Tens of thousands of people overdose from opioids every year. If you or a loved one have developed an opioid addiction, you’re not alone. People get hooked on opioids from recreational and medical use alike.
But what are synthetic opioids?
Many people have heard of synthetic marijuana, but not many people understand the types of synthetic opioids and their dangerous effects. If you or a loved one is suffering from a synthetic opioid addiction, it’s important to understand what exactly you’re going up against, so you understand how to fight it.
This article will walk you through synthetic opioids, the purpose of synthetic opioids, and how to heal from them.
What Are Synthetic Opioids?
Opioids, as a class of psychoactive drug, are derived from the poppy plant. They interact with the brain’s opioid receptors to produce a sense of euphoria and reduce pain. They have a high risk of addiction and overdose, but if used in small doses under the watch of a doctor, they’re generally considered safe.
Synthetic opioids are man-made chemicals that act on the brain the same way that natural opioids do. Their names are not quite as familiar to the general market, but they’re made up of many of the same materials as codeine, heroin, and morphine.
What Are the Types of Synthetic Opioids?
The above information is good to know about synthetic opioids in the abstract, but it’s important to recognize the names of synthetic opioids when you hear them in the street.
Fentanyl: is the most widely-used synthetic opioid. It’s considered many times stronger than morphine. Designer drug culture (a culture that romanticizes the use of synthetics at parties and raves) has led to a fentanyl spike in recent years.
Methadone: is another extremely popular synthetic opioid. It’s usually used to help wean people off of heroin since its effects aren’t as significant.
Some of the other common types of synthetic opioids are:
- U-47700, or “pink”
- butyryl fentanyl — an analog of fentanyl
- acryl fentanyl — a common designer drug sold online
- 4-fluoroisobutyryl fentanyl — another fentanyl-analog designer drug
- acetyl fentanyl — a designer drug 15 times stronger than morphine
As you can see, synthetic opioids aren’t a catch-all group, they consist of many different kinds of drugs. If you’ve heard any of these terms or heard a loved one using them, take our self-test today.
Benefits of Synthetic Opioids
Synthetic Opioids are man-made after all — they were developed for a reason. So why use synthetic opioids?
In many cases, synthetic opioids can be used to treat pain. Their high potency makes them even more effective than opioids — which are noted for their potency. They have to be taken in small doses, however.
Believe it or not, synthetic, man-made opioids can be manufactured quickly. Harvesting poppy takes longer than you might expect, so synthetic opioids are often quicker to put out. This lack of cultivation means that making synthetic opioids is easier than making standard opioids.
The fast production of synthetic opioids means low cost. The cheaper price means that many drug users will turn to opioids when they’re down on their luck, and get hooked.
As stated before, many people use synthetic opioids to take part in the “designer drug” rave culture. A 2016 study showed that nightclub goers were more likely to use the new “designer drugs”—perhaps not even realizing they were different from common party drugs like MDMA. Nightclub goers who attended every week doubled the odds of their use.
The nightclub culture encourages new clubbers to take substances, much in the same way as peer pressure. Even if you or a loved one plan on attending a nightclub innocently, without the intention of doing drugs, you/they might be roped into a situation they didn’t expect, and get hooked.
Risks of Synthetic Opioids
Synthetic opioids present many similar risks to standard opioids, but they’re generally considered much more dangerous due to their higher potency.
As with most hard drugs, synthetic opioids come with a high risk of overdose. Many people every year die from doing drugs that are laced with fentanyl, and not realizing. Extremely small amounts of fentanyl can kill a person, so it’s very important to stay clear of it at all costs.
But overdose isn’t the only risk you run when taking synthetic opioids. Even if you don’t overdose and die, synthetic opioids can cause serious and lasting bodily harm. Synthetic opioids injected into the blood and veins can cause blood clots, infections, and destruction of tissues in the limbs.
While the actual use of the drugs is extremely dangerous, synthetic drugs come with an x-factor. We do not know where most synthetic drugs are manufactured — but our best guess is that they’re most manufactured overseas clandestinely and smuggled into the country. You won’t know where your drugs are coming from, which means they’re more likely to be laced with something you don’t know about.
But that’s not all — the trafficking of the drugs means that obtaining these drugs can be just as dangerous as doing them.
Heal From Synthetic Opioid Addiction
If you or a loved one is suffering from a synthetic opioid addiction, you’re not alone. Plenty of Americans suffer and die from opioid addictions every year. If you’ve ever found yourself asking the question, What are synthetic opioids? — now you know the answer.
Keep in mind this information about synthetic opioids, so you can spot the signs of addiction in you or a loved one. For more information, contact us today.