Prescription painkiller addiction

hand reaching for prescription pill bottle

Prescription opioids are powerful painkillers prescribed to treat moderate-to-severe long-term pain. They work by blocking the pain receptors in the brain, stimulating dopamine that produces a feeling of euphoria, heightened pleasure, relaxation, and in some cases, an altered state of consciousness. 

Prescription painkiller addiction can affect those that are prescribed the medication. Opioids can be highly addictive even when used as prescribed and can cause a physical and mental dependency within a short period of time. This dependence can also cause people to turn to illegal street drugs or buying prescription pills off the streets, unbeknownst to the true ingredients. 

According to Statistics Canada, 

  • In 2018, 12.7% of Canadians (roughly 3.7 million) aged 15 years and older reported they used opioid pain relievers in the previous 12 months.
  • Among the people who used opioid pain relievers, 9.7% (roughly 351,000) engaged in problematic use.

The Canadian Centre of Substance Use and Addiction states that the rate of hospitalization due to opioid poisoning has increased, with an average of 17 hospitalizations per day in Canada in 2017. There were at least 15,393 opioid-related deaths in Canada between January 2016 and December 2019, with the highest number of deaths occurring in 2018. The rate of emergency department visits for prescription painkiller addiction poisoning has doubled for younger adults aged 25–44, an increase larger than for any other age group.

The following is a list of the most abused prescription opioids, their street names, how they are administered and their short and long-term health effects.


OXYCONTIN (OXYCODONE)

Street Names: Oxy, OCs, Ox, Oxycotton, Os, Cotton, Hillbilly Heroin, Blues, Kickers, Killers, Oxycet, 40 (referencing 40-milligram pills), 80 (referencing 80-milligram pills)

Administered: swallowed, snorted, injected, or as a suppository

Short-term health effects of OxyContin use: drowsiness, slowed reaction time, impaired judgement, loss of appetite, anxiety, confusion, memory and concentration loss, muscle weakness, itching, dry mouth, clammy skin, excessive sweating, difficulty breathing, slurred speech, constipation, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness.

Long-term health effects from OxyContin abuse: sexual dysfunction, irregular female periods, scaring, lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, chronic constipation, suicidal thoughts, violent behaviour, an increased risk of infections, HIV, Hepatitis, brain damage, seizures, coma, incarceration, overdose, and death.

 

PERCOCET (OXYCODONE AND ACETAMINOPHEN)

Street Names: Percs, Roxi, Roxicotton, Paulas, Blue Dynamite, 512s

Administered: swallowed, snorted, injected, or as a suppository

Short-term health effects of Percocet use: drowsiness, light-headedness, dizziness, impaired judgement, loss of appetite, anxiety, confusion, muscle weakness, itching, dry mouth, clammy skin, excessive sweating, swelling of extremities, difficulty urinating, stomach pain, chest pain, shallow breathing, constipation, hives or rash, nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness.

Long-term health effects from Percocet abuse: suicidal thoughts, jaundice, lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, chronic constipation, violent behaviour, increase risk of infections, HIV, Hepatitis, brain damage, convulsions, seizures, liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory failure, coma, incarceration, overdose, and death.

VICODIN (HYDROCODONE AND ACETAMINOPHEN)

Street Names: Vikes, Vics, Vicos, Vikings, Vs, Vitamin V, Scratch, Hydros, Lorris, Fluff, Tabs, Watsons, 357s

Administered: swallowed, snorted, injected, or as a suppository

Short-term health effects of Vicodin use: drowsiness, light-headedness, dizziness, impaired judgement, anxiety, paranoia, mood swings, confusion, muscle weakness, itching, dry mouth, clammy skin, excessive sweating, swelling, stomach pain, shallow breathing, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness.

Long-term health effects from Vicodin abuse: suicidal thoughts, jaundice, infertility, lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, hearing loss, chronic constipation, an increased risk of violent behaviour, convulsions, seizures, brain damage, kidney failure, liver damage, cardiovascular damage, respiratory failure, coma, incarceration, overdose, and death.

CODEINE

Street Names: Cody, Captain Cody, Schoolboy.  Codeine syrup mixed with alcohol or soft drinks: Sizzurp, Syrup, Lean, Purple Drank. 
Codeine mixed with glutethimide: Doors and Fours, Loads, Pancakes and Syrup.

Administered: swallowed, drank, injected

Short-term health effects of codeine use: drowsiness, light-headedness, dizziness, impaired judgement, fainting, anxiety, mood swings, confusion, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, itching, dry mouth, clammy skin, excessive sweating, urinary retention, stomach pain, shallow breathing, constipation, hives or rash, nausea, vomiting, and unconsciousness.

Long-term health effects from codeine abuse: lowered blood pressure, slowed breathing, depression, sexual dysfunction, chronic constipation, hallucinations, memory loss, an increased risk of violent behaviour, tremors, seizures, brain damage, kidney failure, liver damage, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, coma, incarceration, overdose, and death.

FENTANYL

Fentanyl addiction:

Street Names: China White, Apache, Drop Dead, Friend, Serial Killer, Dance Fever, Jackpot, Goodfella, Murder 8, TNT, Tango & Cash (when mixed with Heroin)

Administered: swallowed, topically via patch, snorted, smoked, injected

Short-term health effects of Fentanyl use: drowsiness, dizziness, impaired judgement, fainting, anxiety, paranoia, mood swings, confusion, insomnia, muscle weakness, itching, clammy skin, excessive sweating, stomach pain, shallow breathing, constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and unconsciousness.

Long-term health effects from Fentanyl abuse: slowed breathing, depression, chronic constipation, hallucinations, memory loss, an increased risk of violent behaviour, seizures, brain damage, organ damage, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, incarceration, overdose, and death.


MORPHINE

Morphine addiction

Street Names: M, MS, Morf, Morpho, Mister Blue, Miss Emma, Monkey, White Stuff, Unkie, Dreamer, Ensel, First Line, God’s Drug, Hows

Administered: swallowed, smoked, snorted, injected, or as a suppository

Short-term health effects of morphine use: drowsiness, dizziness, impaired judgement, insomnia, impotence, anxiety, mood swings, confusion, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, itching, dry mouth, clammy skin, excessive sweating, urinary retention, stomach pain, chest pain, shallow breathing, constipation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and unconsciousness.

Long-term health effects from morphine abuse: suicidal thoughts, slowed breathing, irregular heart rate and rhythm, depression, infertility, chronic constipation, hallucinations, memory loss, violent behaviour, gastrointestinal bleeding, an increased risk of infections, HIV, Hepatitis, seizures, brain damage, kidney failure, liver damage, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, coma, incarceration, overdose, and death.

Prescription painkiller addiction is very serious and needs to be treated as such. To get the help you or your loved one needs, contact The Farm Rehab today to learn about our prescription pill addiction treatment program – 1 (877) 353-2777.