Opana, the brand name for oxymorphone hydrochloride, is a powerful narcotic used to manage moderate to severe pain. As with other prescription opioids, Opana is a highly addictive drug. Even those patients who take Opana as prescribed can find themselves with an Opana dependency. This becomes evident when the prescription runs out and the Opana withdrawal symptoms begin to emerge.
Due to its euphoric effects, Opana is also a drug used for recreational purposes. Misuse of Opana can quickly result in a cycle of abuse that may result in overdose. On the street, Opana is referred to as blue heaven, octagons, O bomb, stop signs, and biscuits.
Opana addiction or dependence will require professional treatment from an addiction recovery program. The opioid class of drugs is particularly difficult to quit on one’s own. Once the Opana withdrawal process begins, the individual will start to experience intense drug cravings. Without the support of a medical detox team, the individual is likely to return to the drugs to halt the uncomfortable cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
To successfully overcome an Opana addiction, there are rehab programs that tailor the treatment plan specifically for opioid recovery. The treatment may include medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, to provide additional medical support through the first year of recovery. Additionally, MAT can be introduced after days 2-3 of the detox timeline, which can offer relief from the Opana withdrawal symptoms.
Over time, MAT helps to incrementally reduce dependency on Opana, as well as diminish the desire to use the drug. This can help the individual achieve sustained abstinence by reducing the risk of relapse. Combined with ongoing psychotherapy, MAT has been shown to be an important tool in recovery.
Opana is a potent prescription analgesic within the opioid family of drugs. The DEA has classified Opana as a Schedule II controlled substance because of the drugs high potential for addiction, dependence, and abuse. Opana is an octagon-shaped bill that is available in 5mg and 10mg dosages, as well as a time-released version called Opana XR.
In 2010, the manufacturer of Opana, Endo Pharmaceuticals, reformulated the tablets so they would be more difficult to crush and abuse. However, the generic forms of oxymorphone hydrochloride are still in the original form, thereby sought after by individuals desiring to crush the medication and snort or inject it. The extended release version of the drug is particularly sought for abuse, as individuals will crush the drug and experience the full potency all at once.
Opana use can rapidly lead to increased tolerance, meaning that the body has adjusted to the drug and requires ever increasing dosages to achieve the same reward. When Opana is taken for an extended period, addiction or dependency can form. Opana combined with alcohol can significantly increase the risk of respiratory failure and death.
Signs of Opana Addiction
Opana dependence occurs when the drug is consistently introduced to the bloodstream. This causes an increase in the production of dopamine, a neural transmitter associated with pleasure and relaxation. Over time, the brain pathways become altered or shortened, in response to the drug’s unnatural dopamine surge. This can result in the brain ceasing its own dopamine production, making the individual fully dependent on the Opana in order to feel any pleasure at all. Additionally, chronic opioid use can change the physical properties of the addicted brain, such as decreased volume of the amygdala.
Signs and symptoms of Opana addiction include:
- Slowed thoughts, speech, and movements
- Increased consumption of Opana
- Twitches or tremors
- Phantom pains
- Drowsiness, nodding off
- Doctor shopping for Opana prescriptions, or faking an injury at the emergency room to obtain a prescription
- Engaging in high risk options to obtain opiates, such as buying them online or on the street
- High risk behaviors, such as driving while high on Opana or taking the drug with alcohol
- Ignoring responsibilities or obligations
- Declining work or school performance
- Memory impairment
- Problem concentrating
- Change in sleeping habits
- Weight loss
- Suicidal ideation
- Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities
- Drug cravings
- Opana withdrawal symptoms when drug is withheld
When a cluster of these red flags is evident it is best to seek professional Opana addiction treatment. The earlier in the addiction trajectory that the problem is addressed, the more successful the treatment outcome.
Risk of Opana Overdose
The risk of an overdose is heightened when an individual continues to abuse the drug by increasing dosages. The risks of overdose are further increased when the individual combines Opana with another substance, especially with alcohol. Opana with alcohol will adversely impact the central nervous system potentially causing life-threatening effects. The signs of Opana overdose include low blood pressure, reduced respiratory functioning, dizziness, fainting, loss of consciousness, pinpoint pupils, numbness in hands and feet, limp muscles, chest pain, and coma.
Another risk for Opana overdose can happen after an extended period of abstinence. Some may return to the drug and attempt to use the dosage level they last used prior to rehab or a period of recovery. This can be overwhelming to the system and lead to an overdose.
In the event of an overdose it is imperative to seek immediate medical care, as the risk of death from an opioid overdose is possible. The emergency responders will likely access naloxone (Narcan),which can reverse the respiratory distress and restore normal breathing. This is a life saving measure that provides the individual with the opportunity to seek treatment and recover from the addiction.
Outpatient vs. Residential Treatment
When approaching treatment for an Opana dependency it helps to understand the difference between outpatient and residential rehab options. Generally, an opioid addiction should be addressed in a residential setting. This is due to the more intensive level of treatment and the 24-hour support and monitoring. Outpatient rehab is an excellent step-down level of care following the completion of a residential program.
Opana Detox and Withdrawal
When beginning the recovery process the first step will involve detox and withdrawal from the Opana. Although going through opioid detox is not usually life threatening, the emerging withdrawal symptoms may be unpredictable and severe. In fact, the fear of withdrawal is what keeps many individuals from getting the help they need. A medically supervised detox program will assist the individual by managing the symptoms. Without detox support, the individual experiencing such intense withdrawal symptoms may be tempted to give up on the idea of recovery altogether and return to the drug use.
The first two days of Opana detox features the most acute withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms appear about 12 hours after the last dosage and will continually escalate over the first 24 hours. The detox team can then begin administering MAT, such as naltrexone or buprenorphine, to help reduce the withdrawal symptoms for the balance of the detox process.
Other interventions might include intravenous fluids if vomiting and diarrhea cause severe dehydration, as well as medical support for body aches, fever, gastrointestinal upset, insomnia, and headache.
Opana withdrawal symptoms include:
- Teary eyes
- Runny nose
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Joint and muscle pain
- Irregular heart rate
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of appetite
- Drug cravings
The Opana detox timeline is one to two weeks, with symptoms peaking on days 2-3 before subsiding.
Comprehensive Opana Addiction Treatment
Opana addiction treatment involves multiple types of therapies and activities that are synchronized to help the recovering individual overcome the opioid dependency. These treatment elements include:
Individual Psychotherapy: For a sustained recovery to take hold it is essential that the individual first address and change the disordered thought patterns that kept them trapped in the addiction cycle. New thought and behavior patterns can be introduced through psychotherapy using behaviorism-based modalities. The most effective of these include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy.
Group Therapy: When small groups of peers in recovery gather to discuss issues they have struggled with it can provide a feeling of mutual support while in treatment. The groups are facilitated by a psychotherapist who guides the conversation by introducing pertinent topics and encouraging cross talk.
Family Therapy: Family relationships are often damaged following a loved one’s opioid addiction, so the family-focused group sessions allow them to discuss their feelings in a safe, supportive environment. The therapist may utilize group techniques to help family members open up and share, while also guiding them about what to expect for their loved one post-rehab.
MAT: Medication-assisted therapy involves the use of drugs that help the individual overcome Opana cravings and sustain abstinence.
Psychosocial Education: Classes teach individuals in recovery various coping skills while assisting them in creating an individualized relapse prevention strategy.
Holistic and Recreational Activities: Extracurricular activities can help provide some relief from the clinical setting while encouraging socializing or relaxation. These include such activities as hiking, golf, outdoor sports, yoga, equine therapy, art therapy, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage.
Gaining a foothold over an Opana addiction is difficult but entirely possible, especially when treatment includes MAT recovery support and ongoing aftercare efforts.
Capo by the Sea Luxury Opana Rehab Orange Country
Capo by the Sea is an upscale residential treatment program located in the coastal communities of Southern California. Capo by the Sea specializes in treating opioid dependence and uses MAT as part of the addiction treatment plan when warranted. Capo by the Sea features a stunning treatment setting, premium accommodations, as well as highly trained addiction professionals who will design a custom treatment plan for Opana recovery specifically. For more information about the program, please contact Capo by the Sea today at (888) 529-2114.