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synthetic, pharmaceutical opioids

Synthetic Opioids: Everything You Need to Know

What Is the Difference Between an Opiate and an Opioid?

Synthetic opioids are a class of laboratory-manufactured narcotics originally created for medicinal use to aid in pain management. These drugs do not cure pain and instead help a person manage pain by changing the way the brain and body respond to it—and can produce euphoria, or a “high”—which causes these substances to be highly addictive.

While opiates and opioids are often used interchangeably—as they both create a similar effect—where they differ is how they are made. Opiates are created by extracting or refining natural plant matter, like poppy sap, to produce a chemical compound. Examples of an opiate include heroin, opium, morphine, and codeine. On the other hand, opioids are not derived from natural plant matter and are entirely synthesized—making “synthetic opioid” redundant.

Synthetic Opioid List

The pharmaceutical industry has developed more than 500 different opioid molecules. While some of these chemical compounds are used medically, others are not. In addition to prescriptions, there are unfortunately illicitly manufactured or clandestinely produced synthetic opioids. These can be particularly dangerous as there is no oversight to production—so these highly addictive substances can be laced with other ingredients.

Some of the most common synthetic opioids include:

  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone

If prescribed by a physician for surgery recovery or chronic condition relief, it is important o speak with a pain management specialist to see if there are alternative options and create a plan to use the opioid as safely as possible to avoid dependency.

According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 10 million people misused prescription opioids in the past year—with 1.6 million people being diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths”.

Fentanyl Addiction Recovery in Georgia

With fentanyl-related addiction on the rise in recent years, many people are curious about how to spot signs of fentanyl use as well as learn about recovery programs in their area to help a loved one affected by this synthetic opioid.

Fentanyl can either be pharmaceutical (i.e., prescribed by a doctor) or illicitly manufactured. However it is obtained, signs of overdose are the same and can include:

  • Small, constricted pupils
  • Slow or weak breathing
  • Losing consciousness
  • Discolored lips and nails
  • Extreme euphoria
  • Nausea and vomiting

Whether in pill, liquid, or powder form, synthetic opioids are highly addictive substances and our addiction recovery professionals at Mount Sinai Wellness Center are here to help those affected. We offer both opioid addiction treatments and fentanyl addiction treatments for individuals throughout Georgia. We pair a compassionate staff with a beautiful facility and innovative therapies to assist those in their first steps toward recovery.

To learn more about our holistic approach to opioid addiction treatment, call our team today at (800) 353-4673 or contact us online.