Synthetic opioids are manmade opiates with many of the same qualities of natural opiates. Natural opiates are derived from the poppy. Synthetic opiates are narcotic analgesic drugs that are created in laboratories with a similar chemical structure to natural opiates. They are generally used to treat pain. They can be illicit drugs or medications.
There are a wide range of opioids that are synthetic and semi-synthetic. The most common synthetic opioids are:
- Fentanyl. Fentanyl is a potent opioid that is used for those who are already tolerant to narcotics.
- Meperidine. It’s often known as Demerol. It’s used to relieve moderate to severe pain.
- Methadone. Methadone was produced in the 30’s by a team who were searching to a pain killer that was not as addictive as morphine. It’s often used to treat opioid addiction. It can be addictive itself, if not used correctly.
The most common semi-synthetic opioids are:
- Buprenorphine. It is a partial opioid agonist meaning it won’t produce the same effects as full agonists like heroin and methadone. This makes it useful in treating those addicted to opioids.
- Heroin. It was actually produced in 1874 by the Bayer company. It was marketed as a safer, non-addictive version of morphine. We know today it is a highly addictive dangerous narcotic.
- Hydrocodone. It is most widely known as Vicodin. It’s the most widely prescribed and abused opiate. It is synthesized from codeine.
- Hydromorphone. Derived from morphine, it’s most commonly known as Dilaudid. It’s often called dust or footballs.
- Oxycodone. It is also known as Percocet or Oxy. It’s one of the most well know opiates.
- Oxymorphone. It is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. The extended-release tablets are used to relieve severe pain in people who are expected to need pain medication around the clock for a long time and who cannot be treated with other medications.
Synthetic and semi-synthetic opioids were mostly designed to offer safer alternatives to other opiates. Synthetic opioids produce similar effects to natural opiates. They are safest when taken exactly as prescribed. They have addiction and abuse potential. Abuse of opiates can be deadly.
If you have stopped taking opioids as prescribed, you are abusing them. This can lead to addiction. Help is available. There are trained counselors, treatment centers, and support groups that can help. If you or a loved one are struggling with opiate abuse, get help before it’s too late.
There is freedom in recovery. Design For Change is changing lives one step at a time through a multifaceted treatment program and recovery services. Our 12 step based treatment programs offer a refuge from recovery bringing together families in the hope of sobriety. Call us today for information: (877) 267-3646