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Common Prescription Opioids & Their Dangers

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Common Prescription Opioids & Their Dangers

Prescription opioids are a class of drugs often utilized in cases of severe pain management that are derived from the opium poppy plant. Some are natural, while others are synthetically made with similar chemical compounds. No matter what way they are produced, abuse of these substances has resulted in a nationwide epidemic that continues to affect communities. Banyan Treatment Center Chicago is listing common prescription opioids and the risks they pose to those who abuse them.

List of Prescription Opioids

There is a relatively wide range of drugs that fall into the opioid category, with substances that possess different intensity and effects that it provides users.

Examples of prescription opioids include:

  • Morphine – This intense opioid is commonly injected or taken as a pill.
  • Codeine – A substance that is slightly weaker than others, although it still poses a risk of addiction.
  • Methadone – This drug is often used to manage withdrawal symptoms from its more powerful counterparts and can also treat severe pain.
  • Fentanyl – Perhaps the most infamous opioid, it is 100 times stronger than morphine and is generally only intended to be used in surgical settings. Sadly, counterfeit versions continue to be manufactured and illegally distributed.
  • Hydrocodone – This is a more intense form of codeine that is useful in treating moderate to severe pain in users. It is also commonly combined with acetaminophen.
  • Oxycodone – As a long-acting drug, this strong opioid provides intense pain relief for a long period of time.

It is reported that the most popular prescription opioids are hydrocodone and oxycodone. Other commonly used options include morphine, codeine, and heroin, although the last is not a medication that can be prescribed. Rather, it is an illicit substance.1 Sadly, many common prescription opioids present a serious risk to those who choose to abuse them.

The Dangers of Prescription Opioid Abuse

Opioids act as depressants to the central nervous system (CNS). This means that they are responsible for slowing down processes like brain activity and even breathing, leaving the user in a relaxed state. Although typically used for pain relief, many who use opioids also report experiencing bouts of euphoria or extreme happiness from the drug. Sadly, many get addicted to this high, which can lead a person to abuse the drug. It is also what drives people to use it past the point of no return.

A commonly held misconception is that having a prescription absolves a patient from the risk of addiction because it was obtained from a medical professional. The reality is that any drug can be abused, and straying in any way from a doctor’s orders can result in the development of tolerance, dependence, and, eventually, addiction.

Once this occurs, it is crucial that a person reaches out to our Chicago drug rehab as soon as possible. Here, they have access to both prescription drug and opioid addiction programs that can help them reclaim their lives from the clutches of their substance use disorder. Recovery from addiction is possible at our Illinois drug rehab.

For more information about the therapies and programs available at Banyan’s Chicago addiction treatment center, call us today at 888-280-4763 and speak with one of our specialists today.


  1. NIDA – FAQs About Opioids

Related Reading

List of Opioids Strongest to Weakest

The History of Opioids

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.