Opana Abuse, Addiction, and Treatment Options

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Opana is an opioid narcotic that is used to treat pain. Using this drug can very quickly lead to addiction, creating a need for rehab. Opana is a prescription medication, which could begin a person’s addiction to it. Fortunately, there are many treatment options for someone who wants to stop using this drug.

Our outpatient drug treatment program allows you to keep work and family commitments while focusing on your sobriety.

What is Opana?

Opana is a brand-name medication for oxymorphone. It is an opioid used to treat pain, usually moderate to severe. Opana is also available as an extended-release form. This is for people who need treatment around the clock and not as-needed. Opana is a medicine that would be prescribed when nothing else is working for pain.

As with other opioids, Opana works in the central nervous system. Opioids activate central nervous system receptors, specifically stereospecific G-protein opioid receptors. They act upon mu, delta-, and kappa- receptors. When they do this, they block the pain messages sent to the brain from the body.

As of 2017, Opana ER was removed from the US market by the FDA. The claim was that the risks of it being highly addictive were higher than the benefits it offered. However, even though it is illegal in the US, people still go online to purchase it and other illegal opioids.

The Opana High: How Does it Make People Feel?

Because Opana is an addictive painkiller, it can be easy for someone to take more than they should to keep the pain away. It can also make them feel good when they get on it because of the way it acts in the brain.

Most opioids have similar effects when a person takes them. Some of those include:

  • Short-term effects:
    • Feeling calm, drowsy or confused
    • Breathing that slows or stops (this can lead to a fatal overdose)
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Constipation
  • Long-term effects:
    • Addiction
    • Heart problems
    • Lung problems
    • Muscle pains


Getting and staying sober is very challenging, but with the right support network and tools, it's completely attainable.

Can Someone Overdose on Opana?

Yes. Any medication has a potential for overdosing if the instructions of the doctor are not followed correctly. When on an opioid, the person must take the correct dosage at the correct time intervals to avoid overloading their brain signals with the opiate. Opioids should never be in the hands of children.

Signs of an Opana, or opioid, overdose include:

  • Small pupils (“pinpoint pupils”)
  • Sleepiness or loss of consciousness
  • Slowed or labored breathing
  • Choking or gurgling sounds
  • Limpness
  • Bluish, pale, cold skin

If a person is suspected of overdosing, it is very important to get them help immediately. This is a life-threatening situation. The following steps should be followed:

  • Immediately call 911
  • If available, administer naloxone
  • Try to keep the person awake and make sure they are breathing
  • Make sure they are on their side to prevent choking if they vomit
  • Stay with them until emergency personnel arrive

What Happens if Opana is Mixed With Other Drugs?

Most of the time, a person’s doctor already knows what they are taking for prescription medications. They may not know about any kind of dietary or vitamin supplements, but the person should discuss these with their doctor. However, if someone is using an illegal substance, like Opana, there can be a lot of problems. When certain medications and drugs are mixed, it can cause serious complications.

There are some medications that Opana should not be mixed with. Those include:

  • Other medications for pain
  • Phenothiazines (medicines for serious mental disorders)
  • MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors)
  • Tranquilizers
  • Sleeping pills

The effects from mixing these drugs can include breathing problems, low blood pressure, extreme drowsiness, coma or death.

Opana and Alcohol

Opioids of any kind and alcohol should never be mixed. Because alcohol is a depressant, it slows down the central nervous system. Mixing the two can make both stronger, causing damaging results. The FDA warned about this claiming that mixing the two could result in fatal levels of the drug in the blood, profound sedation, respiratory distress, coma, or death.

Opana use Statistics in the United States

There are people who use opioids every minute, every day. Some people use them in a controlled way, with a prescription. Others misuse them and become addicted. This is why there is an opioid epidemic in the US that seems like it will never end.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the following are facts about opioid use:

  • Since 1999, more than 760,000 people have died from a drug overdose. 2 out of 3 of them involved an opioid in 2018
  • In 2016, the opioid-related hospitalizations were 297 per 100,000 nationally
  • Naloxone prescriptions doubled from 2017-2018
  • In 2019 about 10.1 million people (ages 12+) misused opioids in the past year. 9.7 million misused prescription opioids; 745,000 used heroin
  • Emergency department visits for overdoses involving opioids rose to 30% everywhere in the US from 7/2016-9/2017
  • HHS has given $9 billion to states, tribes and communities to fight the opioid epidemic
  • There has been a decline of 4.1% in drug overdose deaths from 2017-2018
  • There are more than 14,000 substance abuse facilities in the US
  • 1.27 million Americans are receiving medication-assisted treatment

Opana Withdrawal Symptoms

When someone has a dependency on a drug and wants to stop using it, they will almost always go through withdrawal. These are uncomfortable, sometimes dangerous effects on the mind and body. Sometimes, they can even be fatal.

The person’s brain has to take time to release the opiate and then relearn how to function without it. This is the time withdrawal will happen.  Most opioids have similar withdrawal symptoms. Those include:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Achy muscles
  • Increased tears
  • Insomnia/yawning
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Abdominal cramping/nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goosebumps
  • Increased heart rate
  • Depression.

Options for Opana Addiction Treatment

Many times, an addiction to an opioid is very difficult for someone to stop on their own. Most of the time, they will be referred to a program for detox before starting a treatment program. This is the process of removing the harmful toxins caused by the drug from the body. When going through detox, the person can have help managing their withdrawal symptoms. We recommend medication-assisted treatment for anyone with an opioid addiction who wants to recover.

Opana Treatment Program Options

Detox is only the beginning of treatment for any opioid addiction recovery program. There is a lot of work to do. Going through the right rehab program will give them a better chance of success in their recovery efforts.

The following are the different types of treatment programs available for opioid addiction:


Our treatment programs are custom tailored to your specific needs. One phone call is all it takes to start your recovery from drug & alcohol dependency


Various forms of counseling are utilized in the treatment of addiction too. Those include:

More Information About Opana Recovery Options

At SpringBoard Recovery, we see many people come in with various opioid addictions, including Opana. Our treatment programs are designed to help the individual right where they are.

We want to help anyone who wants it. We know recovering from addiction is hard. But, reaching the goal of recovery is very rewarding and we are here to help you get there.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an Opana or other opioid addiction, we would like to help. For more information about treatment options with SpringBoard Recovery, please contact us today.

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