Because of the increase in the variety of opiate painkillers that is available by prescription, it can sometimes be confusing to figure out where and how to get help for opiate drug abuse or addiction. Knowing more about Opana, how it works in the body, and how addiction is treated can make it easier to find a reliable rehab program for treatment of Opana abuse.
Description and Medical Uses
Opana is a partly synthetic opioid painkiller, which behaves similarly to how morphine behaves in the body. According to the drug information provided through the DailyMed website of the National Library of Medicine, Opana is intended to be used for moderate to severe pain. There are immediate-release versions for acute pain, and extended-release types can be used for long-term pain control.
According to Drugs.com, some of the specific suggested uses of Opana include:
- To manage moderate to severe acute pain, often the result of injuries or diseases
- As a preoperative pain prevention and anxiety reduction medication
- In support of anesthesia during surgery
- As an anxiety relief medication for people suffering from heart issues that result in fluid buildup in the lungs
Opana Potential for Abuse
Oxymorphone has a history of addiction potential, including in earlier injectable and suppository formulations called Numorphan and Numorphone, which have been available since being approved by the Federal Drug Administration in the 1960s. In current formulations, some have believed the drug to have a lower addiction potential than substances like oxycodone or hydrocodone.
However, in recent years there has been an increase in illicit use of all prescription opiate drugs. As reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 23.4-36 million people worldwide abuse opiate drugs, with approximately 2.1 million people in the US specifically abusing prescription opiate painkillers.
Illicit use of oxymorphone often involves crushing, melting, or dissolving and injecting the extended-release version of the drug. This can quickly result in overdose or cause other severe physical issues, including:
- Respiratory issues, including cessation of breathing
- Injection-related HIV infections
- Thrombotic thrombocytic purpura (TTP): a severe blood clotting disorder that can lead to death
- Injury to kidneys and other organs
The illicit usage of Opana to achieve an opiate high can also lead to tolerance of the substance, which means more of the drug is needed to achieve the same result. Tolerance and subsequent dependence on the drug to feel good are signs of addiction.
Risk Factors for Opana Abuse
Because of its similarity to other opioid prescription medications, Opana has similar risks for abuse as other drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and morphine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and other organizations, risk factors for abuse include:
- History of mental illness or substance abuse, particularly mood and anxiety disorders
- Ability to get multiple prescriptions from different pharmacies at the same time
- Being inappropriately prescribed the drug or nonmedical use of the drug
- Taking the drug at higher doses or more often than directed
- Poverty or living in rural areas
Signs and Symptoms of Abuse
If a person exhibits the above risk factors, and abuse or addiction is suspected, look for some of the signs and symptoms of substance abuse. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), as reported by Psych Central, signs that someone is dealing with substance abuse or addiction may include:
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Regularly taking more of the drug or using it more often than prescribed or intended
- Problems in relationships due to drug use
- Inability to maintain responsibilities at work or school
- Craving the substance and spending a lot of time trying to get it
- Continuing to use the substance even though there are negative consequences due to use
- If a person is crushing the pills rather than swallowing whole pills, it’s a surefire sign of abuse. These pills should never be crushed.
- Purplish blue marks under the skin (a sign of TTP)
- Drowsiness, confusion, or inability to focus
- Nausea or digestive distress
- Slowed breathing and heart rate
- Withdrawal symptoms if the person stops taking the drug
Over time, these physical symptoms can grow worse. If these symptoms are present with the signs of addiction above, it may be time to look for a reputable rehab center.
Options for Treatment
Treatment for Opana abuse or addiction that is most likely to result in positive outcomes includes inpatient treatment at a research-based, accredited drug rehab center. According to a publication from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, research demonstrates that one of the key elements of long-term recovery from substance abuse is staying in treatment for the required amount of time without relapse. For most people, this is more easily achieved in an inpatient rehab center due to the supervision and comprehensive care provided.
Because the reasons for substance abuse, history of substance use, and other psychological factors are different for each person, treatment that is customized to meet the individual’s needs is shown to result in more positive outcomes. The elements of a treatment plan may include:
- Medically supported detox and withdrawal
- Medical support of abstinence to sustain the therapeutic aspects of treatment
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to develop skills to help avoid relapse
- Family or interpersonal therapy to build a support network
- Post-treatment programs to provide continued abstinence motivation and support
No single treatment is effective for everyone. With a customized approach that includes various types of therapy based on the individual’s needs, treatment can result in long-term recovery.