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Opana is the brand name of a semisynthetic opioid analgesic that contains oxymorphone hydrochloride. Doctors typically prescribe it to treat moderate to severe pain, but it has a high potential for abuse as well. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Opana is in the same class of drugs as morphine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and other powerful prescription pain relievers. While the American Society of Addiction Medicine reports that women are more likely to suffer from chronic pain and develop a subsequent dependence on opioids than men, anyone can be vulnerable to prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drug abuse is a serious and growing problem around the country. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, more people suffered a fatal drug overdose in 2014 than in any other year on record, and more than 60 percent of those deaths involved an opioid.
Despite the risks associated with abusing Opana, people continue to do so every single day because it is so addictive. Addiction is a disease, and those suffering from it are often powerless to fight it on their own.
With continued use, the body can develop a dependence on Opana, which is what makes it so hard to quit using it. Dependence occurs when the body adapts to having a substance in its system, and if individuals suddenly stop taking a substance they have developed a dependence on, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. The duration and intensity of withdrawal depend on a variety of factors, including the drug itself and how the body metabolizes it.
A drug’s half-life is the time it takes for the body to reduce the concentration of the substance in the plasma by 50 percent. Half-life has a direct effect on how long withdrawal will last as well as on how long the substance will show up in drug tests. The half-life of Opana ER ranges from 9.4 hours to 11.3 hours, but there are some factors that can affect how long the drug actually remains in the system. These include:
Symptoms of Opana withdrawal may start within 12-30 hours after the last dose. Although the worst of the symptoms typically peak within a few days and then subside before a week has passed, protracted withdrawal symptoms, which might include cravings, insomnia, and irritability, can last for weeks or even months.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, early symptoms of opioid withdrawal include:
Later symptoms of opioid withdrawal include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and goosebumps.
For severe withdrawal symptoms, healthcare providers may administer methadone, buprenorphine, or clonidine; however, at some point, individuals will have to wean themselves off these drugs as well. Depending on the extent of the addiction, some people take methadone for years. Once individuals have overcome the worst of their withdrawal symptoms and completed the medical detox phase, they will enter a treatment program that addresses their particular needs.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, prescription opioids like oxymorphone and oxycodone will show up on a urine test 1-3 hours after use and continue producing positive results for up to four days. A blood test will produce positive results for up to 24 hours after taking Opana, and a saliva test can detect oxymorphone for 1-4 days. A hair test, on the other hand, will produce positive results for Opana up to 90 days after the last dose.