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3 Most Commonly Abused Opioids

a man sits with his therapist while discussing the most commonly abused opioids

People across the country struggle with opioid dependency every day. Unfortunately, accidents, injuries, surgeries, chronic pain, and the overprescription of opioids all contribute to the decades-long opioid epidemic. Opioids are increasingly easy to get, more potent, and commonly abused. The safest, most effective way to prevent opioid overdose and death is professional opioid addiction treatment.

If you or someone you love is abusing opioids, don’t quit cold turkey. Call the team at A Better State now. Our holistic outpatient programs help people across the New Hampshire area recover from substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Call us at 781.412.1488 to learn more about the most commonly abused opioids and A Better State’s opioid addiction treatment programs in New Hampshire.

What Are Opioids?

Opium comes from the opium poppy. It has been used for centuries to produce a euphoric high, and potent painkiller effect. Opioids are synthetic and semi-synthetic drugs made from the opium poppy. Synthetic opioids are made in medical or illegal labs to create the same pain-blocking, euphoric feeling. They are also much more potent than natural opioids. When opioids like heroin or OxyContin enter the bloodstream, they immediately block pain receptors in the brain and release a rush of dopamine. This can cause joy and immediate pain relief.

They also slow down the nervous system, leading to constipation, slow heart rate, and confusion. Often prescribed for physical pain, people commonly abuse opioids for emotional pain, unresolved trauma, and undiagnosed mood disorders. For those with mood disorders, the effects of opioids can be more substantial, making the drug more addictive.

Types of Addictive Opioids

Opioids can be obtained through a prescription or bought illegally. Taking a prescription opioid other than prescribed is opioid abuse. Similarly, taking a street opioid is substance abuse. Commonly abused opioid medications include:

  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Demerol

Vicodin, OxyContin, and Demerol have different prescription strengths with varying release times. Someone may crush and snort these medications or take them with alcohol for a more substantial effect. While many people may try heroin, most regular heroin users are over 30. Fentanyl is 500 to 100 times stronger than morphine and is increasingly popular. Many street drugs are laced with fentanyl because it is cheap and strong, increasing the risk of overdose and opioid-related death.

Signs and Symptoms of Opioid Use

Regular use of prescription opioids can quickly turn to opioid abuse. If you think someone you love is abusing opioids, look for the following symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Reckless behavior
  • Self-isolation
  • Changes in grades
  • Changes in social habits
  • New friend groups
  • Erratic behavior
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Lethargy
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Profuse sweating
  • Track marks from injection
  • Paranoia
  • Memory problems
  • Drug cravings

All types of opioids are addictive because they change a person’s brain chemistry. This makes them especially difficult to stop taking without medically-assisted detox and psychiatric care. A professional treatment program is the safest, most effective way to recover from opioid abuse.

Begin Opioid Addiction Treatment in New Hampshire Today

If you and your loved ones are struggling with opioids, A Better State’s outpatient addiction treatment programs can help. Our partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) and intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) provide behavioral and alternative therapies for holistic health, including:

  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Yoga therapy
  • Trauma therapy
  • Mindfulness meditation therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Individual therapy

Our dual diagnosis programs are here to help you and your loved ones recover from fentanyl, heroin, and other opioids. We have a program for you with mental health treatment and accessible daytime and evening programs.

Discover Most Commonly Abused Opioids with Help from A Better State

Knowing the names of the most commonly abused opioids is essential because it can help you identify if a friend or loved one is struggling with addiction. In addition, to knowing some of the most commonly abused opioids, understanding their symptoms and the signs of addiction can be highly beneficial. At A Better State, we can help you and your family with many resources about addiction and explain our treatment options at our facility. Call A Better State at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our Hudson, NH clinic.