Opana ia a powerful opioid prescription painkiller that is becoming more and more popular in rural America. Prescription drug abuse, with medications like Opana, now lead to more deaths in the United States than heroin and cocaine combined, and rural residents are nearly twice as likely to overdose on pills than people in big cities, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Prescription drug abuse, with medications like Opana, now lead to more deaths in the United States than heroin and cocaine combined

Center for Disease Control

Opana’s generic name is Oxymorphone HCL. This medication is used to treat moderate-to-severe pain. It acts on certain centers in the brain to give pain relief. Opana is a narcotic pain reliever, opiate-type.

Opana is not a new drug

Opana is not new. For years, when properly prescribed, the drug has helped treat patients in severe pain such as back pain, pain related to cancer and osteoarthritis. While some people who abuse Opana buy them from “pill-mills” others get them from their doctors, or buy them from the elderly with legitimate prescriptions who sold the drugs to supplement their Social Security income.

More recently, it’s become the pharmaceutical drug of choice for street dealers and addicts. Opana is now among their first choice. Traditionally, the buzz drugs were hydrocodones and oxycodones.

Law enforcement officials report that Opana prescription drug abuse began after drug makers started adding deterrent ingredients to the narcotics, making them more difficult to crush and shoot up, therefore directing illegal users to turn to Opana. The drug is more potent, per milligram, than OxyContin, making it potentially more deadly. Those who abuse Opana do not realize how strong it is.

As a new, harder-to-abuse Opana formulation replaces the old formula, police and addiction experts expect heroin to fill that void. Drug abusers will adapt the same way drug traffickers or criminals will adapt to a new law. They are going to find a way to satisfy their addiction. Whether they either can’t get those particular pharmaceuticals or can’t afford them, they will gravitate to heroin or even Flakka, which costs only five dollars. If you have not heard – Flakka is a new designer drug luring some young Americans and is even more potent and more addictive than its synthetic predecessors.

Drug Abusers adapt to the changing landscape

The rise of Opana abuse illustrates the adaptability of drug addicts and the never-ending challenge facing law enforcement authorities, addiction specialists and pharmaceutical companies. Just when officials think they have curbed abuse and stopped trafficking of one drug, abusers have another one ready to move in on. It’ll be something new tomorrow. It’s almost like a game of Wack-A-Mole, when you get a handle on one, another demon pops its head up.

As the supply of all old drug formulations dwindle, abusers will inevitably pannick and flood Internet chat rooms in an attempt to find ways to outsmart the newest of pharmacology.

Detectives say the spike in Opana means more intravenous drug use, more overdoses and more cases of a rare condition causing blood clots associated with injecting ground up pills.

Many abusers now, today, have struggled since their teen years and once they reach their legal age, if caught, are locked up. Later, released and left to abuse drugs once again many times leading them to rob, kill, and sadly influence someone else to join them. Going from a few abusers to an epidemic of addicts.

Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem, the White House Officials on National Drug Policy says. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified the misuse of these powerful painkillers as an epidemic, with more than 1.3 million emergency room visits since 2010, a greater than 115% increase since 2004.

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