NAD Blog

Most Commonly Abused Opioids

depressed person sitting in dark wondering about the most commonly abused opioids

The opioid family of substances includes some of the nation’s most widely prescribed medications. These substances are also frequent targets of abuse or misuse. In addition, some people abuse illegal opioid street drugs. If abuse leads to addiction, an opioid detox center in Louisiana can help you recover. Some opioids are targeted for misuse more often than others. Awareness of the most common targets may help you avoid problems now and in the future.

Types of Opioids

In one way or another, all opioids are based on chemicals found in the opium poppy. Within this general category, they can be divided or grouped in a couple of different ways. One important distinction is between prescription medications like codeine and illegal drugs like heroin. Opioids can also be broken down into three groups:

  • Naturally occurring
  • Semisynthetic
  • Synthetic

Natural opioids come directly from opium poppy chemicals. Semisynthetic opioids are a blend of natural and lab-created chemicals. Synthetic opioids contain no chemicals from the opium poppy. Instead, they’re designed to mimic the effects of natural opioids.

What Is Opioid Abuse?

How do you abuse an opioid? If you take a prescription drug, abuse occurs when you do any one of several things. First, you may take it in larger amounts than prescribed. You may also reduce the time between prescribed doses.

Another form of abuse is the recreational use of your medication. In addition, abuse occurs when you attempt to speed up the drug effect of your medication. Any medication use without a prescription also counts as opioid abuse.

What about illegal opioids? Any consumption of one of these drugs qualifies as abuse. That’s true because they serve no legitimate medical purpose. Fentanyl abuse is a unique case in some ways. Some people misuse their legitimately prescribed fentanyl. However, most people misuse an illegally made street version of the medication.

What Are the Most Commonly Abused Opioids?

The majority of the most commonly abused opioids are prescription drugs. Medications on this list include:

  • Oxycodone, the main ingredient in OxyContin
  • Hydrocodone, the main ingredient in Vicodin, Lorcet, and Lortab
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl

Other prescription opioids may also be targeted for abuse. Examples here include meperidine, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, methadone, and buprenorphine. The two most widely abused opioid street drugs are fentanyl and heroin.

Commonly Abused Opioids and Opioid Addiction

Abuse of any opioid can lead to physical dependence. This state occurs when your brain becomes reliant upon the presence of a drug or medication. You can also become dependent when you follow your doctor’s instructions. However, in this context, dependence can be managed and controlled. With help from your doctor, you can avoid serious problems.

The situation changes if you abuse your medication or a street drug. Without medical safeguards in place, dependence can lead to addiction. As a rule, this happens when two other problems occur. First, you also become emotionally dependent on an opioid. In addition, you compulsively seek out more opioids to use. At this stage, you must get professional help to recover your sobriety.

Seek Help for All Types of Opioid Addiction at Springfield Wellness

Has your opioid abuse turned into opioid addiction? The professionals at Springfield Wellness Center are here for you. We specialize in opioid detox. This is a crucial first step in addiction recovery. That’s true, no matter what kind of opioid is in your system.

Our customized plans provide you with multiple detox options. Those options include NAD+ therapy, a state-of-the-art form of brain restoration. With support from this therapy, you can start to undo some of the brain changes triggered by addiction. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at 844.334.4727 or fill out our convenient online form.