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The Risks of Synthetic Opioids


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Table of Contents

Opioids are powerful pain relievers and sedatives that have been used for centuries as anesthetics. Taking increasing amounts of opioids makes it difficult for people to tolerate discomfort over time.

Types of Opioids and the Effects of Painkillers

The effects of painkillers on the mind and body can be significant. Prescription opioids like oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and hydrocodone can be helpful for patients recovering after surgery. They are commonly prescribed to those dealing with chronic pain.

Prescription opioids interact with opioid receptors throughout the body, including the brain. The effects of painkillers can help relieve discomfort and create a sense of temporary euphoria in an individual. They are meant for short-term use. However, all prescription opioids are highly addictive if misused and can contribute to a culture of prescription opioid abuse if left unchecked. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl come with even higher risks. Reach out to our team to learn more about opioid addiction treatment we offer.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is one of the most commonly abused synthetic opioids on the market. It is similar to morphine but can be up to 100 times more potent. While physicians can prescribe it in certain situations, it’s more frequently produced and sold illegally for recreational use.

Synthetic opioids can be taken in several ways. Some users inject opioids while others swallow them in pill form. Sniffing or inhaling synthetic opioids is also an option.

The Effects of Using Synthetic Opioids

Some of the immediate feelings following the use of synthetic opioids like fentanyl include but aren’t limited to:

  • Euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness

While these positive effects can create a cycle where a user is longing for more of the substance, there are many negative effects. These can include:

  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Itching
  • Loss of consciousness

Beyond these symptoms, the use of synthetic opioids comes with many life-threatening risks.

Risks Associated with Synthetic Opioid Use

The risks linked to synthetic opioid use are vast and varied. Users who sniff or inhale these drugs risk severe damage to the nose and throat over time.


Similarly, users who choose to inject a synthetic opioid into their bodies can cause incredible damage to vital veins and arteries. This can lead to life-threatening infections and blood clots.

Additionally, the risks of sharing needles and syringes can’t be overlooked when it comes to the potential for spreading viral infections. These include viruses like HIV or hepatitis B and C.

Cutting Agents

Those who purchase synthetic opioids illegally run the risk of ingesting a drug cut with other contaminated substances. It’s common for black-market synthetic opioids to be contaminated during shipment. It’s also common for sellers to mix in sugars and starches to increase bulk and profit unknowingly.

Synthetic opioids can quickly cause suppression of normal breathing patterns when used in excess. This can cause a user to stop breathing altogether. It’s common for those using synthetic opioids to mix them with alcohol and other drugs to enhance the effects.

Unfortunately, this creates a deadly cocktail. Mixing synthetic opioids with other drugs and alcohol can quickly lead to a coma, overdose, and death. In the event of an overdose, naloxone can be administered to try and reverse the damage caused by excessive synthetic opioid use. While it may be successful, there is no guarantee.

Suspect Prescription Opioid Abuse? Reach Out to Liberty Bay Recovery Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol or substance use abuse, partnering with professionals who care can make all the difference. Contact our team of dedicated mental health professionals at Liberty Bay Recovery today by calling (855) 607-8758 or submitting a form online. We look forward to helping you take back the life you deserve.

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