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Oxymorphone (Opana) Addiction And The Best Rehab Centers For Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Isaac Alexis, M.D., AAMA, AMP-BC

February 12, 2019

Oxymorphone is an opioid narcotic used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain that is frequently abused for its high potency. In order to overcome oxymorphone addiction, it helps to first know what oxymorphone is, and what treatments are available.

What Is Oxymorphone?

Oxymorphone is an opioid analgesic narcotic used to treat for moderate to severe pain and other ailments. It has effects similar to those of morphine or other schedule II prescription opioid analgesics. Oxymorphone is prescribed in pill form as a powdered tablet. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “recently there has been an increase in the abuse of oxymorphone.”

Side Effects Of Oxymorphone Abuse

Opioids work by attaching to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, GI tract, and other organs. Attaching to these receptors is what reduces pain and simultaneously produces the euphoria recreational drug users seek. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “the effects of opioids are typically mediated by the body’s own (endogenous) opioid chemicals, (endorphins, encephalins). With repeated administration of opioid drugs (prescription or heroin), the production of endogenous opioids is inhibited, which accounts in part for the discomfort that ensues when the drugs are discontinued.” In other words, abuse of opioids like oxymorphone inhibits, or disrupts, the body’s messaging system in the brain and can affect how the brain operates even after abuse is stopped.

Further, opioid abuse can have adverse health effects as well. Some of these include confusion, constipation, drowsiness, and nausea. Abuse may result in further side effects, such as lethargy, paranoia, respiratory issues, addiction, and even overdose. Even after abuse has stopped, opioid abuse may have lasting, long-term effects, including:

  • bloating
  • brain damage due to respiratory depression
  • constipation
  • liver damage
  • physical dependence
  • nausea
  • tolerance
  • vomiting

While the facts seem dark, there may be hope for individuals affected by oxymorphone abuse in the form of treatment.

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How To Identify Oxymorphone Abuse

Because oxymorphone is a prescription, it may not always be easy to recognize an addiction to it. If you suspect someone you know is suffering from abuse, there are some signs you can look for to help identify the risk of addiction. Some signs to recognize are:

  • Taking oxymorphone more frequently or in doses higher than prescribed
  • Taking oxymorphone with other substances in order to increase its effects
  • Obtaining prescriptions for oxymorphone from multiple sources
  • Concern over what will happen when oxymorphone is no longer available
  • Falling behind in school, work, or other obligations due to use
  • Trying to stop use and failing
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop use

Opioid abuse is a serious situation, which may lead to addiction, hardships, and even overdose. If you witness any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, seek help immediately.

Understanding Oxymorphone Addiction

Just how addictive is oxymorphone? As the DEA explains, oxymorphone products have “high abuse and dependence potential, produce tolerance, and are abused for their euphoric effects.” Some ways people abuse them include snorting, taking them orally, and injecting the drug as a liquid. Oxymorphone may also have a high potential for abuse due to certain other drugs no longer being available in crushable tablet form; crushing opioids and snorting the powder tends to produce immediate “highs,” driving the abuse of these forms of drugs.

The scope of oxymorphone abuse is growing. The DEA states, “the total estimated emergency department visits associated with oxymorphone increased from 4,599 in 2010 to 12,122 in 2011.” The presence of oxymorphone among recreationally abused drugs is increasing. It is available in many states and is sought through many avenues, including forged prescriptions, since it is foremost a prescription medication.

Oxymorphone Addiction Treatment

Treatment allows a person affected by opioid abuse to rid the body of the substance, overcome the harsh withdrawal process, and begin life substance-free. Aftercare is usually encouraged as well. For opioid abuse, it is first necessary for an addicted individual to undergo detoxification or ridding the body of the harsh chemicals acquired during abuse. This stage is usually accompanied by an intense withdrawal process, during which a person may experience intense cravings for the drug and adverse physical effects as a result. Medication may be administered in order to lessen the severity of some of these effects.

When ready, if a person enters a treatment facility, he or she can begin therapy, such as behavioral therapy, and learn to abstain from substances. Therapy helps teach a person to build a life that is fulfilling without abusing drugs. Treatment may also include educational courses to help manage addiction, counseling, and 12-step programs which help people recognize how the addiction affects their lives, how to control it, and how to move forward without it.

The best inpatient drug rehab centers for treating abuse of opioids such as oxymorphone will help a person find a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses a person’s specific needs, such as any co-occurring disorders (other substance abuse issues or mental health conditions). They will also allow a person to heal in a substance-free environment and offer maximum support and assistance as needed.

Contact us today at to find out how we can help find the treatment plan that is best for you.


Drug Enforcement Administration — Oxymorphone
National Institute On Drug Abuse —America’s Addiction To Opioids
WebMD — Opana

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