Oxymorphone Addiction | Drug Dictionary | Nova Recovery Center
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Opana (Oxymorphone) Addiction

 

About Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone is a schedule II controlled substance and an opioid analgesic that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. This medication is very effective at treating pain but it is also commonly misused and abused due to its ability to provide a powerful high when taken recreationally.

Oxymorphone works by attaching to nerve receptors in the brain and increasing the body’s threshold to pain. It also changes the way the pain is experienced and perceived. When abused, it creates intense feelings of euphoria and relaxation, as well as pain relief.

Oxymorphone was sold under the brand name Opana, but in June of 2017, the FDA asked the manufacturer to remove it from the U.S. market due to high rates of abuse and the ongoing opioid epidemic in America. Opana ER was removed from the U.S. market in July of 2017, but doctors may still legally prescribe generic versions of extended-release oxymorphone tablets in the U.S.

Street Names for Oxymorphone

  • Blue Heaven
  • Blues
  • O
  • New Blues
  • Pink Heaven
  • Pink Lady
  • Pink O
  • Stop Signs
  • The O Bomb

About Oxymorphone Abuse

Oxymorphone has a high potential for abuse and addiction because it is a very powerful drug. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 18.7 million people (or 6.9 percent of the population) misused prescription drugs like oxymorphone.

Many people may begin using oxymorphone without intending to abuse it, taking it as prescribed by a doctor. But regular use can lead to tolerance, which will make a person feel like they need more of the drug to feel the same effects. As tolerance develops, the risk for addiction increases, and is much more likely to occur.

Physiological and psychological dependence is not uncommon with oxymorphone and anyone who has developed a tolerance or is misusing it should seek professional help immediately.

Physical Effects of Oxymorphone Abuse

Short-term effects of oxymorphone abuse may include:

  • Slowed respiration
  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

Long-term effects of oxymorphone abuse may include:

  • Liver damage
  • Brain damage
  • Swollen abdomen/severe bloating
  • Constipation
  • Increased risk of developing mental health issues
  • Tolerance
  • Addiction

What Oxymorphone Addiction Looks Like

People who suffer from chronic pain may be more at risk for developing an addiction to oxymorphone, but a person’s genetics, living environment, and mental disorders like depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety also play a role. Addiction does not discriminate and no one person is immune, so anyone may become addicted to oxymorphone.

Some common signs of oxymorphone abuse and addiction include:

  • Frequently “losing” prescriptions and returning to the doctor for more
  • Seeing several different doctors to get more oxymorphone
  • Lying about an injury or exaggerating its severity to get oxymorphone
  • Taking the drug in ways other than prescribed, such as crushing, chewing, or dissolving and injecting the tablets
  • Buying oxymorphone from friends or strangers
  • Feeling unable to stop taking the drug even after trying
  • Prioritizing oxymorphone use above family, friends, work, and school
  • Developing a tolerance to the drug

Oxymorphone Detox and Withdrawal

If an addicted person tries to stop using oxymorphone suddenly, they may experience a wide range of uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms are called withdrawal. Although the withdrawal experience will be different for everyone, and greatly varies based on the person’s substance abuse history, physical condition, and other factors, a person may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Teary eyes
  • Yawning
  • Hypertension
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Attempting to detox from oxymorphone at home without professional assistance is dangerous. It’s also unlikely to be successful without professional support. Detoxing in a medically-assisted detox center is the safest and most comfortable way to get sober and stop abusing oxymorphone for good.

Typically, upon arrival at the detox center, the medical staff will complete a comprehensive exam to determine a client’s physical and psychological needs. This information will be used to design a personalized detox protocol to help the individual gradually taper off the drug and ease into a state of sobriety.

During the client’s time in detox, he or she will regularly be monitored by the medical team to ensure they are comfortable and progressing through the program. Any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms will be treated with medication and the client will attend individual and group counseling as they are physically able. Once the client has reached a stable state of sobriety, recommendations will be provided for ongoing addiction treatment.

When it’s all said and done, medically-assisted detox greatly reduces the likelihood of relapse because it provides both medical and therapeutic support, reduces discomfort during detox, and provides a safe, sober place to rest and recover.

Oxymorphone Withdrawal Timeline

It’s important to remember that each person will experience detox and withdrawal differently. This timeline is just a general guide for what you or a loved one may or may not experience while withdrawing from oxymorphone.

12 to 24 hours after the last dose: Early withdrawal symptoms may begin to appear during this time. They typically include anxiety, restlessness, and other flu-like symptoms.
2 to 3 days after the last dose: The person may begin to experience muscle pain, nausea, headaches, sweating, insomnia, stomach problems, and overall irritation. Strong drug cravings are also common.
3 to 5 days after the last dose: Although most of the intense withdrawal symptoms typically subside by this point, a person may still experience some stomach cramping, muscle aches, chills, and fatigue.

Long-Term Rehab for Oxymorphone Addiction

Once a person has completed detox for oxymorphone addiction, he or she may choose to enroll in a long-term rehab program for addiction recovery. Long-term rehab is defined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) as treatment that lasts at least 90 days or longer. Research shows long-term treatment provides better results and is more likely to result in lasting sobriety than a shorter duration of treatment.

The primary purpose of long-term drug rehab for oxymorphone addiction is to help individuals identify, address, and modify harmful behaviors and attitudes that have contributed to their addiction. Rehab also provides therapeutic treatment to address trauma and shame while working to bring down barriers that have prevented personal growth in the past.

During rehab, clients work with addiction treatment specialists, medical doctors, psychiatric therapists, and peers in recovery to achieve the following goals:

  • Gain more knowledge and insight about the disease of addiction
  • Thoroughly work through all 12 steps in the 12-step program
  • Practice relapse prevention strategies
  • Develop important life skills like personal responsibility, healthy relationship building, and self-care
  • Begin the healing process with family, friends, and other loved ones

Drug rehab centers also provide a safe and supportive place where clients can recover at their own pace while being shielded from the temptations and triggers of the outside world.

Inpatient Drug Rehab vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab

There are two primary types of drug rehab: inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Before deciding on a treatment program for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. This will help you make a better decision regarding the care and recovery of yourself or a loved one.

  • Inpatient drug rehab requires that clients live on-site at a rehab center throughout the duration of their treatment program. During this time, clients share living spaces with other peers in recovery and attend individual and group counseling sessions on-site. Clients generally do not leave the facility’s property unless they are given a pass to do so or they are attending a group outing with their peers in treatment. These types of programs are generally gender-specific and provide a high level of structure in early recovery.
  • Outpatient drug rehab programs are a bit more flexible in that they are comprised of a series of group meetings that span a period of several weeks or months. Clients live at home but attend group meetings several times each week. Meetings are held at a safe, clinical location and are facilitated by addiction treatment professionals. Clients cover all the same materials in outpatient programs as they would in an inpatient program, but it is less structured and provides more flexibility for clients. This type of addiction treatment program is ideal for someone who cannot commit to living in an inpatient rehab center for 90 days.

The cost of drug rehab for oxymorphone addiction varies greatly from program to program and largely depends on several factors, including:

  • The client’s insurance coverage
  • The type of rehab program
  • The location
  • The amenities offered
  • The duration of treatment

Many drug rehab centers provide a wide range of payment options such as medical insurance benefits, EAP benefits, private loans, or out-of-pocket payments. Regardless of your financial situation or whether or not you or your loved one has medical insurance, there are several different ways to pay for rehab.

Continued Care Options for Oxymorphone Addiction Treatment

Addiction to oxymorphone and other prescription opioids is not something that is easily overcome. For this reason, many people in recovery choose to continue their treatment with sober living programs and aftercare. These addiction recovery support services are specifically designed to help people in recovery maintain their sobriety and gain some experience and confidence living independently without substance abuse.

Sober Living Programs

Sober living homes, also called transitional living homes or ¾ houses, are safe, sober, and clean group living homes for people in recovery. Most residents have already completed detox and rehab programs but need continued support to maintain their recovery.

Most sober living homes also provide recovery support services which may include:

  • Regular drug testing
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Personal monitoring programs
  • Therapeutic services
  • Employment and volunteering assistance
  • One-on-one mentoring with a sober coach

Sober living programs are particularly helpful for individuals who do not have a safe, supportive, and drug-free living environment to return to upon completion of a rehab program.

The cost of sober living will vary depending on the type of sober living home, the location, and the recovery support services offered. Typically, payment is collected on a monthly basis, similar to the way rent at an apartment would be.

Aftercare Programs

Aftercare programs are great for individuals who are recovering from oxymorphone addiction. These programs are designed to support alumni of drug rehab and sober living programs by providing weekly group sessions. Group meetings can serve a variety of purposes for those involved, including a weekly sobriety check-in, an outlet to share personal struggles and achievements, a safe place to provide encouragement to others, and an opportunity to connect with like-minded people in recovery.

 

References:

  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/topics/data_outcomes_quality/nsduh-ppt-09-2017.pdf
  2. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/oxymorphone.pdf
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxymorphone
  4. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a610022.html
  5. http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/prescription/opioids-and-morphine-derivatives-effects.html
  6. https://drugabuse.com/library/the-effects-of-opiate-use/#long-term-effects-of-opiates
  7. https://rehab-international.org/opana-abuse-treatment/injecting
  8. https://drugabuse.com/library/opana-abuse/
  9. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/201655s004lbl.pdf

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