Opana Infographic

Understanding Opana Use, Abuse, Addiction & Recovery

Facts About Opana

  • Opana has become one of the most abused prescription drugs in the United States
  • Opana is a semi-synthetic opioid available via prescription as a pill
  • It works by altering how the body perceives and reacts to pain
  • Opana is frequently prescribed to cancer patients, burn victims, and others experiencing pain1
  • Like other opioids, Opana produces a euphoric effect in the user, but it is short-lived
  • While Opana is similar to Oxycontin, it’s twice as strong

Opana is the brand name for the drug named oxymorphone. It functions in a similar matter to morphine. However, it’s often prescribed because if has fewer related side effects caused by a histamine reaction, which causes itchiness. Opana’s sedative effects are so strong that it’s even used before surgery to help a patient have less anxiety and stay under anesthesia as the surgeons work.

Unlike other prescription opioids, Opana can only be taken by mouth as a pill. It does, however, feature one dangerous difference from them; if taken with food, a person can is more likely to overdose on Opana. Opana levels go dangerously high in the bloodstream when it is taken with food.

Because the euphoria a user experiences with Opana is extreme and also very short-lived, it is considered one of the most addictive prescription opioids on the market today. Opana is a highly addictive narcotic that a user can become psychologically or physically addicted to, and the end result is they transfer their abuse to heroin, which is much easier to get.

Opana/Oxymorphone is Also Called

  • Blue heaven
  • Blues
  • New blues
  • Biscuits
  • Octagons
  • Stop signs
  • Pink heaven
  • Pink lady

Symptoms/Signs of Opana Abuse

People who abuse Opana may experience nausea or actually vomit when it “kicks in.” They may have trouble sleeping when they cannot obtain the drug. The user may experience dizziness or drowsiness while on the drug. Some users experience constipation while taking the drug. Some people may experience mental health problems, such as anxiety and paranoia, while on the drug (or also experience anxiety when they are craving the drug).

Opana, like other narcotics, causes a short-term euphoria in users and relieves pain. A user may “nod off” or appear “heavy” while on the drug. A person taking Opana may also experience dry mouth or stomach problems like diarrhea (or constipation).

Alcohol combined with Opana is incredibly dangerous to the user.2 Studies have shown that it can cause high levels of the drug in the user’s blood, causing a deadly overdose.

Long-Term Dangers of Long-Term Opana Abuse

Chronic Opana users run the risk of addiction as well as overdose. Unlike many other opioids, Opana is a time-release pill. A person who chooses to abuse Opana may think they’re not getting the high they expected because of this feature. They may take another pill and end up sick from an overdose.

Long-term Opana users face problems with their heart and circulatory system. They may start having seizures or develop an irregular heartbeat. In overdose, a user may suffer from circulatory collapse, heart attacks, and strokes. Long-term users can also end up with health conditions such as impacted bowels, and malnutrition.

Signs and Symptoms of Opana Dependency/Addiction

As a person becomes addicted to Opana, they will start seeking out more and more of the drug, despite negative consequences. Some users will doctor-shop or purchase the drug in an illicit market. They may lie or steal to help pay for their growing stash. They may keep stashes of pills around their home or hoard multiple prescriptions.

As a person slips into addiction, they may cut off family or friendships. They may be unable to keep a job. Many people addicted to opioids experience financial crisis due to the increasing costs of their drug use. A person who is addicted to Opana may exhibit many health problems – such as constipation or malnutrition. They may have weak muscles and experience significant weight loss.

Users of Opana experience intense withdrawal effects that can cause a myriad of unpleasant sensations. Among these are sweating, muscle pains and weakness. They may have painful spasms or bone pain. They will experience stomach disturbances such as vomiting or diarrhea. The brutal sensations experienced by the user who is experiencing withdrawals is the reason that heroin has had such a shocking resurgence in popularity in recent years – it contains the same active ingredient as Opana and is available on the streets for $5-$10 a hit.

Because of the severity of withdrawal symptoms, it’s advised that Opana users “taper off” or withdraw from the drug in a supervised clinical environment. In a safe facility like this, users can expect relief from some of the uncomfortable symptoms and be observed for any adverse events.

This is why most addiction professionals will recommend an inpatient detox and recovery program for users who want to quit Opana for good.

How to Get Help for an Opana or Opioid Addiction

If you think you or a loved one has a problem with Opana (or another prescription drug), you’re not alone. We want you to know that you’re in the right place. Many opioid users are able to get clean from their drug of choice and find a new way to live. You can quit using Opana and find peace and hope in recovery. Want more information about your treatment options? Give us a call. It’s 100% confidential and we can answer any questions you have.

1.Adult Cancer Pain, available here.