Generic Names of Opioids That You Might Have a Prescription For
Opioid prescription addiction is very common. In fact, many people may have opioids in their homes and not even realize it. With almost as many generic opioid prescriptions as there are brand-name ones, generic opioid prescription addiction is reaching epidemic status.
Unfortunately, many who become addicted to opioids often move on to heroin because their effects are similar. They also have common ingredients such as the poppy plant and morphine. It is estimated that as many as four out of five current heroin users started out dependent on opioids. Of whom, nearly 70 percent borrow medication from family or friends.
Opioids are most commonly prescribed to reduce pain. In turn, they may actually delay recovery from injury or surgery. As opioids wear off, individual’s sensitivity to pain can increase causing patients to seek out more. This is a viscous cycle which is believed to cause more overdose deaths than almost any other drug on the market.
What is even worse is that many people are not aware that giving their prescribed medicine to someone is a felony. After all, the medications are extremely common, approved by the FDA, and prescribed by a physician – they are not street drugs. Many still buy into the belief their prescriptions are the best way of getting rid of pain not realizing they are indeed opioids. For example:
Generic Fentanyl is sold under the brand names:
Generic Morphine is sold under the brand names:
- Morphine Sulfate
Methadone is sold under the brand names:
Tramadol is sold under the brand names:
In medical facilities, opioids are often described under their brand label name. For example, both Oxaydo and X-Tampa used in emergency rooms contain oxycodone while Dilaudid has hydromorphone and Nucynta has tapentado in each dose.
How Opioids Actually Work
Opioids actually work by attaching to the receptors in the brain. This sends a signal to block pain, slows breathing, and has a general anti-calming effect. Since their chemical structure mimics natural neurotransmitters, they result in an excessive amount of a signal being sent through the neural pathways.
As a result, they also flood the brain with dopamine, one of the well-known feel-good transmitters. This is what produces the euphoric “high” and can lead to opioid prescription addiction.
Opioids also neglect to activate nerve cells in the way that natural neural transmitters do. In other words, opioids just target the brain’s neural networking and don’t actually get to the source of the pain at all.
The brain’s neural networking has its own way of ensuring our survival. This includes prompting individuals to pursue an activity that is pleasurable or rewarding. Whenever the reward circuit is activated, it makes an important note of it and demands that we keep repeating it – which could result in prescription or generic opioid addiction.
Combined and Generic Opioid Prescriptions
The main difference between the generic and combined brands of opioids is that the latter contains at least two of the main ingredients. For example, Anexia is listed as hydrocodone but also contains acetaminophen. Exalgo is listed as containing hydromorphone hydrochloride, which provides for extended release. Whereas, generic opioid addiction stem from prescriptions containing only one main ingredient.
There are a number of generic opioid prescriptions now being prescribed in increased strengths including:
- Fentanyl (Durgesic)
- Hydromorphone (Diladud)
- Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percoset)
- Hydrocodone (Hycodan, Vicodin)
- Morphine (MS Contin, Kadian)
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Safe Ways to Dispose of Unnecessary Medications
With a legal opioid crisis now going in the country, it is more important than ever to prevent opioid prescription addiction. Fortunately, there are some safe ways to help prevent potential addictions from forming. Here are a tips on how to dispose of prescriptions, including opioids:
- Remove the label and all personal so dealers and users can’t steal your identity.
- Use medicine take-back options to your advantage. Check for permanent collection sites or periodic events happening in your area for Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)-registered collectors.
- Look for the DEA’s regular National Prescription Drug Take-Back program where collectors go around various communities setting up temporary collection locations.
- Mix prescriptions with something inedible, such as cat litter or coffee grounds. It is not recommended you crush pills into powder.
- Don’t flush medicines down the toilet without a specific order to do so. In some areas, there is a concern about water treatment plants not being able to erase all traces of medicine in the water.
- In some areas prescriptions may be donated. These programs currently exist within 38 states plus Guam. You can check with the National Conference of State Legislatures (http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-prescription-drug-return-reuse-and-recycling.aspx) to see if a donation program exists in your state. Do be aware that most do not take controlled substances.
- Returning your medication to the pharmacy may be another option.
Opioid Prescription Addiction Dangers
It cannot be overstated, it is very dangerous to keep opioids around longer than you need them. It is very important to store them securely until you can dispose of them. There is not only a risk of a family member or friend getting into them, but also drug users and dealers who dig through the trash for them.
It can be especially dangerous when you have a child under six years of age living in your home. Children at that age often mistake pills for candy and will take them without hesitation. About 20 percent of one to two-year-olds end up in the hospital after taking a prescription medicine they shouldn’t have. When they do, it takes them hours or days to recover from it.
There is also the danger of you developing an opioid prescription addiction. If you or someone you love may be suffering from a generic opioid addiction or other substance abuse problem, please know there are professionals ready and willing to help.