Opana was formerly known as oxymorphone. Opana is a semi-synthetic opioid analgesic, and it has been in use in the US since as far back as the 1960s. Opana is used to manage moderate to severe pain. It is also used as a preoperative medication, to curb down on anxiety and maintain anesthesia.
Opana acts directly on the central nervous system, CNS, and this is why it is referred to as a "centrally acting analgesic." Opana is known to act as a social lubricant: it decreases feelings of anxiety and spikes euphoric feelings. However, these euphoric effects are short-lived. This particular quality is what leads to the development of a continuous pattern of use and abuse.
Opana's effects have been compared to those of morphine. However, they are less potent in nature. But once mixed with alcohol, the double-whammy effect means that the effects may outdo even those of morphine, with regard to potency.
Opana's recent popularity is owed in part to the reformulation of OxyContin, back in 2010. Oxy's reformulation made it that much more difficult to crush, snort or inject it, effectively throwing many addicts off the drug. Many turned to alternatives like Opana. Opana has been classified as a Schedule II drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA.
Opana is sometimes referred to by slang names. For instance, the drug is referred to as blue heaven, stop signs, pink lady, O bomb, new blues, octagons, and Mrs. O. Opana. The referral of the drug by a myriad of slang names is par for the course with all opioids. Opana slows down the function of the CNS, central nervous system, effectively slowing down respiration, blood pressure and heart rate. This is how the drug manages to ease stress and induce relaxation and pleasure.
Like most other opioids, Opana will lead to tolerance, dependence and ultimately addiction if used for a long enough time period. By and by, the user will need to use larger amounts of the drug to feel the same effects. This is true for persons who use the drug to manage pain as well as those who use it recreationally.
Drug dependence occurs when your brain gets used to the interaction of your drug of choice with its chemical messengers. Such neurotransmitters as dopamine are spiked by the presence of drugs like Opana in the bloodstream. Effectively, the brain's set natural reward pathways are circumvented. By and by, as the drug is abused, the brain is rewired, and the circuitry and chemistry are altered with regular use of the drug.
A new pathway to reward and pleasure, which is more of a shortcut than anything, is created. Once an individual who is dependent on Opana goes without the drug, it may be impossible for him or her to feel pleasure. The individual may even experience opioid withdrawal.
Opana's makers, Opana ER, Endo Pharmaceuticals, insist that Opana use should not be halted suddenly, otherwise withdrawal effects will come into play. Where Opana is involved, detox is necessary- optimal in fact. Detox will help blunt withdrawal effects, especially when medication management is involved.
Intoxication of Opana is not unlike that of being drunk on alcohol. You will typically see persons high on Opana slurring their speech, staggering and even falling down, making poor, impaired choices, take bigger risks than is the norm, exhibit fewer inhibitions, indulge in risky sexual behavior, showcase slower reflexes and even have short-term memory lapses. They may also be unable to think with clarity, be drowsy and even have impaired motor coordination.
Many people who are hooked on the drug will have a difficult time stopping usage of the drug on their own. Many times, they will be unable to limit the amounts of Opana that they use at a time. They will also have trouble controlling how often they abuse the drug and how long they spend using the drug.
Many addicts genuinely try to cut down and even completely stop using the drug. Oftentimes if they are attempting to do this on their own, they will fail. The withdrawal effects are often too harsh. A good thing to do would be to go to rehab and be put in a detox program.
Mood swings are common in Opana abusers. Eating and sleeping habits are also often irregular. Opana use and abuse may get in the way of sleeping patterns, may suppress your appetite and may lead to weight fluctuations. Many persons who abuse the drug retreat into themselves and become withdrawn, anti-social beings.
They may completely cease to join in on activities which once gave them great joy and pleasure. Their social circles may increasingly tighten until the only people they interact with are their fellow Opana abusers, along with their Opana suppliers. Most of their time may be spent chasing the drug, and once obtained, chasing the drug high. Once the high is achieved, even more time will be spent recovering from the drug. Predictably, most Opana abusers are not very productive, be it at work or at school. They are slouches, because their drug habit makes it very difficult to put in the requisite hours to be productive.
Many Opana users know full well that the drug is capable of turning their lives upside down. They know that the drug will erode their social lives, ruin their health, open them up to accidents, injuries and intravenous diseases and generally bring in a lot of negativity to their lives. But their addictions push them to abuse the drug just the same.
Once you find that you need to use a higher dose of the drug to get intoxicated, then the writing is on the wall: addiction and tolerance have already set in. By this time, withdrawal symptoms will be apparent once the individual spends a considerable amount of time off the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms may include anxiety, chills, depression, dilated pupils, restlessness, muscle and joint pain, vomiting, tremors, fever, high blood pressure and heart rate, sweating, diarrhea, runny nose, tearing, nausea, irritability, yawning, insomnia, and agitation.
Typically, withdrawal symptoms will set in 14 or so hours after the last Opana fix. This is because oxymorphone has a 7-9-hour half-life, as per the journal Practical Pain Management.
Medical detox will help you manage detox by curbing down on some of the withdrawal symptoms. Such pharmaceutical tools as buprenorphine products are used. You might also become physically dependent on the drug without necessarily being addicted to it.
If you are concerned that you have developed an addiction to Opana, here are some signs to look out for:
Opana, derived from oxymorphone, provides relaxation as well as pain relief by attaching to opioid receptors in your brain. This allows your body to release its natural chemicals, and these are responsible for pleasurable, euphoric feelings.
Anytime you take a higher dose than that which the doctor has prescribed, then you have abused the drug. Changing the method of drug use, for instance snorting and injecting a drug which should be swallowed in tablet form, is prescription abuse, and it raises the effects that the drug has.
You should be warned that even when you follow the doctor's directives and only use the drug as directed professionally, tolerance and dependency can still set in.
Some of the mental effects of snorting Opana include:
In addition to mental impacts, abusing Opana may affect how you function physically. Doctors will typically prescribe Opana to help with pain management. Some of the physical effects of abusing the drug include:
Opioid overdose has become such a major problem in the country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has qualified the problem as an epidemic. Each day, nearly 80 people die from opioid overdose. Over half of these cases include a prescription opioid like Opana.
One of the hazards, with regard to Opana, is that per milligram, the drug is more powerful than OxyContin, which in itself is powerful enough. Persons who crossover from OxyContin to Opana and use the same amounts they are used to may drastically drop their breathing rate, even stopping it altogether.
Altering the drug's ER by crushing, chewing, smoking, snorting or injecting it will circumvent the extended-release format of the drug. This will mean that the entire dosage of the drug will enter the bloodstream all at once. This makes overdosing that much easier.
In 2014, more than 14,000 persons in the country died from a prescription overdose, as per the CDC. In 2017, nearly 100,000 persons died due to opioid overdose. When you snort drugs like Opana, you increase the chances of overdosing on it.
Tablets are meant to be taken orally. Crushing the tablet introduces the entire dosage into the bloodstream at once. This increases the drug's potency and it has resulted in fatal overdoses in many persons.
You can prevent opioid overdosing via medical detox followed by a concise, comprehensive substance abuse treatment program. The treatment should address the drug abuse root causes and help you learn what may have led to abusing drugs.
One of the best things about substance abuse treatment program sis that in addition to helping you detox from the drug; they will also teach you strategies to avoid drug use triggers. They will also teach you skills to cope with stress, anxiety, depression and the like.
Overdose is - in some cases - reversible with the aid of opioid antagonists like Narcan, also known as naloxone. However, administration of Narcan needs to be immediate to boost the chances of reversing the overdose.
Symptoms of oxymorphone (Opana) overdose include:
If you know these symptoms and signs, you can potentially save a person's life - perhaps even your own. Call 911 immediately in the onset of the symptoms listed above.
Ceasing Opana abruptly may lead to opioid withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing alone is thus not recommended, as it may contribute to the risk of increased relapse. Some symptoms of Opana withdrawal include:
If you are concerned that you have developed an addiction to the drug, and would thus like to seek treatment, your first step should be to find a place where you can detox completely.
To help you manage unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, you may be given FDA-approved opioid substitutes. Examples are methadone and buprenorphine. You will also be given supportive care so that the detox experience can be as comfortable as possible.
Detox, however, will only be the first step. It will help you get over the initial hurdle, which is killing dependence and addiction. Then, you can decide to enter a treatment program. This will give you a proper support system which will wean you off drug tolerance further as well as help you cope with mental wellness issues. Your options will range from outpatient care to very intensive case in a long-term residential facility.
Outpatient programs are not quite as intense as inpatient programs. You will typically log in several hours a day, and then get back to your normal, day to day living. With inpatient care however, you will live in the center and away from the outside world. Care will be 24-7 in nature.