On an average day an estimated 78 Americans will die from an opioid-related overdose.
These deaths are not solely the result of substances found on the street like heroin and fentanyl, but prescription drugs found in a medicine cabinet.
The CDC said there are more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions are dispensed daily with 3,900 people using the prescription for non-medical use in the U.S.
With a growing number of individuals being effected by the opioid epidemic, more questions are being asked to understand and combat the issue.
What's the difference between an opioid and an opiate?
The National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment describes an opiate as a substance derived from a opium poppy plant such as opium and morphine while opioids refer to a synthetic or semi-synthetic drug like methadone and oxycodone. However, the modern day use of the word "opioid" no longer refers to how the drug is created but rather if the drug binds to the opioid receptors in the human body. Because of the updated definition, opioids can include any variety of opiates.
What substances are classified as opioids?
Anyone who takes a prescription opioid has the risk of becoming addicted. The CDC said one in four patients in long-term opioid therapy struggles with addiction. This issue doesn't stop with the individual prescribed an opioid drug but also those who live in the house, especially children who can access the prescription.
Here's a list of some generic opioid medication found at home:
- Propoxyphene (Brand name: Darvon, which was taken off the market in 2010)
- Tramadol (Brand names: Ryzolt, Ultram, and ConZip)
- Tapentadol (Brand name: Nucynta)
- Anileridine (Brand name: Leritine)
- Hydrocodone (Brand names: Hysingla ER and Zohydro ER)
- Morphine (Brand names: Astramorph, DepoDur and Duramorph)
- Oxycodone (Brand names: Percodan and Endodan)
- Methadone (Brand names: Methadose, Diskets, and Dolophine)
- Hydromorphone (Brand names: Exalgo, Dilaudid, and Palladone)
- Oxymorphone (Brand name: Opana)
- Levorphanol (Brand name: Levo-Dromoran)
- Buprenorphine (Brand names: Bunavail, Suboxone and Zubsolv)
- Fentanyl (Brand names: Duragesic, Subsys, Abstral, Ionsys, and Sublimaze)
- Sufentanil (Brand name: Sufenta)
How do I safely dispose of prescription opioids?
To help reduce the amount of prescription drugs found in the house, the DEA is holding the 12th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Click the link to find a drop off location near you.
For other days, the FDA recommends getting the prescription out of the house quickly and explains what prescriptions can be thrown away or flushed down the toilet.
What do these terms mean?
The slang for street name for opioids, especially heroin, are constantly evolving and can be difficult to track.
Here are a few terms to watch out for around your home:
- Harry Jones: refers to heroin.
- Atom bomb: refers to marijuana and heroin.
- blue velvet: refers to a combination of elixir terpin hydrate with codeine and tripelennamine.
- Brown sugar: refers to heroin
- Give wings: inject someone or teach someone to inject heroin
For more terms, click this link.