What Drugs Are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs at the center of a national health crisis. Of the just over 100,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States, three-quarters of those deaths were due to opioid medications. While opioid overdoses and deaths are front and center in news headlines, many Americans ask what drugs are opioids and why are these drugs so addictive and dangerous?

This article will further define opioids and which drugs are opioids. You will also learn how these powerful medications affect the brain and where you can find opioid addiction treatment tailored to meet your needs. If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, Spirit Mountain Recovery can help! We are one of Utah’s premier addiction treatment facilities. Our dynamic evidence-based approach will help you address and overcome opioid addiction for good. Call us now to learn about our men’s drug and alcohol rehab in Utah.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a class of powerful pain-relieving medications that are carefully formulated and synthesized by scientists in a laboratory. These potent drugs mimic the effects of naturally occurring opiates such as heroin and morphine. Opioids are most commonly prescribed by doctors to relieve the pain and discomfort after surgical procedures, sports injuries, and help alleviate the pain as the result of major diseases such as cancer.

Opioid drugs are mainly taken in pill form but can also be taken in lozenge form and even as lollipops. Additionally, these medications can be administered as an IV, transdermal patch, or through a suppository. When prescribed and utilized as a part of a comprehensive pain management plan, opioids are very effective. While effective, this family of medications are extremely powerful and has a high potential for addiction. Even if carefully prescribed, administered, and monitored by experienced treatment staff, users can become dependent and even addicted to these medications.

What Drugs Are Opioids?

Now that you have a basic background of what opioids are and their usage, the next question to answer are which drugs are opioids. The following are common opioid medications prescribed by doctors:

  • Vicodin
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Opana
  • Kadian
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydromorphone
  • Tapentadol
  • Methadone

Oftentimes, opiate drugs such as heroin and morphine are thought of as opioids. While heroin, morphine, and codeine are plant-derived, they produce the same effects as synthesized opioid drugs.

How Do Opioids Affect the Brain and Body?

When administered, opioids quickly travel through the bloodstream and to the brain, where they attach to specific proteins called opioid receptors. These are most commonly found at the ends of nerve cells in the brain as well as the stomach and spinal cord. When opioids attach to these receptors, they help block pain messages sent throughout the body via the spinal cord. As a result, people feel relaxed, calm, and have a tremendous sense of euphoria.

When these medications are used, people may experience side effects including the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Slowed breathing and respiration
  • Mental confusion
  • Impaired coordination and an increase in falls and bruised or broken bones

When opioids are misused and abused long-term, users can experience loss of consciousness and slowed breathing to the point that respiration ceases to occur. If people have underlying medical conditions or are using other substances along with opioids, they may experience life-threatening side effects.

How to Find Opioid Addiction Treatment

Knowing what drugs opioids and the effects of these drugs is essential information to know, especially if you or a loved one are struggling with dependence and even addiction. As stated, these drugs have a high addiction potential and can have life-threatening complications. Finding professional opioid addiction treatment is the only way you can effectively overcome opioid addiction and find lasting recovery.

The opioid rehab you choose must have evidence-based treatment programs that are extensively tested and are proven to work. The best opioid rehabs also have multiple levels of care and experienced treatment staff with a proven track record of success. Importantly, the rehab you choose must offer customized treatment plans to fit your unique and specific needs.

As Utah’s premier drug rehab center, Spirit Mountain Recovery offers quality opioid rehab programs specifically designed for men. Located in beautiful Eden Valley, Spirit Mountain Recovery features a unique combination of evidence-based clinical treatment, psychoeducation, and nature-based experiential activities. We are fully committed to helping you address your opioid addiction and providing you with the tools and support you need to transform your life. Call us today and begin your journey on the road to recovery.

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