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IV Use of Opana

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Opana is a highly potent narcotic pain reliever that changes the way your body experiences pain. It is in the class of drugs called opioids that are highly addictive and have led to an epidemic of problematic use in the US.1

Regular Opana is prescribed for as-needed pain, such as a patient recovering from extensive surgery. The extended-release variant of the drug is more suitable for those who are in chronic pain who require constant relief; however, it is so highly addictive and commonly abused that the FDA has requested it to be removed from the market.2 The extended-release version is the most popular among drug abusers since it is more potent. Generally, these 5-mg and 10-mg tablets are crushed and then dissolved into a water-based solution to prepare it for injection drug use.

The Danger of Opana Abuse

OpanaOpana abuse grew in popularity after a new formulation of OxyContin hit the market because the new formulation made OxyContin more tamper-resistant and harder to crush. As a result, many people addicted to opioids turned to Opana and began using it instead. Injection of Opana carries serious risks, unknown to many people who use it, including life-threatening kidney failure.3

The most obvious risk of injecting Opana applies to injecting any substance—the contraction of infectious diseases, like HIV. Ten percent of all new HIV cases come from IV drug use.4 There are other severe risks associated with drug use too. Abusing opiates can lead to cardiac arrest and trouble breathing, both of which can result in death. Every day, 116 Americans die from an opioid overdose.

Side Effects

Over time, opioids of any nature take their toll on the body. People who take the drugs may develop a variety of health ailments with prolonged use, such as diarrhea, muscular pain and achy joints. Others may experience respiratory distress, constipation, loss of consciousness and even coma. Opana is highly addictive, so if you are already developing an addiction to opioids, it is likely that Opana will only increase your risk. Signs of an Opana addiction include the following:

  • You no longer engage in family activities or socialize with friends like you used to due to your Opana use.
  • You’ve resorted to lying or stealing to obtain your supply.
  • You feel preoccupied with thoughts of using Opana.
  • You can’t control how much or how often you use, and you’ve failed at attempts to quit.
  • Your performance at work or school has declined.
  • You often feel anxious.
  • You have fallen asleep at inappropriate times.
  • You need increased doses to achieve the high you’re used to getting.
  • Extreme mood swings, including rage, hostility, irritability and depression, are a normal part of your life now.
  • You habitually use or misuse Opana even though it is only causing you harm.
  • You often feel confused.
  • You often experience nausea or vomiting.
  • Your hygiene habits have declined.
  • You have trouble sleeping.
  • You experience headaches.
  • You’ve used Opana to avoid going into withdrawal.

When You Need Help

Recognizing you have a problem with Opana is a great first step. You will need to enter a medically-supervised detox program in order to safely wean and rid your body of all opioids, which can be very dangerous to attempt at home. In a detox program, you will have a medical staff to monitor and help control your withdrawal symptoms in order to help keep you comfortable and safe during the process.

After detox is complete, you will begin a drug treatment program in which you learn about your addiction and how to heal from it. People who abuse opioids often take other drugs with them, especially benzodiazepines like Xanax. If you find yourself in this category, it is important to be honest with your rehab center so they can provide you with adequate care.

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to opioids like Opana, please call our 24-hour, toll-free helpline. We offer excellent care and top-tier treatment for substance use disorders. Our goal is to help you reach your goals of being drug free and a healthier version of yourself. Please call now.


1About the U.S. Opioid Epidemic.” US Department of Health and Human Services. 12 February 2018.

2FDA requests removal of Opana ER for risks related to abuse.” US Food and Drug Administration. 8 June 2017.

3 Ban, Byung H., et. al, “Opana-induced thrombotic microangiopathy masquerading as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.” Oxford Medical Case Reports. June 2017.

4Injection Drug Use and HIV Risk.” US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 February 2018.