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Opana (oxymorphone) is a synthetic opiate or narcotic medication that is primarily designed for the medicinal use of pain control. It is an extremely potent medication and available in immediate-release and extended-release versions. The immediate-release versions contain either 5 mg or 10 mg of oxymorphone, and the extended-release versions contain doses of oxymorphone that range from 5 mg to 40 mg. There is also an injectable formulation that is most often used in hospitals and clinics.
Oxymorphone is a Schedule II controlled substance as classified by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This indicates that the drug does have important medical uses but it is also highly prone to being abused and likely to result in physical dependence in people who use the drug over a prolonged period of time.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and other sources, the abuse of prescription medications, particularly narcotic medications, is a serious problem in the United States. Abusing narcotic medications is associated with numerous adverse health issues and the development of emotional problems, including the development of a substance use disorder.
People who abuse opioid drugs like Opana often attempt to take the drug in a manner that is inconsistent with its intended administration. The drug is intended to be taken orally, and abusers can certainly take it in this manner; however, some drug abusers attempt to grind up opiate drugs and then snort them or mix them with water and inject them. The practice of snorting or injecting drugs in this manner can be extremely dangerous.
Opana was one of the opiate drugs that eventually included abuse-deterrent technology to discourage individuals from snorting it. The drug is covered with a hard shell that makes it difficult to crush and grind, and the extended-release version was designed to become gel-like when crushed. This led to the drug being more difficult to snort but easier to inject. In addition, drug abusers are often very resourceful, and this type of abuse-deterrent mechanism has been bypassed by many serious abusers as a result of their significant need to use their drug of choice.
Some specific dangers of snorting Opana include:
People who chronically abuse drugs by injecting them are increasing the risk of developing numerous health issues that can include:
In addition to the above dangers that are most commonly associated with either snorting or injecting drugs like Opana, there are a number of common risks that are associated with either method of administration.
Because individuals who snort or inject prescription medications often develop significant substance use disorders, they are also at risk for being diagnosed with other mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, trauma and stressor-related disorders, and other psychological disorders. These individuals are also more prone to developing problems with personal relationships, at work, in their career goals and education, and with their finances. They are also more likely to experience legal issues due to their drug use.
The abuse of Opana has potential serious consequences regardless of whether it is taken orally, snorted, or injected. However, people who abuse the drug by snorting or injecting it increase the risk of experiencing serious emotional and physical issues compared to individuals who abuse it orally. Any person who abuses Opana should seek a consultation with a licensed mental health professional.