
- Hell Dust
- Brown Sugar
Opium is derived directly from the opium poppy plant. To produce opium, incisions will be made in the unripe seedpod of the poppy. Once the milky fluid seeps out, it will be hand-scraped and air-dried. It is commonly abused by injecting it, consuming it in a pill or tablet form, or smoking it. It’s also often mixed with other drugs to increase the effects.
Street names for Opium include:
- Black Stuff
- Joy Plant
- Black Pill
- Dream Stick
- Big O
- Easing Powder
- God’s Medicine
- Chinese Tobacco
Signs of Opioid Misuse
Because of the extremely high addictive nature of opioids, they are commonly misused. Opioid misuse can lead to addiction. When someone becomes accustomed to the amount of an opioid that they are using, they will need more of the medication to get the desired effects.
This can lead to dependence on the drug, which may even lead to addiction. Misuse of prescription opioids is often accomplished through taking more of the medication to have a “high” feeling, taking someone else’s prescription, and taking the medication in a different dose or way than it is prescribed.
Signs of opioid misuse and addiction are similar to those of any drug addiction. Signs of opioid misuse may include:
- Sleeping at odd hours
- Having financial troubles
- Losing interest in hobbies and activities
- Being agitated, nervous, or having mood swings
- Becoming depressed or fatigued
- Having legal troubles
- Ignoring personal hygiene such as showering, brushing teeth, or wearing clean clothes
- Eating too much or too little
- Isolating from family and friends
- Spending time with different groups of people
- Speaking too quickly, being extremely energetic, or not making sense
- Not making important appointments or having trouble at school or work
- Poor motor control and slower reflexes
- Puncture wounds that coincide with IV drug use
- Trying to obtain prescription opioids from multiple doctors
- Impaired judgment
Opioid misuse can cause all of these problems for someone who is suffering from addiction. It’s essential to receive help to detox off of opioids because the detox process can be very dangerous to someone’s health.
What Treatment Is Available For Opioid Addiction?
Treatment for opioid addiction varies per person. It can be a mix of medications alongside counseling and other types of support. The medications commonly used for opioid addiction include naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine.
Treatment can take place in one of four settings. The four options where treatment can take place are outpatient rehabilitation, intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization, residential rehabilitation, or inpatient hospitalization.
The treatment team will work with the person who is struggling with opioid addiction to get them back on the path to recovery. There will be active patient participation and participation from friends and family to support the recovery.
Overcome Opioid Addiction
Understanding which medications are opioids can make a big difference for those who are considering taking them for the first time. If someone is prone to addiction, opioids may not be the best option for pain relief.
Addiction and dependence can occur with every type of opioid there is on the market. Seeking treatment is the best way to get back on the path to recovery. Contact Epiphany Wellness today to see what life could be like without opioids.
Frequently Asked Questions About Opioids
Prescription opioids may be taken and used properly if the person taking them follows the doctor’s instructions. Oftentimes these prescription opioids are prescribed to people who are experiencing high amounts of pain and other medications don’t work for them. As long as doctor’s orders are followed perfectly someone can safely take prescription opioids.
Prescription opioids are most commonly prescribed by a doctor to help relieve pain or assist with other symptoms of illness. However, due to the highly addictive traits of prescription opioids, people will go through many channels to obtain them. This can include using fake prescriptions to get them filled at a pharmacy, calling in and faking being a doctor to prescribe the medication, going to multiple doctors to get the prescription filled, and even buying them on the street through drug dealers.
Opioids are addictive because they produce dopamine in the body and give the user a “high” feeling. They also produce feelings of euphoria, which can make the drug more sought after. After the drug leaves the body, the brain will be exhausted of the feel-good chemicals, which will cause someone to try taking more of the drug to receive the same feeling.
Opioids are easy to come by and are readily available from doctors. While opioid addiction can happen to people of every ethnicity, age, background, and race there are some people who may have an increased risk of developing an addiction. These risk factors include:
- Impulsive or risk-taking behavior
- History of substance abuse disorder
- History of certain mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression
- Family history of substance abuse disorder
- History of chronic pain
- Taking opioids for pain following a surgery or hospital stay
Heavy tobacco use
- Stressful life situations
- Poor mental coping mechanisms
Over-the-counter pain medications are not considered opioids. Some opioids do contain over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen. But when the medication does not contain an opioid, it is not considered to be an opioid. Some common over-the-counter pain medications are Tylenol and Aleve.
Prescription opioids and illicit opioids are very different. Prescription opioids are prescribed for a specific use, usually pain relief. It is a controlled substance and when taken the correct way is relatively safe. Illicit opioids are drugs that are usually found on the street that are not used for any medical purpose. Heroin is one example of an illicit opioid. The sole purpose of someone using heroin is to feel a kind of high from the drug, not for medical use.
Opioids are not typically prescribed for women who are pregnant. This is because the baby could begin to depend on the substance and have withdrawal symptoms after birth. This is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome. When a woman is pregnant and dependent or addicted to opioids, they will need to seek treatment to stop the use of the medication.
Overdoses from prescription opioids are very common. This happens when someone takes too much of the medication, and the drug produces life-threatening symptoms. Opioids typically slow breathing, so when too much of the medication is taken, it can cause someone to stop breathing altogether.
Overdose symptoms for opioid overdose are:
- Inability to talk
- Gurgling or snoring sounds
- Falling asleep or having a hard time staying awake
- Shallow, slow breathing
- Dark colored lips and blue skin color
If you suspect that someone has overdosed on opioids, the very first thing you need to do is call 911. Try to keep the person awake and breathing until help arrives. Typically, when an overdose is called in, the drug Naloxone will be administered to combat the effects of the overdose. Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. This medication is available as an injection and as a nasal spray.
When someone becomes dependent or addicted to opioids and stops taking the medication abruptly will have withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms have the ability to be life-threatening. Severe withdrawal symptoms from opioids can begin within a few hours after taking the drug.
Some withdrawal symptoms from opioids include:
- Cold flashes
- Bone and muscle pain
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Severe cravings for the drug
- Difficulty sleeping or other sleep problems
- Uncontrollable leg movements
- Anxiety and irritability
- Abdominal pain
Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can last up to 10 days but usually last three to five days.
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